Longtime farm and home owners recognized at WI State Fair

Gloria Hafemeister
Not too many farms are left in the Cedarburg area of Wisconsin which is why the Dobberpuhl family was excited to celebrate their family’s heritage and receiving the Century Farm award at the Wisconsin State Fair last week in West Allis.  Family members who took part in the celebration included Neil and Joyce, front.  In back at left is their son, Bevan, Katie Livingston who’s late father Blain was a part of the farm business and his wife Julie.

WEST ALLIS – When a farm is in the family for a century or more, that’s something to celebrate. When a family farm reaches 150 years in the family, that’s even a bigger deal.

Farm families from all over Wisconsin gathered at Wisconsin State Fair last week to celebrate their family heritage on the farm.

Twenty-seven farms were honored for being in the family 150 years, joining 946 farms that received the Sesquicentennial Farm and Home Award since 1998.

Another 84 farm families received their Centennial Farm signs at the event, joining 9697 Century Farm recipients honored since the program began in 1948.  The program that year was a part of the special 23-day Wisconsin State Fair, the same year when the Alice in Dairyland program was started. It was all a part of Wisconsin’s celebration of the state’s 100th birthday.

Those attending started the celebration with a breakfast honoring their farming heritage sponsored by Hillshire Farm and Compeer Financial.

After the meal and recognition of the families, each family had their photo taken with the yard sign and certificate commemorating the event.

While only four family members were invited from each family to take part in the official program, many of the families brought family members along to take part in the celebration and then spend some time at the fair together.

The Kelm family says they are big on togetherness.  That’s why 50 family members from Wisconsin and as far away as Texas showed up at Wisconsin State Fair last week to help celebrate the Kelm Family Farm’s Centennial year in Marquette County.  Pictured are representatives of three generations including Pat Kelm,  who with her late husband Robert were the most recent to run the farm and their two sons Mike, left, and Brian right.  In the back are Glenn Phillips, Jeremy Kelm and Annabelle Kelm.

Among those who brought extras along was the Kelm family of Montello. Mike Kelm says, “I believe we have 50 family members here today to celebrate this. Our family is big on togetherness.”

His brother Brian adds, “We even have some who came from Texas just for this celebration.”

Their mother Pat, who still lives on the farm, was with them to accept the award. She and her late husband Robert owned the farm since 2006. He passed away in 2020. His father Richard ran the farm from 1961 to 2006 and before that it was operated by Herman Kelm from 1921 to 1961.

Over the years they had a variety of livestock but the 160 acre farm was mostly run as a dairy.

An Ozaukee County family was equally excited to get their Century Farm sign and take part in the celebration. Julie Dobberpuhl, her brother-and sister-in-law Neil and Joyce Dobberpuhl and their son Blain were on hand for the breakfast celebration.  Julie still live on the farm that her late husband Blain and brothers had kept going after the passing of their parents Harold and Anita who owned the farm since 1941. The farm was originally purchased in 1921 by Harold’s parents Rudolph and Hilda.

The Dobberpuhl family is planning a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the family farm in September.  As they prepare for it they are digging out memorabilia and pictures of the farm.

Their family farm started as 80 acres and when Harold took over he added another 99 acres. 

Like many farm families, the family struggled through depression and war years. Neil remembers that their dad worked at a meat processing plant in nearby Cedarburg during World War II in addition to milking cows on the farm.

He has also found receipts of some of the purchases on the farm including a receipt for 12 cows, 9 heifers and a bull (all Jerseys) for $900. He also found the receipts for the barn that had been built in 1917 by the previous owner. The total price, including labor, concrete and other materials was $4000. The farm also included a wooden silo.

Throughout the tent at the Sesquicentennial and Century Farms breakfast stories were shared. Many of those stories were recorded by reporters working with Pam Jahnke, Farm Director with Midwest Farm Report Radio, who were on hand to gather snippets of memories from the farm families to share.

Jahnke said she hears about families who survived during the Civil War and the World Wars and the Great Depression and she hears families talk about unique things on their farm. She encouraged the families to share those stories with future generations by writing them down or recording them.

The Century Farm and Home Program began in 1948 in conjunction with the state's centennial celebration. There are over 9,600 Century Farms and Homes nestled throughout the Badger State. The Sesquicentennial Program originated in 1998 as part of the Wisconsin's 150th year of statehood. Since that time, 945 families have been honored.

Sesquicentennial Awards

Columbia Co.—Brita S & George W Schoeneberg, Jr, Poynette. Dane Co.—Cassandra & Jeffrey Maier, Cross Plains; Ruth Steinhauer Estate, Mt Horeb. Dunn Co.—Constance & Gary Allram, Ridgeland; Roger L Tubbs, Elk Mound.

Fond du Lac Co.—Ella Mae & Alphonse Schneider, Malone; Amy Toutant, Waupun. Grant Co.—Winch's Pine Grove Farms LP, Fennimore. Iowa Co.—Evelyn & Daniel Esser, Highland; Dale Fitzsimons, Mineral Point; Mark Gottschall, Highland; Kroll's Knoll Farm, Highland; Gina & Todd Leonard, Hollandale.

Kewaunee Co.—Connie & Kurt Kadletz, Luxemburg; Linda M Mach, Kewaunee; Mark J Wessely, Luxemburg. La Crosse Co.—Ruth Hoff, Holmen. Oconto County—Amy Jo Frye & Henry J Koehne, III, Little Suamico. Pierce Co.—Gina & Jeff Girdeen, Beldenville. Sauk Co.—Kathy & Paul Grosskrueger, Reedsburg.

