Murphy Farm near Belle Plaine was inducted as one of three 2021 Century Farms from Le Sueur County on Sunday, August 22, at the Le Sueur County Fairgrounds.
This year, the Minnesota State Fair and the Minnesota Farm Bureau recognized 124 farms across the state as Century Farms. All qualifying farms have been in continuous family ownership for at least 100 years and are at least 50 acres in size.
The Murphys were also recognized this year as one of 26 recipients of the Sesquicentennial Farm award.
Murphy Farm, located just south of Belle Plaine on the corner of Hwy. 19 and County Road 11, has been in the family for five generations, beginning operations in 1856 under John Daniel Murphy.
The farm was then passed down to John Dennis Murphy, followed by Emmett Murphy, then Pat Murphy who farmed alongside his wife, Marilyn, from the mid-1960s to 2014.
Pat and Marilyn raised six children on their farm.
“Joe always says they worked a ton of hours seven days a week, but they also had so much fun with their large family and being outdoors. It was a lot of work,” said Jean Murphy.
After Pat passed away, Joe and Jean took over.
“There’s just a sense of pride that we kept it going so long,” said Joe Murphy.
The Murphys have long farmed 300 acres of corn and beans, along with raising 130 head of cattle and milking cows until the year 2000.
This year, the Murphys rented out the land and are focusing on their business, Murphy Dairy Supply Inc.
“We have four daughters and our youngest is probably the biggest help on the farm, but she’s at college right now. We’re not sure what will happen after our generation,” she said.
While the couple reflects on the recent honors and the long history of their family farm, they acknowledge Pat and Marilyn Murphy for setting an example of how to create a positive, hardworking, and fun farm family.