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University of Minnesota Extension

Nicollet County Farm Family

Guldan Family Farm

Family pioneers homesteaded the Guldan Family Farm before Minnesota achieved statehood. It was one of the first recognized sesquicentennial farms in Nicollet County. Since then, numerous crops and livestock including sugar cane, wheat, corn, oats, soybeans, dairy and beef cattle, sheep, hogs and horses have had a place and time. Fruits and vegetables came to prominence on the farm in the 1980s when Denny and Janice Guldan looked for a way to stay viable during the farm crisis. What started as an experimental acre of strawberries next to 150 acres of corn and soybeans slowly shaped into 25 acres of fresh produce.

The couple’s children, Tim, Emily and Samantha, grew up attending farmers markets in Mankato, New Ulm, Hutchinson, and Glencoe. In 2008, the Guldans began one of their area's first CSA programs. Janice sadly passed away from cancer in 2012, and Denny decided to retire from farm life in 2018, with Tim taking over operations.

The farm currently raises 25 acres of produce, roughly 150 varieties of 50 different fruits and vegetables. It has incorporated a small-scale direct-to-customer beef cattle operation into the business. The Guldans attend farmers markets in New Ulm and Mankato and continue to offer Janice's CSA program while hiring roughly 15-20 youth from the community each summer to assist with picking.

Tim Guldan is the owner/operator. His wife Brooke, is a registered OB nurse in New Ulm and helps with planting and markets as her schedule allows. Their children, Blaine, Olivia and Maura, have their roles on the farm. Blaine helps with the day-to-day operations outside of the school day and manages their stand at the New Ulm Farmers Market. Olivia and Maura eat their share of peas and melons while out in the fields collecting worms and bundling stems of foxtail. Their shenanigans offer free entertainment to customers at farmers markets. Denny still helps with transplanting in the spring from time to time and will stop by the occasional market to visit with familiar customers.

The farm has participated in many University of Minnesota Extension projects involving soil quality, high tunnels, nutrient movement, pumpkins, cover crops, new varieties of brassicas, and produce profit-and-loss studies. Tim currently serves as the vice president of the Mankato Farmers Market, on the board of directors for the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce, and on the steering committee for the New Ulm Farmers Market.

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