Celebrating 100 years of family farmingThree large photos hang in Paulette and Gary Gadient’s dining room. They all look fairly similar: farmsteads shot from above, buildings clustered in the center and surrounded by green crops and gravel roads.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
Three large photos hang in Paulette and Gary Gadient’s dining room. They all look fairly similar: farmsteads shot from above, buildings clustered in the center and surrounded by green crops and gravel roads.
Look a little more closely, and it’s obvious that all the framed photos depict the same thing: the Gadient farm. The photos, spanning about 50 years, depict just a few of the physical changes the farmyard has undergone in its 101-year history.
This year, Paulette and Gary’s farm will be recognized as a new century farm at the Goodhue County Fair.
“That’s good,” Gary said of the recognition. Paulette added her husband is more proud of the farm and its history than he lets on.
Gary is the third generation to farm the land just off County Road 6 north of Goodhue. His grandfather Rudolph Gadient bought the farm in 1911. The purchase price then was $9,000. To put that into perspective, Gary estimates that land is valued at about $7,000 to $8,000 an acre today.
Rudolph married Anna Roth in 1915, and the couple raised seven children on the farm. One of their sons, Paul, inherited the farm; he and his wife, Pat, would also raise seven children, including Gary.
“Things change so gradually,” Pat said, adding that it’s hard to see the differences as they occur. Still she said she remembers a time before tractors were used in the fields. She also remembers taking a sleigh to church.
That history behind the Gadient farm is fascinating, Paulette said. When she filled out the paperwork to be recognized as a century farm earlier this year, she began uncovering land deeds and other historical documents.
“It’s just amazing,” Paulette said.
Gary, who has been helping out on the farm nearly all of his life, said he began farming after high school simply because “it was just something to do.”
When he was growing up, the family farm was a dairy farm, Gary said. He quit milking in 1980. Now the Gadients farm corn, soy beans and alfalfa. They also have about 275 feeder cattle. Over the years, the farm has grown to about 350 acres, which includes about 100 acres of pastureland.
With their first 100 years behind them, Gary said the family has a simple plan going forward.
“Try and make it another 100 years, I guess,” he said.
And the fourth generation is already in place. While Gary and Paulette’s daughter, Krista, and Paulette’s son, Paul Miller, don’t intend to be farmers, 10-year-old Brady is already a skilled farmhand.
“Since he’s gotten old enough to drive,” Brady has been helping quite a bit on the farm, Paulette said.
“It just seems fun for me,” Brady said.
“It’s in him,” Paulette said. “He’s like a little mini (Gary). It’s quite a gift to hand down as a dad.”
Goodhue County Century Farms
The Minnesota Farm Bureau will recognize seven area century farms during the Goodhue County Fair this year.
• Gary and Paulette Gadient, Goodhue, founded in 1911
• Rolfe and Lynne Otterness, Goodhue, 1908
• Robert Schwartau Family, Goodhue, 1892
• David Burow and Jeff and Holly Burow, Kenyon, 1895
• Joel and Diane Fox, Stanton, 1903
• Emmett and Rosann Pearson, Welch, 1911
• Eric and Lorraine Froyum, Zumbrota, 1910
The recognition ceremony will be 7 p.m. Aug. 9 in the entertainment tent.