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A Diverse Lineage

By Staff | Jun 17, 2018

At their Century Farm in Bricelyn, Daniel and Jodell Timm stand in front of the farm house they have had since 1993. Meanwhile, the old farm house, which was originally constructed in 1918, is still in tact and holds great sentimental value to Daniel. The 200-acre Bricelyn farm has belonged to the family since 1874.

There happens to be a farm in Bricelyn that has been owned by the same family since 1874. That is a lot of farming.

The Timm family farm has been certified as a Century Farm by the Minnesota Agricultural Society since 1980. Daniel Timm, the owner of the land, took over control of the property in 1978. However, his actual farming experience preceeds that date.

This planting season marked the 45th year the Bricelyn native has been farming. These days, Timm lives on his 200-acre farm with wife Jodell, a retired business manager of 37 years at United South Central Schools. While Timm has utilized his land to raise hogs and sheep in the past, he says his main focus these days is corn and soybean crops.

Timm, who turns 67 in July, explains his earliest memories of working on the family farm came as a youngster when he teamed up with his older brother Dale. In fact, Dale, a retired veterinarian who now lives in Chatfield, still visits Bricelyn on occasion to help out on the farm.

“Back in those days you were expected to work, so Dale and I would walk a lot of beans and we baled some hay when we were young,” Timm says.

As he got older and had his eyes on an agricultural career, Timm chose the path of higher education and studied at the University of Minnesota. In college, he focused his attention on animal science and agriculture, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1975.

After his academic pursuits, Timm says he never imagined he would end up farming for such a long time.

“I didn’t think it was in the cards because the farm was so small, but 45 years later here we are,” Timm laughs.

So how did the lineage of the Bricelyn family farm begin? Back in 1874, Norwegian immigrant Iver Oppedal, who was Timm’s great-grandfather, first settled in the area.

After Oppedal owned the land, his son, and Timm’s grandfather, Iver Iverson, who changed his last name, was the next in line to inherit the property. After Iverson’s passing in 1936, his widowed wife, Belle, managed the farm.

Although the Iversons had a total of 12 children, none of them ended up farming. As it turned out, six of those children eventually left the homestead to serve in the United States military.

Unfortunately, two of the Iverson’s sons, Willard and Maurice, were killed during World War II. Timm says he is very proud of the diverse lineage that exists among the many generations of the Bricelyn family farm.

“Not only has this farm produced food for many years, but it was also able to produce soldiers who sacrificed their lives to protect our freedom, and that is extremely important,” the long-time farmer shares.

After the Iversons, Timm’s parents, Alfred and Ruth Timm, carried on the farm’s extensive lineage. Alfred, who grew up in Blue Earth, farmed the land in Bricelyn, but did not own the property.

Instead, wife Ruth handled ownership responsibilities. In 1978, she relinquished 80 acres of the farm to her son. Following Ruth’s passing in 2002, Timm had full control of the farm.

So who is next in line to inherit the Bricelyn family farm? The Timms have two adult daughters, Sarah and Stephanie, who are next in line to carry on the tradition.

While Sarah, the older of the two, received her education at her father’s alma mater, Stephanie studied accounting, finance and human resources at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Now working professionals, Sarah is a dietitian at Regions Hospital in St. Paul while her younger sister works in the finance sector in Albert Lea.

Although the girls’ farming background is no longer a major part of their lives, their father recalls how enthusiastic Sarah and Stephanie were about farming when they were very young.

In fact, the pair of young professionals took an entrepreneurial approach to agriculture, and began selling corn using their first initials to come up with a company name.

“When they were just eight years old or so, they started a sweet corn business, and that was their summer job. They were so little, but they worked hard at it,” Timm shares. “They called their business S&S Sweet Corn Company. They had their own business cards and everything.”

According to mother Jodell Timm, Sarah and Stephanie’s farming background instilled a strong work ethic which allows the young women to succeed in their professional lives today.

“Sarah said that when she went to college, she put her farming experience on many of her scholarship applications. She tells me all the time the farming background she had as a child taught her how to work hard,” Jodell Timm adds.