The Ottumwa Courier

Ottumwa

July 31, 2013

Longtime family farm awarded for generations of work

OTTUMWA — Six generations of farming have earned one Ottumwa family an award for its dedication to the land.

Maurice and Melissa Gardner, along with their son Jared, his wife Heather and their two boys, Logan and Cody, gathered in their dining room to reflect on the farm's 168-year history. The farm sits six miles east of Cargill Eddyville and just west of the power plant.

The land has been farmed by the Gardners since the original 160 acres were purchased by Joseph Gardner and his first wife, Clarissa, on Jan. 25, 1845, when they came to southeast Iowa to homestead, Maurice said.

"What the courthouse told me when I dug into the information was that they purchased the land with a land grant from the president," Heather said.

The Gardners will receive the Heritage Farm Award at the Iowa State Fair this month. Through the years, the farm has passed down from Joseph to Jim to Quigley to Charles to Maurice and now to Jared.

Jared tackles the day-to-day operations of the farm while Maurice works at Cargill Eddyville.

Any farm that has been family-owned for 150 years or more receives the award. This year, 67 family farms across the state will receive the award, adding to the 583 family farms that have already received the award since the program launched in 2006. At least 40 acres of the original farmland must still remain in the family in order to qualify for the award.

"Each year, I think the numbers will go down, but they've stayed really steady each year," said Becky Lorenz, program coordinator for the Heritage Farms Program.

The Gardner's farm is comprised of grain and livestock.

"We have a lot of ground that's rolling and needs to be in grass, so the cow herd and the calves have always been an important part of the operation," he said. "We contract feed hogs with Cargill, and the rest is corn and beans. Diversification is important for this size of farm."

Text Only
Ottumwa
  • Parks Dept. has long list of projects

    OTTUMWA — The Parks and Recreation Department has approved a list of capital improvements for the next two years that includes the installation of handicapped-accessible swings and new park bathrooms.

    July 9, 2014

  • 0710 Farmers Market Color Photo 1 -L -M Fresh food improves community

    OTTUMWA — Every summer across the Midwest, food stands pop up on gravel roads, and farmers markets are filled with a variety of home-grown products. Finding a fresh selection of healthy greens and juicy fruits isn't as hard as you might think. Accord

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0703 OTT Heart boy photo A Heartfelt Miracle OTTUMWA — It’s funny how wishes can change so completely in just a few weeks. But laughter wasn’t the reaction of Jeff and Mary Penrod.The Ottumwa couple’s son, Brandon, was 18 years old when, in February, Mary took him to the Pella clinic to get loo

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703 OTT River Hills parking lot color photo -L -T River Hills expansion progresses

    OTTUMWA — Expanding River Hills Community Health Center downtown continues to be a priority with the Ottumwa City Council. Earlier this week, the council authorized city staff to survey the property, prepare a draft developers agreement as well as pr

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Street repair program begins OTTUMWA — If you think roadwork projects in the city of Ottumwa are just about complete, think again. This week, the Ottumwa City Council awarded its preventative maintenance contract for sealing cracks in asphalt and concrete pavement roads througho

    July 2, 2014

  • A new look OTTUMWA — The 300 block of East Main Street in Ottumwa will be getting a facelift. During a public hearing earlier this week, the Ottumwa City Council gave its OK to the plans and specifications to renovate 15 buildings’ storefronts in downtown Ottum

    July 2, 2014

  • City won't tolerate bad behavior

    OTTUMWA — A newly designed policy to establish standards of behavior was presented to Ottumwa City Council on Tuesday night.The new policy’s introduction on Tuesday, demands city staff and elected officials exhibit professional behavior when they int

    July 1, 2014

  • 0702 OTT library grant color photo -T -L -M Ottumwa Public Library updates genealogy room

    OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Public Library is the recipient of a Bright Ideas Community Enrichment Fund Grant from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation. The Friends of the Ottumwa Public Library group gave $5,520 to put toward a new microfilm reader. The

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0625 OTT Riverfront Renaissance color photo -L -M Riverfront Renaissance begins mapping out ideas

    OTTUMWA — It was serious work to play with stickers and maps Tuesday evening. Concentration was on more than 70 faces as colored dots found their way up and down several maps of the river flowing through downtown Ottumwa. The Ottumwa Regional Legacy

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0624 OTT Marine photos Marine mourned by family

    OTTUMWA --- Adam Wolff's extended family was able to enjoy a bit of time with him before he deployed. "He came back in March, after his [Marine Corps advanced] schooling in North Carolina," said his sister, Angela Malone. "We had a dinner for him, a

    June 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National