Hometown Farmer: Year In Review - Siouxland News - KMEG 14 and FOX 44

Hometown Farmer: Year In Review


Early in 2014 we learned there isn't much of an off season for farmers.

Tim Ostrem spends his winters feeding his 40 cattle near Centerville, South Dakota.

"I feed them ground corn, shell corn," said Ostrem. "And also alfalfa."

It's not just cows, chickens can keep you busy as well.

That's how we met Michelle Ortner.

Her brood stems from a childhood passion turned into a mission.

After all, she gets around 50 eggs a day to reward the hard work and she doesn't even mind the noise.

Animals don't hog the glory, plants can be just as much work in the off-season.

In March, we caught up with Norman Koch, taking care of hundreds of apple trees in his orchard near Le Mars.

He was getting ready for a summer he hoped would be much wetter than the crop killing summer stretch in 2012.

Then we went from apples to seeds.

We met Dave Mixdorf in South Sioux City, with his seed library.

"I didn't get the Sears catalog at Christmas time," said Mixdorf. "I got the seed catalogs and went through the seed catalogs."

His seed library is kind of like a seed "borrowing" program, hoping to save genetic variations of plants.

Then there was Andy Juhl, a very musical man, writing music while working on his family farm near Remsen, Iowa.

In October, we met Dwight Rutter, owner of "The Prairie Flower."

Dwight grows all types of grasses and flowers you just don't see anymore.

"There's one tenth of one percent of the prairie left and that's not much," said Rutter.

We caught up with him as he was cleaning seeds by hand.

Just one of many of a variety of Siouxland farmers, proving that even with a lot of hard work, sometimes the smallest rewards are best.

If you know of any farmers you think would be great here on "Proud to be a Hometown Farmer," tell us about them!

Please email Jake at: jheller@siouxlandnews.com

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