Farm Horizons, Oct. 2018

Dieball Dairy named 2018 Sibley County Farm Family of the Year

Courtesy of Jason Ertl of the Sibley County Extension, with additional information added by Starrla Cray

Dieball Dairy was recently recognized as the 2018 Sibley County Farm Family of the Year. Dieball Dairy, which includes Karl and Rosemary Dieball and their sons John and James, produces milk and cash crops near Green Isle.

John and James (Jim) grew up working on the farm and have since gone to start families of their own. John lives on a farm south of the home place with his wife, Jenny, and two children, working off the farm in addition to a custom baling business.

Jim lives and works on the farm full time with his wife, Wendy, and their two children. He plans to continue running Dieball Dairy into future generations.

The Dieballs are active in the community and dairy industry; holding memberships in the Minnesota Milk Producers Association, the National Dairy Promotion Council, the Minnesota Dairy Promotion Council, and the Dairy Herd Improvement Association.

Karl has also served as a delegate for AgSource, and Jim has been on the board of directors with Mid-County Coop in Cologne for the past several years.

“We buy our fertilizer and seed from [Mid-County Coop],” Rosemary said.

She added that one of the best parts of farming is seeing the crops grow each season – starting from tiny seeds and developing into ripe ears of corn and deep green soybean plants. The Dieballs have enjoyed seeing the improvements in yield through the decades.

During World War II, the Dieball family made their way across Europe as refugees and eventually came to the United States, starting Dieball Dairy when Karl was 6 years old. The current farm site was purchased in 1956 consisting of 125 acres and six dairy cows.

The operation has grown over the years, and has been passed down to Karl and his brother in 1973, with Karl ultimately purchasing his brother’s share in 1981. They currently milk 150 cows and raise 170 youngstock, in addition to growing corn, soybeans, and alfalfa.

Representing agricultural achievement in diverse farming operations, more than 80 families from throughout Minnesota are being honored as a 2018 Farm Family of the Year by the University of Minnesota.

The Dieballs were recognized in ceremonies Aug. 9 at the Minnesota Farmfest on the Gilfillan Estate near Redwood Falls. They were also recognized at the Sibley County Fair.

The annual Farm Family of the Year recipient is chosen locally by the Sibley County Extension Committee and is based on a candidate’s demonstrated commitment to enhancing and supporting agriculture and community involvement.

“The farm families receiving this year’s honors exemplify what makes Minnesota agriculture strong. They bring innovation, science and hard work to farming. They care greatly about the land and animals and delivering quality products to consumers worldwide,” said Bev Durgan, Dean of Extension. “The University of Minnesota takes great pride in honoring these families.”

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