Nicollet Co. Farm Bureau plans old-fashioned picnic to celebrate 100 years in agriculture

KLOSSNER – Find your ball glove, bake a pie, shine up your antique tractor or simply plan to come and take part in an old-fashioned picnic that will celebrate the 100th anniversary of several agricultural icons in Nicollet County.

The picnic is to be held on July 26 at the traditional “Jensen’s Grove” picnic grounds, now the Marvin and Mary Gieseke farm. Marvin is a great-nephew of the former owner. Albert Jensen. The family has been working hard to prepare the grounds for the picnic.

Included in the celebration will be a short program, an antique tractor and other displays, live music, games for kids, including softball, and great food. A $7 pork chop meal with all of the fixings, pie and root beer floats will be served. Those who wish to enter a pie-baking contest may bring a pie.

The event is being held on the picnic grounds adjoining the pasture owned by the Giesekes, located six miles east of Klossner, or 5.5 miles west on Minnesota Highway 111. This is where the Nicollet County Farm Bureau picnics weree held for nearly 50 years, beginnings in the 1920’s. Crowds at these one-day events were estimated at 3,000-5,000 in the boom years.

The committee planning the event wanted to bring some of the past traditions back to commemorate the beginning of the Nicollet County Farm Bureau, the University of Minnesota Extension Service in the county and the formation of the United Farmer’s Cooperative, which all had their start 100 years ago. The Nicollet County Fair is also being celebrated as a 145-year-old event.

The event starts at 11:30 a.m., with food served until 1:30 p.m. at the shelter on the picnic grounds, which was recently painted and readied for the event. After the meal there will be a brief program at 1:30 p.m. to honor special guests and touch on the county’s rich agricultural history.

Members of local FFA chapters are joining together to host games for the children on a grassy spot on the grounds. Local 4-H groups will be helping with the event as well.

The picnic is sponsored by KNUJ radio of New Ulm, the Nicollet County Farm Bureau and the University of Minnesota Extension.

Parking on the grounds is planned, with spots reserved for handicapped parking a short distance from the dining area. Tables and chairs for dining are available. For more information about the tractor roll in or anything else, please call Marvin Gieseke: 507-217-7265.