The Gieseke Family

Gieseke Family grows up on the Farm

By Mark Anderson, Staff Writer
Published: Wednesday, September 3, 2008
With permission from St.James News

Growing up on a farm is one of the advantages of the lifestyle for Peter and Amy Gieseke, who were named the Watonwan County Farm Family of the Year.

For instance, their three-year-old Carter learns from what he sees on the farm. "I found an orange spider," he yelled last Wednesday to whoever is in earshot, as he inspected the portable teeter-totter that Peter played on when he was a child. As his brother Clay came over to look at it, Carter pushed his finger into the tiny spider. "It's dead," he said.

Clay is a few years older, and is also learning a lot from growing up on the farm. He can rattle off what their family garden has been producing: "watermelon, cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkins..." he said.

Working their dairy farm lifestyle around raising young children has been a challenge for the family, but Amy said they are lucky to have daycare options, and grandparents right down the road.

As part of the Farm Family of the Year program, the Giesekes were honored at the Watonwan County Fair, at Farmfest, and were interviewed by KNUJ radio. In addition, they made a float for the Truman parade, promoting the honor.

The story of their life on the farm starts with Peter's grandfather, who took over the farm in 1922. Then Peter's parents took over and Peter and Amy have been on the farm since 1996. It was Peter's grandfather who started the Jersey herd, and the farm has been stocked with Jerseys nearly every year since.

Peter and Amy work as a team, both with the cows and with the children. "Nobody said it would be easy, and it hasn't been," said Amy. "Some days the work never ends. But running your own business, the hardships and failures come along with the successes. That's the part I like."

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