“The Farm” located in Ford Township in northern Kanabec County is how the Teresa and Andrew Kelling family refer to their Minnesota Century Farm. The Century Farm Award was presented to the Kellings and to Teresa’s mother Lorene Sherman prior to the Kanabec County 4-H Livestock Auction at the Kanabec County Fair on July 27.
The 320-acre farm was purchased for $2,500 in 1918 by James Whittet Sr. The farm was passed onto his son James Jr. in about 1936. He was a bachelor. In 1950 James Sr. died at age 85. In 1952, Max and Lorene Sherman bought the farm from Max’s uncle James Jr. (Max’s mother was James Jr.’s sister).
Max and Lorene raised crops in a corn, oats and hay rotation. They started out with horses before purchasing a tractor and hay baler. They milked 18 and up to 25 Holstein cows in a Grade B dairy operation after they purchased a bulk tank. They also raised 10 Black Angus beef cows, 20 sheep, 50 meat chickens, some laying hens, Muscovy ducks, horses and hogs. They had a large garden that included horse radish, asparagus, strawberries. “They also raised sweet corn that they shared with friends. Max also gave away fish and many jars of horse radish,” said Teresa.
In 1999, Teresa and Andrew Kelling acquired the farm. They have been making hay on 60 fenced-in acres. They also graze 25 Red and Black Angus beef cattle. The family enjoys the farm for family events and recreation.
Andrew and Teresa’s son, Edward and wife, Pam, purchased 10 acres of the farm and live in the house that was built by Max and Lorene in 1962. Andrew and Teresa also have a house on the property.
Family members shared the meaning of the farm to their family. Steve’s son, Deven, said, “Stability. No matter how many times I or anyone else moves around, no matter how far spread the family becomes, or who comes or who goes, the rolling hills, the lake and hay bales have always been there.”
Steve shared his thoughts about the farm when he said, “The Farm represents the land that provides all that we need for life. The Farm is a link to a past, to a way of life that has been mostly forgotten. The Farm is a connection for our family to share and enjoy.”
“We just love the farm,” concluded Lorene.
Needless to say, the family plans to continue “The Farm” in the family into the future. They plan to have a century farm celebration on the farm in August.
The Century Farm Award is sponsored by the Minnesota State Fair and the Minnesota Farm Bureau. Recipients are recognized at the State Fair. At the Kanabec County Fair Eli Berry, Kanabec/Isanti County Farm Bureau and John Angstman, Kanabec County Fair Board presented the Kellings and Lorene Sherman with their Century Farm Award.