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University of Minnesota Extension

Wilkin County Farm Family

Jirak Farming Partnership

The Jirak family’s main farming site was established many generations ago. Jake Jirak farmed the land from 1924 until his death in 1960. Jake’s son, J. James Jirak, continued the farm until he died in 2016. Today, J. James’ sons, Tom, Tim, Gary and Jerry, run the farm and have begun to bring some of their children into the operation. The farm has changed significantly since Jake first started farming in the 1920s.

The Jiraks’ farm consists of small grains, corn, soybeans, sugar beets and some alfalfa. The family has a small commercial trucking operation that hauls commodities and some products for local seed dealers. The family also does some gravel work on neighboring township roads in the summer in addition to road grading and snow plowing in the winter. The trucking business also works with a local wood processing facility and delivers sawdust for bedding to local dairies.

Tom and his son, Robert; Tim and his son, Justin; Gary and his daughter, Kayla; and Jerry and his son, Nicholas, are all involved in the daily operations of the farm. They each have their own area they oversee. Tom, Tim, Gary and Jerry’s sister, Michelle Klosterman, oversee bookkeeping for the farming partnership. Kayla also helps with bookkeeping and is learning the ropes of farm programs and crop insurance.

The Jirak families are very involved in their community and help where they can when needed. The families were instrumental in helping construct the arena grounds for the Red River Riding Club. The Jiraks bale hay for resale and also donate hay to the Chahinkapa Zoo in Wahpeton, N.D. The families have donated funds to the Ribbon Auction at the Wilkin County Fair as well as sending a crew to help set up the fair. The Jiraks continue to provide equipment and labor alongside numerous volunteers who assist in fighting springtime floods in the area.

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