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Elias Hultgren homesteaded in Woods township, Chippewa County in the early 1900s. His son, Walter, continued to grow the Hultgren family farm and purchased property in western Kandiyohi County in 1932 that is the present-day site of Hultgren Farms. He bought two building sites in section 16 of St. Johns Township, and his son, Lowell, settled in one of them after his marriage to Lucille Birkland of Willmar, MN.
The two were blessed with five children: Caryn, Marilyn, Janice, Duane, and Renae. Duane spent his childhood working hard on the farm, and after high school and his marriage to Nancy Carey of Willmar, also settled on the Hultgren farm. Working together, Lowell and Duane raised small grains, hogs, beef cattle, corn, soybeans, hay, and even became inaugural shareholders in Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative and began raising sugar beets in the early 1970s.
Duane and Nancy had four children: Nate, Noah, Emily, and Carly. These four also spent many hours working on the farm growing up, and after going away to college both Nate and Noah returned to farm with their father.
Both brothers also settled at the Hultgren farm. Noah married Paula Kingery of Atwater, MN. The couple has three daughters: Ella, Samantha, and Hannah. Nate married Jaime Martin of Grove City, MN. Their marriage has been blessed with five children: Lily, Nora, Elias, Ruby, and Oliver.
Today, Hultgren Farms is an operating partnership between Duane & Nancy Hultgren, Nate Hultgren, and Noah Hultgren. All of the farm real estate is now owned by Hultgren Holdings LLC.
Janice Hultgren, who also farmed with the family until the 1980s, still participates as a farm land owner near the home farm. Carly (Hagemyer) and Emily (Wright) continue their involvement with the farm through land ownership in Hultgren Family Limited Partnership.
Lucille Hultgren continues her role as the greatest grandmother that ever lived. Now living in Willmar at the age of 96, there is still not a day that goes by that she doesn't think about the farm.
There are 8 kids running around the Hultgren farm today. Lily, Ella, Nora, Elias, Samantha, Ruby, Oliver, and Hannah enjoy the farm life, learning about nature, hard work, and the fun of living across the lawn from cousins! They are involved in the family business as they raise beef calves up to market weight for our beef business.
We're not intersted in doing things the way they've always been done. By partnering with our neighbors and making investments in growth-oriented projects, Hultgren Farms has positioned itself to continue to expand and enrich the lives of those who have a passion for farming.
Our Mission Statement has been the same since 1996:
"We are in business to create new wealth by investing in and producing TANGIBLE goods that have real VALUE in any economy.
CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT and INNOVATION in the systems used to produce and manage these goods will lead us to capture a long-term competitive advantage."
Today, Hultgren Farms is the owner of two patents for grain drying without the use of fossil fuels, is a partner in CY Harvesting (a custom forage harvesting group), is partner in Riverview LLP (dairy and beef), and has a retail farm-fresh beef store. We collaborate with our neighbors to originate forages and apply manure for adjacent Meadow Star Dairy, an 8,500-head dairy.
We have embraced a minimum-tillage approach, and are utilizing cover crops and non-commercial fertilizer sources. We plant filter strips along waterways, and we are working with Fieldstock Realty to build wetland banks across West Central Minnesota.
We are working hard to tell our story in Washington D.C., St. Paul, and in our local community. Our family serves on boards and committees such as Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative, Minnesota Corn Growers, American Sugarbeet Growers Association, Kandiyohi County Corn & Soybean Growers, Heritage Bank, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, St. Johns Township, Calvary Lutheran Church, and MACCRAY Schools.
We are excited to build for the future through our Homestead Project. This will be our largest relationship undertaking as we connect new farmers in an innovative franchise network.