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Farm Family of the Year

Couple recognized for work in the industry and community

 

MYRTLE — Steve and Linda Kraushaar farm approximately 1,500 acres of corn and soybeans northeast of Myrtle with their son, Sean Kraushaar.

They also volunteer extensively in the region, and their work has benefited local residents and those abroad.

They are expected to be named the Farm Family of the Year at the annual Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce agriculture luncheon and Farm Family of the Year recognition ceremony Tuesday.

“I don’t think that we’re anything special,” Steve Kraushaar said. “It’s nice to be recognized for what we do. And understand that it’s about being involved in the community and volunteering.”

“We love what we do,” Linda Kraushaar said. “We love farming, and we love the organizations we’re in.”

In addition to farming, Steve Kraushaar is a Myrtle firefighter and the couple is part of a team that responds to medical calls, an idea that germinated from a group of local farmers.

“I thought it would be perfect because we have a couple of nurses,” Linda Kraushaar said. “I’m one. And we had another one. We thought it would be perfect for us. We all had an interest in helping our neighbors.”

The couple attends church at nearby Trondhjem Lutheran, where Steve Kraushaar is a lifelong member.

Linda Kraushaar led a successful fundraising effort to build a women’s medical center in Haiti with eight safety homes — similar in appearance to a grain bin — surrounding the buildings. Each safety home cost approximately $7,000.

The 40-by-50-foot medical building, dedicated Dec. 5, includes an OB-GYN, two midwives, two nurses and other staff.

The first mother who gave birth in the building walked 5 miles while in labor.

Since then, dozens of babies have been born in the facility. Mothers receive medical help and needed treatment.

“Belonging to Trondhjem was part of it,” Linda Kraushaar said of her motivation for helping Haitian mothers. “And farming is part of it. Farmers are passionate people. I caught part of it. And we’re also hopeful people.”

Steve and Linda Kraushaar are board members and volunteer for Real Hope for the Hungry, an Austin-based nonprofit organization that aims to feed families in the U.S. and abroad.

“Participating in the community, giving back, is good for everyone,” Steve Kraushaar said.

Steve Kraushaar’s grandparents George and Dora Kraushaar had three sons and two daughters, who all farmed: Robert, Richard — Steve Kraushaar’s father — and Lemoyne Kraushaar, Maxine Kearns and LaVonne Buland.

The family farm started when George Kraushaar moved to the area in the 1940s and bought land 3 miles east of Steve Kraushaar’s current home. George and Richard Kraushaar purchased the land the couple now lives on in 1973 — the year before the couple married. 

Steve and Linda Kraushaar have two other adult children: Scott Kraushaar and a daughter, Lisa, whom they adopted as a baby from Korea.   

Sean Kraushaar has a 2,000-hog barn in the area and has a son, Liam.

Steven Kraushaar, who noted he enjoys volunteering with like-minded people, said he has always wanted to farm.

“There isn’t just one quick, easy answer,” he said. “You grow up on a farm, participate as a kid. Most farmers will tell you it’s a way of life.”

 

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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