Century farm near Spring Grove 'is home'
SPRING GROVE — It was back in 1873 that Timan Gilbertson started farming about 160 acres of slightly rolling land here.
Today, the farm is still going, and it's owned by Gilbertson's great-granddaughter Winnefred Gilbertson Buxengard, 86.
At 141 years, the farm is the oldest of the 23 "Century Farms" named in southeast Minnesota this week.
"It's not any prize, but at the same time it's home," Buxengard said. "And it's the fact that it's been in family so long, I kind of want it to stay there."
The Minnesota State Fair and the Minnesota Farm Bureau recognized 215 Minnesota farms as 2014 Century Farms. Qualifying farms have been in continuous family ownership for at least 100 years and are 50 acres or more.
Century Farm families receive a commemorative sign, as well as a certificate signed by the State Fair and Minnesota Farm Bureau presidents and Governor Mark Dayton. Since the program began in 1976, over 9,900 Minnesota farms have been recognized as Century Farms.
Buxengard's farm passed from her great-grandfather to her grandfather to her father and his sister, and then to her — she and her husband ran it for a long time. She'll be turning it over to her sons — Gary, William andLeland Buxengard, she said.
The family used to grow corn, oats and hay on the land, but since her husband died she's rented out the land to someone who grows prairie grass that's planted along highways.
The land is slightly rolling, with 110 acres of cropland and the rest of it woodland that could be pasture if you put livestock in it.
Buxengard said her sons tried to talk her into applying for the Century Farm mark for years. "But I'm not one to be in the limelight," she said. "They finally came with the forms, and sat with me until they were all filled out."
Here are this year's century farms in southeastern Minnesota, with city, family that owns it, and year it came into the family:
Peterson: Tim, Kari, Tyler & Clay Johnson – Lonesome Creek Ranch, 1914
Lanesboro: Berge & Wikre, 1913
Spring Valley: McNamara family farm, 1914
Cannon Falls: Olson's Walnut Grove Farm, 1913
Dennison: Midje Farm, 1913
Goodhue: Mark & Lisa Stehr, 1914
Kenyon: Oscar Maring, Arnold Maring, Philip & Nathan Maring, 1912
Red Wing: H.P. Voth Family Farm, 1913
Red Wing: Steffenhagen Farm, 1911
Zumbrota: Harry O. Hadler, 1913
Caledonia: Klug Farms, 1910
Spring Grove, Winnefred Ann Gilbertson Buxengard, and sons Gary, William and
Austin: James and Lori Staley, 1914
Rose Creek: Brian and Teresa Bergene, 1877
Byron: Opfer Farm, 1914
Rochester: Allen & Anne Mickow, 1914
Lake City: Goihl Family Farm, 1898
Mazeppa: Goetsch – Ostrem Family Farm, 1898
Mazeppa: The Lloyd Grossbach Farm, 1890
Millville: Grobe Farms, 1914
Winona: Eide's Acres, 1912
Winona: Goetzman, Big Valley Ranch Inc., 1914