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Nobles County Farm Family

Hodapp Family Farms

Hodapp Family Farms started in 1964 when Deb's parents, Lendert and Darlene Nagel, purchased the 160-acre farm northeast of Adrian. They raised four children and started a dairy herd. In the early 1970s, 4-H projects helped lay the foundation for the beef herd. The farm also housed hogs and Registered Black Angus cattle. Mark and Deb joined the operation in 1984 and farmed alongside Deb's parents until their passing. Mark and Deb's two children, Nikki and Chris, represent the third generation on the farm and Chris's children are the fourth.

Today, the farm consists of a commercial 100-head beef herd. The Hodapps raise their own replacement females and finish the remaining calves. They also sell beef directly to consumers. In addition, they raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa, and have grazing land on 480 acres. The Hodapps also breed some show cattle through an Al program for the grandchildren to show in 4-H.

Mark and Deb are the primary farm operators, working with the crop inputs. The cattle operation is a true family affair. Nikki helps with record-keeping and genetic selection, Chris helps with marketing and social media. Daughter-in-law Dawn helps with the day-to-day operations of the livestock and crops, and the grandchildren, Payton, Bryleigh and Jackson, help after school and during the summer. Despite several family members having off-farm jobs, they are still able to keep it as a family-run farm.

The Hodapp family has been actively involved in the Nobles County 4-H program for 40 years. They sponsor a showmanship division for children eight and under during the Tri-State Beef Show held during the Nobles County Fair. Over the years, they have also mentored and leased cattle to 4-H beef project members.

Mark has been a township supervisor for Larkin Township and Deb previously served on the Nobles County Extension Committee. They are members of the Rock/Nobles Cattlemen's Association, where Mark is a board member. The Hodapps are members of the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association. Nikki has served as an ambassador for both associations.

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