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Century Farm Appreciation Party – What a Day!

There is so much to say. We are completely overwhelmed by the response to our gathering. I’ve taken a few days to try and form some sort of summary in my head, but there are so many wonderful memories, I’m having some difficulty. Let me start with the week of our gathering.

I am the current president of our county Farm Bureau. We had our 2nd Annual I Met a Farmer Tour on Thursday – 2 days before our Appreciation Party. The board meets a couple of days before the tour to have a “pre-tour tour” of the farms that we will be visiting. Our pre-tour tour ends with a post pre-tour meal at a local restaurant. On this particular day, I also went on a supply run to Sioux Falls (2 hours away…the closest “large city”), returning home just in time to leave for the tour.

On the day of the actual tour, I met the group at the starting point around 12:30 pm, and trusted that the shop would be presentable when we showed up on our farm for the crop farm part of the tour. Being the last stop, we were going to have supper in the brand new shop…the shop that was still being worked on that morning. The guys from the construction company were awesome. They met all of my pre-tour requirements (door on the bathroom, running water), and even helped Jonathan hang photos. When the bus arrived, the shop looked awesome!

Jonathan speaking to the I Met a Farmer Tour group

Jonathan speaking to the I Met a Farmer Tour group

The day after the tour, we started hitting the Century Farm party preparations hard. Unfortunately, the weather decided to hit us hard as well. The skies turned a nasty neon green color…never good. We ended up sitting in the basement for awhile during severe thunderstorm warnings, and tornado warnings. Fortunately, the hail that fell did little damage to the crops, and the only tornado that touched down in our county only touched in a field.

A neon green sky is never good

A neon green sky is never good

The storm left a lot of standing water, but we were able to continue our preparations following the storm. Laura and I needed to run to Marshall to pick up the rest of the supplies that were on our list, so we made a run for town after making sure there was nothing else on the radar. What we should have done is check the radar throughout our supply run. When we finished our grocery shopping, I heard a rumble of thunder. By the time we had the groceries in the van, it was starting to rain. Before we had gone 3 miles, the skies opened. I drove home white knuckling it in heavy rain, hail, wind, and constant lightening. I never want to drive home in a storm like that again! When we finally pulled into the garage, and I shut the van off, I started shaking like a leaf. We only carried in the cold foods, and left the rest until morning…then I went right to bed.

Saturday morning brought our Dinner Club, Jonathan’s sister Sally, and our friend Susanne out to help with food prep. We wanted to serve organic salads along with the grilled pork chops and root beer floats, but we couldn’t find anyone in our area who is able to cater organic foods. So, we worked with our local Hy-Vee, and ordered all of our produce through them. Our preppers helped to prepare the lettuce based salad and the fruit salad in the morning, and helped to serve all of the food in the afternoon. We are so thankful for our friends and family!

Some of our food preppers

Some of our food preppers

Getting close to “official” party time, we threw on our matching polo shirts and greeted the volunteers and relatives who arrived early as planned. Soon, the Marshall FFA showed up to set up their petting zoo, and the Lakeview FFA arrived to set up their Ag Olympics games. Everything was ready when the first guests arrived.

To be honest, the rest of the day was a blur. I visited with many people, but missed some. Jonathan visited with many people, but missed some. Between the two of us, I think we had a chance to greet everyone. I had my camera in my hand the whole day, but only took 24 photos. Thankfully, Sally had her camera and was able to get a few more. I’m going to use the “a picture is worth a thousand words” thing here. Enjoy the photos that Sally and I were able to get.

Jonathan & I in our polos

Jonathan & I in our polos

Jonathan's dad, Kenny, and Aunt Fern. Kenny & Fern grew up on our farm

Jonathan’s dad, Kenny, and Aunt Fern. Kenny & Fern grew up on our farm

Cousin Linda & Marty from Michigan. Linda is Aunt Fern's daughter

Cousin Linda & Marty from Michigan. Linda is Aunt Fern’s daughter

Aunt Shi was married to Kenny's brother Bob. He died in 1966

Aunt Shi was married to Kenny’s brother Bob. He died in 1966

The flowers & plants delivered by people we support with our business

The flowers & plants delivered by people we support with our business

The food line - served by our Dinner Club

The food line – served by our Dinner Club

Looking towards the south

Looking towards the South

Looking towards the North

Looking towards the North

Pam and Heidi serving up root beer floats

Pam and Heidi serving up root beer floats

People gathered around the petting zoo entrance

People standing around the petting zoo entrance

Watching the PowerPoint slide show

Watching the PowerPoint slide show

Calf at the petting zoo

Calf at the petting zoo

Miniature horse & foal at the petting zoo

Miniature horse & foal at the petting zoo

Our wheat pool in the petting zoo area

Our wheat pool in the petting zoo area

On the lawnmower course (tractor driving simulation)

On the lawnmower course (tractor driving simulation)

Playing Man-Size Jenga in the Ag Olympics area

Playing Man-Size Jenga in the Ag Olympics area

Cousin Charlie (in blue) farms just down the road. He is talking with Alton & Uncle Jim

Cousin Charlie (in blue) farms just down the road. He is talking with Alton & Uncle Jim Aanerud

Cousin Craig & Denise Aamodt. We are so thankful for their help with the food!

Cousin Craig & Denise Aamodt. We are so thankful for their help with the food!

As you can see, the day was fun, even though it was very hot and humid (by Minnesota standards, anyway). We are thankful that the storms held off until after everyone was either back home, or tucked in their hotel for the night. Jonathan and I keep talking about different aspects of the day, and how much fun it was. We both feel so blessed to be a part of the heritage of this farm. We are so thankful that we have a great extended family. One thing we really try to work on is relationships – whether it is with family, neighbors, grain buyers, the guy who changes oil in the van – it doesn’t matter who they are. Relationships matter.

With that, it is time to look forward to the next 100 years.

Our Menu for the Celebration:

  • Organic Marshall Salad (recipe will appear in another post)
  • Organic Fruit Salad (strawberries, 2 varieties grapes, watermelon, candy cantelope, honeydew melon)
  • Grilled Pork Chops (expertly grilled by the Lyon County Farm Bureau board-they grill about 5000 chops/year at the Farm Fest farm show)
  • Simply Balanced Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips
  • Lemonade
  • Water
  • 1919 Rootbeer (my all time favorite)
  • Schwan’s Vanilla Ice Cream

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