In 1953, Delmar and Ida Pooch purchased the original Pooch farm in Nora Township. They raised dairy cows, hogs, sheep, chickens, and crop farmed. Their son, Vernon, began farming in 1973 by milking cows; later he began farrowing pigs and selling seed corn. In 2000, Vernon’s son, Nick, started feeding Holstein steers and crop farming. In 2008, his brother Austin began farming with Nick and they expanded their crop acreage.
Currently, the family grows corn, seed soybeans, wheat, oats, alfalfa, and grass hay on 1,500 acres. They feed several hundred head of northern Minnesota beef calves to finish annually. They also background beef calves. The Pooch family practices minimum tillage on their crop ground; they plant corn and soybean research plots, and sell Gold Country Seed.
Brothers Nick and Austin run the daily operation of the farm. Their father, Vernon, helps with field work and sells seed. Nick’s wife, Kris, vaccinates the cattle and helps keep them healthy, drives tractor, and handles the bookwork. Austin’s wife, Katie, works in the healthcare industry. Nick and Austin’s mother, Sonia, is retired. Nick and Kris have three children: Blake, Brady and Blaine. Austin and Katie also have three kids: Avery, Sadie and Porter. The brothers’ sister, Vanessa, lives in Montana.
All the kids in the Pooch family are in 4-H, where they show beef calves and sheep. The kids are the second generation of the family to show livestock. Austin is a Pope County Fair board member; Nick is a member of the Glacial Ridge Cattlemen’s Association and serves on the Pope County FSA committee. Vernon is involved with Pope County Corn and Soybean Growers and the Minnesota Farmers Union. Austin and Katie’s family attend Our Lady of the Runestone Catholic Church in Kensington. Nick, Kris and their family along with Vernon and Sonia attend Lowry Covenant Church.