Trempealeau Co.—Cyrissa & Dwight Quarne, Blair; Vernon Co.—Judith Ballsrud, Nancy Roehl & Leslie Bakkum, Westby; Jennifer & Paul Proksch, Stoddard. Washington Co.—Judy & Carl Degnitz, Fredonia. Waupaca Co.—Bernadine Christenson, Scandinavia; Linda & Thomas Olson, Scandinavia; Timothy T Olson, Scandinavia.

Century Awards

Adams Co.—Liana Glavin, Friendship; Brown Co.—Kenneth R & Daniel R Goffard, DePere; Mark & John LeMere, Oneida; Buffalo Co.—Janice Graner Trust, Nelson; Calumet Co.—Gail & Luke Geiser, Chilton, Joan Pagel & John A Holzschuh, Brillion; Clark Co.—Bridget & William Ciolkosz, Thorp.

Columbia Co.—Emily & Norman Froehlich, Cambria; Claire, Veronica & Gregory Keip, Columbus; Joan M & James C Ryan, Lodi and Angie & Alan Treinen, Treinen Farm, Lodi; Crawford Co.—Sherri & LaVon McKittrick, Soldiers Grove; Francille & Merlin Kvigne, Ferryville; Gloria J & Alan L Morovits, Eastman.

Dane Co.—Eichelkraut Family, Breezy View Dairy, Belleville; William & Ralph Maher, Oregon; Cassandra & Jeffrey Maier, Cross Plains; McCoy Farms LLC, Sun Prairie; Holly & Virgil Paulson, Deerfield; Jan Peterson, DeForest; Arthur L Post, Jr, Mt Horeb; Cyril J Statz, Waunakee; Allan Wikum, Stoughton.

Dodge Co.—Ruby V Gentz, Iron Ridge; Phyllis Herzberg, Columbus; Courtney & Cooper Humphries, Juneau; David Maier, Columbus; Sarah & Irvan Possin, Waupun; Sandra & Duane Schultz, Waterloo; Patty & Donald, Judy & Gary Schwefel, Watertown.

Dunn Co.—Rebecca Kiesow, Colfax; Arden McMartin, Menomonie; Perterson's Dunnville Acres Farm, Menomonie; JoAnn & James Utphall, Boyceville. Florence Co.—VanPemenee Co LLC, Niagara; Sandra Smith & Charles Wallin Westrin, Florence.

Fond du Lac Co.—James Buechel, Malone; Beverly & Wayne Henke, Van Dyne; Silver Leaf Dairy Inc, Campbellsport; Colleen & David Thompson, Campbellsport; Amy Toutant, Waupun. Grant Co.—Becwar's Fairview Farm LLC, Glen Haven; Matthew & Carey Kreul, Lancaster.

Green Co.—Joann C & Glenn R Brewer Rev Trust, Albany; Dorothy Christen, Monticello. Iowa Co.—Dale Fitzsimons, Mineral Point; Mary Kritz & Marge Kritz Hottmann, Spring Green; Kroll's Knoll Farm, Highland. Kenosha Co.—Jacqueline Klapproth & Thomas G Nelson, Kenosha.

Kewaunee Co.—Connie & Kurt Kadletz, Luxemburg. Lafayette Co.—Steven & Mark Rygh, South Wayne. Lincoln Co.—Marilyn & Raymond Zastrow, Merrill. 

Manitowoc Co.—Jean & Tom Tienor & Andy Fisher, Reedsville.

Marathon Co.—Cody Hallas, Mosinee; Tess Farms LLC, Cassel. Marinette Co.—Mary & Wayne Staidl, Peshtigo. Marquette Co.—Paula D Becker & Dorothy V Dee, Westfield; Sidney & Steven Harring, Montello; Patricia E & Robert W Kelm Revocable Trust, Montello; OxMound Farms LLC, Endeavor. Monroe Co.—Josh Konze, Sparta.

Ozaukee Co.—Dobberpuhl Family, Cedarburg. Pepin Co.—Becky & Steve Odegard, Mondovi. Pierce Co.—Cheryl A & Glenn D Anderson, Hager City; Charla Kusilek, River Falls; Dianne, Larry & Chad Madson, Spring Valley. Polk Co.—Diane Conde & Bradford Orr, Luck. Price Co.—Wilma & Frederick Balsis, Kennan;

Lori & Jeff Hoogland, Catawba.

Racine Co.—Mary & Thomas Hegeman, Burlington. Rock Co.—Linda & Bradley Mair Revocable Trust, Janesville. Rusk Co.—Delores Fortuna, Chetek. 

Sauk Co.—Reita A & John R Dryer, La Valle; Cathie & Dwayne Faber, Hillpoint; Kathy & Paul Grosskrueger, Reedsburg; Diane M & David Mikonowicz, Reedsburg.

Shawano Co.—Mike & Brian Damrau, Tigerton. St Croix Co.—Robin & Jim Feyereisen, River Falls; David J Kieckhoefer, New Richmond. Taylor Co.—Jimmy Luzinski, Lublin. Vernon Co.—James Shaker, Jr, Shaker Farms LLC, Hillsboro;

Berniece M Stanek, Hillsboro. Washington Co.—Rozanne & Loran Butzlaff, Kewaskum; Judy & Carl H Degnitz, Fredonia.