A Frontier Childhood Memory
In February of 1954 my grandfather wrote about his memories as a child of six, moving from Estherville to Emmetsburg. The date was April 1878. These adventures were the foundation for many bedtime stories Bonpa would tell us grandchildren.
In his own words:
“A flurry of excitement stirred the pioneer Soper family in Estherville on April 15th, 1879 that being the day of the long established overland journey to Emmetsburg, the then railhead of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad which had reached that point in August, 1878.
Soper Farms are rooted in the early history of Emmetsburg, Iowa when Grand Father Soper (Bonpa to our family) moved on December 12 1873 from Estherville, Iowa to Emmetsburg with his parents and siblings. In Bonpa’s words “… we moved to Emmetsburg where I lived my whole life in this same house at 1605 East Seventh Street.”.
At age 42 and after 7 years of pursuit he finally yielded and married our grandmother, Virginia Tunnicliff. They had four surviving children.
Since this beginning the family now spans 4 generations, over 75 family stockholders and 17 family board members with the only intention to keep the farms and to gather together every year to celebrate family and the our farms.
Over these years we have migrated from being passive stewards of our farms contracting with neighbors who farmed our ground and shared the harvest to active stewards as we engage directly in the business of sustainable organic farming. Today we practice 3 farming models that include 1.) Commercial farming (corn and soybean farming typical to Iowa) 2.) Organic row crops (oats, alfalfa and corn) and 3.) Our New Shoots Farms that grows 100 acres of organic vegetables and 160 acres of pasture for grass fed Angus cattle and pasture raised chickens.