Farm Family of the Year: Meet the Stalochs

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, March 16, 2010

As he was growing up on the family farm, Pat Staloch’s parents, Eddie and Janie Staloch, made sure all five of their sons and their daughter went to college, graduated and worked for five years before deciding if they wanted to farm or not.

Pat chose to teach math, and while he enjoyed it, something kept pulling him back to the family farm. 

While teaching in Rushford, he’d see the tractors and trucks go by and feel the pull of the farm.

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“It was killing me being inside all day,” he said.

He married Rosanna Aasen, who grew up on a farm in the Manchester area.  She started working at the school in Rushford as the bookkeeper. But when they were expecting their first child, they decided they wanted to raise their family on the farm.

“You know all your neighbors and we all watch out for each other,” Pat said of rural living.

He said living on the farm allows the opportunity to teach kids responsibility. 

The Stalochs had a 100-sow farrow-to-finish operation. “That’s where our kids learned to work,” Rosanna said. “We didn’t hire extra help. The five of us did it.”

“They learned to give shots, and if something broke, they had to fix it,” Pat said. “They had to rely on each other.”

Their three children are all grown, have been to college and are living and working in the Twin Cities area.

Pat said when their sons graduated from college, they were surprised how much their farming background helped when interviewing for a job. Their daughter had no trouble landing an internship when her potential employer learned she grew up on a farm, he added.

“We felt like it (growing up on a farm) really paid off,” Pat said. “They have a good work ethic.”

Peter is 31, Tim is 29 and Laura is 26. They all come home and help out on the farm.

“It’s in their blood. It’s therapy to come home to the country,” Pat said.

Peter graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has a master’s in business administration from the University of Minnesota. He works for Target Corp. in asset protection as a senior business partner.

Tim graduated from Iowa State University and works for C. H. Robinson Worldwide as an international air freight sales representative.

Laura graduated from the University of Minnesota and has recently returned to college to work on a bachelor of science degree in nursing.

The Stalochs are being recognized today as Freeborn County’s Farm Family of the Year at the annual ag luncheon. It takes place at noon at the Fairlane Building at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds.

After 30 years of raising hogs, the Stalochs needed to make the decision as to whether they would upgrade their operation or get out. So two years ago, they sold the hogs and Pat and Rosanna got into the seed business. They sell Garst and Northrup King seeds.

“I’m learning a lot,” Pat said. “The seed business evolves so fast now it’s hard to keep up.”

The couple still grow corn and soybeans on 900 acres. Rosanna works as a loan processor at Farmers State Bank, but can run any piece of equipment on the farm.

She especially enjoys running the combine. “I let him combine once in a while,” Rosanna added with a smile.

They loving farming and living in the country. “We experience nature each day, planting the seeds, watching them grow, and harvesting the crop in the fall. Where else can you experience a gorgeous sunrise in the morning and sunset at night? Gaze up at the starry night sky and hear the coyotes howling while sitting by the fire in the backyard. At the end of a long hard day we feel a contentment and pride in our profession,” the couple wrote.

Over the years, the couple has been active in their community, church and school district.

Their children were in 4-H, so they were 4-H leaders. Pat served on the local co-op board, the United South Central school board, USC Sober School board  and coached little league, just to name a few activities.

He’s been refereeing high school basketball for 10 years, and is still a substitute teacher when needed.

“It’s fulfilling,” Pat  said of substituting. “It’s something completely different. I still like to be around kids.”

Rosanna was a Project Charlie volunteer, served on the community education board and was a United Way volunteer, among other things.

At St. Casimir Catholic Church, Rosanna has served as a lector and Pat has served as a eucharistic minister.

The couple’s newest hobby is motorcycling and they enjoy trips around the country.

“We’ve met a whole new set of people,” Pat said.