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SW Minnesota counties boast 25 new century farms

WORTHINGTON — Twenty-five farms from the six counties of far southwest Minnesota — Rock, Pipestone, Nobles, Murray, Jackson and Cottonwood — were among 215 farms across the state to be designated as century farms in 2014.

Qualifications for the honor include that the farm be at least 50 acres in size, and that the land be in continuous family ownership for at least 100 years. All honorees were required to complete a Century Farm application and submit it to the Minnesota State Fair for verification.

Since the Century Farm program began in 1976, more than 9,900 Minnesota farms have been awarded century status.

In addition to those family farms featured in this edition, the following farms were also honored this year:

  • Eisele Family Farm, presently owned by Irene Eisele, rural Reading. This 160-acre farm in the northwest quarter of Section 21, Summit Lake Township was first settled by Henry and Herman Schultz on March 2, 1914.
  • Boell Family Farm, presently owned by Beverly Scott and Carisa Boell, rural Jackson. The 160-acre parcel in Section 9, Township Petersburg Township, Jackson County, was settled by William and Emma Boell in 1914.
  • Elston Farms, presently owned by Ray and Pat Elston, Windom. The 200-acre farm in Section 19, Great Bend Township, Cottonwood County, was originally settled in 1914 by Ray’s grandfather, Charles Elston Sr.
  • Janice and Milford Gentz, Lakefield, were recognized as the present owners of a Century Farm in Section 17, Heron Lake Township. The 154-acre parcel was originally purchased by Ferdinand Gentz on April 4, 1893.
  • The Olson Family Farm, presently owned by Creighton, Gordon, Loren and Brian Olson and their spouses, was originally purchased in 1914 by their great-grandparents, Andrew and Martha Olson. The 160-acre parcel is located in Section 18, Springfield Township, Cottonwood County.
  • Norman Holmen, Comfrey, received a Century Farm designation for land that has been in his family since 1914. The 280-acre parcel in the southwest quarter of Section 15, Selma Township, Cottonwood County, was settled by his grandfather, Oscar Holmen.
  • The Ardeen Brown Clark Family Partnership (Edward Brown, Michael Brown and Dianne Reiter) of Sanborn, presently owns the 160-acre parcel settled by their great-grandfather, Henry Karow, in 1908. The 160-acre parcel is located in Section 3 of Amboy Township, Cottonwood County.
  • The Benson Family Century Farm, presently owned by Erik Benson of Westbrook, was originally settled by his great-grandfather, Peter Benson, in 1914. The now 320-acre farm is located in Section 25, Dovray Township, Murray County.
  • Robert and Bonnie Ossefoort, Woodstock, were honored with Century Farm status for a 160-acre parcel originally purchased by Robert’s grandfather, Gerhard Ossefoort, on May 1, 1914. The land is located in the southwest quarter of Section 20, Chanarambie Township, Murray County.
  • Michael Fruechte, Lake Benton, now owns the 195-acre Century Farm originally purchased by his great-grandfather, H.W. Fruechte in 1908. The farm is located in Section 5, Altona Township, Pipestone County.

Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

(507) 376-7330