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University of Minnesota Extension

Morrison County Farm Family

Stish family

David Stish first purchased the central Minnesota farm in 1978. It has been a Certified Family Forest, Tree Farm System since 1980. Dave and Polly Stish raised their family on the land. With their three children, they were involved in 4-H livestock projects, a 125-ewe sheep enterprise, a small beef herd, and hay production. They operated a cut-your-own Christmas tree farm and a pick-your-own strawberry business. The family transitioned to pumpkins, specialty crops and ag entertainment in 2012.

Triple S Pumpkins, LLC is owned and operated by the Russ and Carla Gerads family. Dave and Polly started partnering with the Gerads in 2017 and began the transition of ownership of Triple S Pumpkins to the Gerads in 2020. Today, Dave and Polly are the Gerads’ landlords and partner with them through the production/sales year.

Pumpkins and winter squash are grown on 12 irrigated acres and sold on the farm each fall. The Stishes and Gerads have about 20,000 guests who enjoy trails, play areas, and pick-your-own pumpkins. Weekdays and evenings are filled with school field trips and private parties.

Dave and Polly’s children are Bradley, Maisie and Meredith. The children were the Stishes’ motivation for their choice of farming enterprises. The children’s involvement in 4-H allowed them to show beef, sheep and non-livestock projects and they were always on hand to help with tree planting, haymaking, lambing, fencing, sales and service to customers. Today, they are a doctor, a physical therapist, and a high school counselor, and parents to Dave and Polly’s seven grandchildren.

The Stishes’ partners, the Gerads, are like family and Dave and Polly are very pleased with the family tradition and future they bring to Triple S.

David is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, with degrees in ag education and animal science. He taught high school ag classes and farm business management. Polly is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University with a B.S. in science education. She taught high school science and Early Childhood Family Education and was a stay-at-home mom.

Dave and Polly both served as 4-H leaders, county fair superintendents, church board members, Sunday School teachers, Awana commander and secretary, and Vacation Bible School leaders.

Polly is treasurer of P.E.O. and serves others through dress alterations and various sewing projects.

David has served the past 11 years on the Morrison County Planning Commission and the county board of adjustment and is a member of the Royalton Lions. He is treasurer of Friends of Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.

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