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University of Minnesota Extension

Blue Earth County Farm Family

Robert and Bonnie FitzSimmons family

In 1946, Robert FitzSimmons returned from serving in WWII and resumed working on the family farm in rural Good Thunder with his father, Myles, and brother, Mike. In 1948, Robert married Bonnie Caven. By the end of 1961, their family had grown to include two daughters and seven sons. Robert and Mike continued to farm together in Lyra township until the late 1970s.

At that time, the partnership of Robert FitzSimmons and Sons was formed. This early partnership focused on swine production and helped to shape their futures. They started by building hog barns on their home farm site. By starting to farrow sows, they quickly grew their operation. 

In 2000, the brothers purchased the feed mill in Mapleton and formed Protein Sources LLC, which now also includes the grain elevator in Good Thunder. This purchase led to the expansion of the farm operation to include swine production, swine production management and feed milling services.

Bonnie and Robert passed away in 1998 and 2009 respectively. Brother, Tom (Cindy), owner of FitzSimmons Construction, was instrumental in the construction and remodeling of the hog barns, the mill, and the elevator. Tom passed away in 2021.

FitzSimmons brothers Pat, John, Richard, Paul, and Bill are all actively involved in the day-to-day running and management of the operation. The youngest brother, Dr. Mark FitzSimmons, DVM, plays a major part in maintaining the health of the swine. FitzSimmons sisters Laureen (Dean) Sohre and Maureen (Larry) Hollerich married local farmers and continue to be involved with their brothers in crop production of family-owned acreage.

Spouses Marie (Pat), Jan (John), Julie (Richard), Gina (Paul), and Gretchen (Bill) have also played a variety of important roles over the years, contributing to the success of the family farm and business.

The current farm operation has members of three generations of the FitzSimmons family working in the many facets of farming, including animal and crop production and management.

Extended FitzSimmons family members are very involved in a variety of organizations including their local, state and national pork producer groups. They support the Maple River and Dassel-Cokato schools and Lions Clubs, and the Lyra Township Board. The FitzSimmons are involved in their local churches, the Sons of American Legion and Legion Auxiliary, and they enjoy singing in church and at community events.

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