5th Generation Farmer: Heidi takes over the management of her family farm in Wisconsin

A Marquette County farm is 140 years old this year, and the family is celebrating by passing on ownership to its fifth generation

Read more: LocalAgricultureNewsHeidtman Family FarmFarmingHeidi HeidtmanSkandiaPotatoesCowsCattleGrainHarvest

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SKANDIA – Just a few months shy of her 30th birthday, Heidi Heidtman spent Monday morning like she does every other:  tending to the 200 acres of land that make up the Heidtman Family Farm in Skandia.

Only now, the fifth-generation farmer is in charge of all of it, carrying on her great-great grandfather’s legacy.

“We were one of the first families to settle West Branch; at that time it was actually Chocolay Township,” explains Heidtman.  “There’s been bad times, there’s been good times, but the farm’s stayed around and stayed in the family.”

Taking over ownership of the farm still leaves a long road to hoe for Heidi.

The family farm essentially relies on word-of-mouth for advertising.

“You don’t know with milk prices, with grain prices, they’re dropping and increasing at all times.  You just don’t know if there’s going to be a steady demand, or it’s going to fall, so you just hope for the best.”

But for now, it seems that the Heidtman Family Farm is thriving.  Despite a smaller potato harvest than in years past, the farm continues to cut thousands of bales of hay annually, in addition to managing fourteen beef cattle.  And for the first time in decades, the Heidtmans are bringing back a dairy herd of nine cows, with plans to begin milk production sometime next year.

It’s enough to make Heidi optimistic about her family farm’s future.

“It’s my heritage, I mean, farming runs in my blood,” she says.  “Looking back at what my great-great-grandfather came and started with, all the changes I’ve seen and all the changes I see to come.”

If you’d like more information about the Heidtman Family Farm, you can call them at (906) 942-7201, or simply stop at the farm, located on Heidtman Road in Skandia.

Iowa Beef Cattle - mixed breed

Iowa Beef Cattle - mixed breed

Who are the “Generation Farmers of Iowa”?                                                                               We are a lot like Heidi Heidtman in Wisconsin.

old barn in need of restoration ~ Iowa in July

old barn in need of restoration ~ Iowa in July

We have our family history in Iowa and a sense of place relative to our family’s farm.

Rows of Iowa Tall Corn ~ July in Iowa

Rows of Iowa Tall Corn ~ July in Iowa

We are your neighbors and just like any other landowner.

Some of us are women.

We remain very active in managing the farm and overseeing what happens on our land.

Rows of Iowa Corn ~ July in Iowa

Rows of Iowa Corn ~ July in Iowa

We are dialoging to help to promote community and to better understand farming practices as we move further into the 21st Century.

Please join in this dialogue, if you have land in Iowa.

Our focus will mainly be on farming the family farm in Southwest Iowa, but all farmers and all Iowa farmers are invited to join in this discussion.

Iowa Tall Grass Prairie

Iowa Tall Grass Prairie ~ July in Iowa

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