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Family wins award for century farm

Staff writer

Tradition and heritage are a big part of what makes agriculture such an attractive way of life for so many Kansans.

Jim Enns has spent all but seven years on the family farm west of K-15 on 240th Rd.

He and his wife, Brenda, received a Century Farm Award last week from Marion County Farm Bureau.

To be a Century Farm, the farm’s operator must be related to whoever operated it in 1918 or before.

Jim’s great-grandfather bought 320 acres in 1901. The land was passed on to his grandfather, Jake Enns, and then to his father, Loren, and an uncle.

Loren added more acreage as time went by.

The farm included a dairy for many years.

Loren and his wife, the former Loretta Duerksen, built a new house in 1959.

Jim and Brenda were married in 1976 and lived on another farm in the area. Health problems and bad winter weather led his parents to sell the farm to them in 1985.

Loren and Loretta built a house a quarter of a mile down the road, and Jim and Brenda moved into the home place.

The two men continued to work together until Loren retired in the early 1990s.

Jim sold the dairy cows in 1996 and replaced them with beef cows. He got out of the cattle business four years ago.

Jim continues to raise alfalfa and hay as cash crops, along with wheat, beans, and corn.

“None of the original buildings are still standing,” Jim said. “We remodeled the big barn a few times, but we finally had to tear it down.

“We’ve erected grain bins, a machine shed, and a hayshed. Part of the dairy barn remains and is used for storage.”

The 62-year-old farmer is uncertain if the farm can be kept in the family.

“I’d like one of my sons to come back and take it over, but he’s not interested,” he said. “Maybe a grandson will want it.”

Jim and Brenda are making plans to erect the Century Farm sign on their property.

Last modified Sept. 5, 2018

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