Century Farms celebratedCorsica family among those honored at fair.
By: Anna Jauhola, The Daily Republic
HURON — John Iver Groseth homesteaded his land near Corsica in 1902, and his son Edward was in his 20s when he started working the acreage. By 1956, the third generation, Mearl, took over the farm.
Mearl died in 2005, but the farm remains in the family. Thursday, his widow Joyce, son Steve and daughter Deb Groseth-Langford accepted a Century Farm award on his behalf during the South Dakota State Fair in Huron.
The Groseth farm survived the Great Depression and Dust Bowl and went on to become successful.
During the early years, the Groseth family built a 113-by-36-foot dairy barn and hand-milked 65 to 75 cattle per day. They also raised hogs and chickens, along with grain crops. They had four to five hired men who helped run the farm during the early years, which helped it succeed during the Depression, Steve said. The men stayed in rooms on the upper floor of the farm house.
“Mearl was always more of a mechanic than a farmer,” Joyce said with a laugh. The couple married in 1956.
In 1963, Mearl established a farm equipment company in Armour. Since that time, the Groseths’ neighbor, Darrell DeBoer, has farmed the land with help from the Groseths.
Before marrying Mearl, Joyce was a registered nurse for three years. After they got married, they decided the drive to Armour was too much each day, so Joyce became a homemaker. Ironically, not many years later, Mearl made that trip each day to run his farm equipment business, Joyce said, laughing.
Steve and Deb have fond memories of childhood days on the farm. Once, at the ages of 8 and 11, respectively, they climbed the 60-foot steel windmill.
“We enjoyed the view, and then Mom found out,” Steve said with a laugh.
When they climbed down, they found the bottom rung of the ladder was gone.
The siblings spent many summer days keeping cool by sliding in the mud in the hog yard, playing with tadpoles and salamanders, and riding car hoods pulled behind the pickup in the snow during winter.
“We went skating in the pasture with a VW Bug in the winter, too,” Deb said.
Steve and Deb attended Marcus county school through eighth grade. Deb said she and Steve rode their bicycles to school and often had to push them back when the wind was against them.
Now, Steve helps keep up the farmstead where his 81-year-old mother still lives. He also works full-time at the Davison County Highway Department.
Deb enjoyed town life for a while but has since moved back to the country and keeps horses.
Steve, Deb and Joyce all said they were proud to accept the Century Farm award Thursday. Steve said he’s worked to modernize the farm to allow for DeBoer’s larger equipment.
“I think we’ll still farm with Darrell,” Joyce said. “He’ll keep farming it as long as he can. And Steve will be there. I don’t see a future sale.”