Great-Grandpa would be proud

THE RUPPERT FAMILY, from left: Katelyn, Kerry, Kimberly and Zach, are this year’s Murray County Farm Family of the Year. Photo / Per Peterson

Kerry and Kimberly Ruppert have taken ‘keeping it in the family’ to a new level

By Per Peterson

Kerry and Kimberly Ruppert and their children really do put the “family” in “Farm Family.”

The Rupperts — named this year’s Murray County Farm Family of the Year by the University of Minnesota Extension — have carried on a rich family tradition on their farm south of Currie.

“We are so honored,” Kimberly said. “Kerry’s been farming for so long — he totally deserves this. This is all about family for us.”

The Ruppert farm started with 160 acres in Murray Township and was homesteaded in 1897 by Kerry’s great-grandparents, John and Mary Ruppert. John and Mary’s son, John V., and his wife, Theresa, purchased the farm in 1933, and their son, Melvin, and his wife, JoEllyn, purchased the farm in 1975 and added 200 additional acres. The farm is now run by Melvin and JoEllyn’s son, Kerry, and his wife, Kimberly, who put up their new house in 2010 and took down the old one. Kerry started farming in 1981 after graduating from Canby Vo-Tech and later purchased the soon-to-be 125-year-old farm from his parents.

“This is pretty special to us,” Kimberly said. “He farms everything his grandpa owned or farmed himself, as well as everything his dad owned as well. It’s all family. Deep roots.”

“It’s nice to be able to farm what grandpa had farmed,” Kerry said. “He bought his first quarter section for $20,000 — it’s a flat quarter you can see from end to end.”

The hard-working couple have three children: Haylee, Zachery and Katelyn, who each help around the farm with chores and with the family’s garden business, Ruppert Garden Produce. Haylee, helps her boyfriend, Josh, with his cow/calf and grain operation in Murdo, SD; Zach is enrolled at Minnesota West-Worthington with a goal of earning a plant-science degree; and Katelyn will be a freshman this fall at Tracy Area High School.

“When it comes time for fall field work, it’s all hands on deck,” Kimberly said. “Kerry runs the combine, one of his younger brother drives one semi, one drives another semi. I haul meals, drive grain cart. The kids unload grain. Zach is starting to drive semi now. Everybody communicates and we just try and get everything done.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.