Schieber Family recognized as Houston County 2023 U of M Farm Family
By Katie Drewitz, University of Minnesota Extension
PRESTON and CALEDONIA, Minn. (08/08/2023) — The Schieber farm is a multi-generational family farm in Houston County. The current farm was purchased from Jim’s grandparents, Joe and Ruth Schieber, by Joe and Carol Schieber in 1971. Joe and Carol built a house and hog barns on the property along with raising their children, Debbie, Jim, Jane, Sarah, Danny and Bobby.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a degree in animal science in 1989, Jim joined the farming operation. Jim and Patty were married in 1991 and moved onto the farm, raising three children, Katie, Joseph and Maria. In 2018, their son, Joseph, graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in animal science and joined the operation. Joseph recently married Victoria, and now they reside on the farm. Katie, a neuro nurse, married Dayne Heintz in June 2022 and their dairy farm in Badger Valley. Maria is a cardiopulmonary nurse and resides in Caledonia.
The Schieber's raise hogs in a farrow to finish practice and grow no-till corn and soybeans, a conservation practice they started in 1993.
Jim’s dad, Joe, is retired but still does some spring planting and helps run the combine at harvest. He also helps feed sows in the morning. Jim and Joseph handle the day-to-day hog chores, including feeding, mixing rations, ordering vitamins and minerals, and marketing.
Patty learned how to castrate and take care of the baby pigs from Carol. She also drives a grain truck during harvest and fills in whenever she can around the farm. Joseph's wife, Victoria, is learning about farm life and is a great help to Patty with the baby pigs.
Sadly, Carol passed away in 2007 from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Joe was able to find happiness and marry Lorrie DeWitt. She has been a welcome and loved addition to the family.
During high school, Jim was active in 4-H and FFA where he held various offices; he is a member of FarmHouse fraternity at the University of Minnesota. He served on his church’s finance committee and was an adult 4-H leader. Patty was also active in 4-H and FFA while in high school. She has served on the local library board and is a lector at church, where she also volunteers time on various committees. She’s been a 4-H adult leader, election judge and serves on the Wilmington Mutual board. Joseph was active in sports, 4-H and FFA, where he held offices in both organizations. He is a member of FarmHouse fraternity at the U and served as Caledonia Township Clerk.
Families from around the state, including the Schiebers, will be officially recognized in a ceremony Thursday, Aug. 3 at the annual Farmfest near Redwood Falls, Minn. Profiles of the 2023 honorees and information on the recognition event can be found on the University’s farm family website, https://extension.umn.edu/farm-families. The Schieber family will also be honored at the Houston County Fair in Caledonia, MN on Thursday, August 17, 2023 at 12:00 pm during the awards ceremony.
Honored families are chosen, one per county, by local University of Minnesota Extension committees based on their demonstrated commitment to their communities and to enhancing and supporting agriculture.
“These farm families are a major driver of Minnesota's economy and the vitality of Minnesota's rural communities,” said Bev Durgan, dean of the University of Minnesota Extension. “The University of Minnesota is proud to recognize these farm families for their contributions to agriculture and their communities.”
Along with Farmfest, University units sponsoring the recognition event include the University of Minnesota Extension, Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Farmfest runs Aug. 1-3 at the Gilfillan Estate, near Redwood Falls, Minn. Event hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $8.00 in advance or $10.00 at the gate and those 17 and under are admitted free. More information on Farmfest is available at https://www.ideaggroup.com/farmfest.
If you would like to nominate a family for Farm Family of the Year in 2024 please reach out to your local Extension Educator. Residents in Fillmore and Houston counties can call 507-765-3896 or 507-725-5807.