In 1918, Sam Ziegler’s great-great-grandparents, Carl and Ida Borchardt, purchased 80 acres in Beauford Township in Blue Earth County. In 1911, Sam’s great-grandfather, Rudolf Eggert, emigrated from Germany and at 16 began working for the Borchardt family as a farm laborer. As the family story goes, Rudolf was taken with Carl and Ida’s daughter Elsa, and Rudolf asked her to marry him. Rudolf and Elsa began farming the 80-acre Borchardt farm. The farm soon expanded with the purchase of an additional 160 acres. The couple continued to milk dairy cows, raise beef cattle, pigs and chickens. Rudy and Elsa moved to Good Thunder when their only daughter, Verona, married Kenneth Ziegler in 1940.
Over the years, the family farm continued to grow with more land purchases in Sterling, Lyra and Beauford Townships. In 1974, Verona and Kenneth’s son, Earl, was united in marriage to Lynette and they raised three children on their farm: Eric, Sam and Veronica.
Today, Sam and his wife, Angie, operate Ziegler Farms growing corn, soybeans and finishing pigs. Lynette and Earl continue to help on the farm while also trying to enjoy retirement.
The Zieglers continue to follow conservation practices that will leave the farm better than when they received it. They have about 20 acres of buffer strips on all rivers and drainage ditches. They’ve installed about 20 terraces, two grass waterways, enrolled over 30 acres in CRP and plant about 360 acres with cover crops. Sam and Angie’s sons, Noah and Alec, raise pheasants to release and help increase the farm’s wildlife population.
Sam and Angie are the farm’s owner/operators. Earl and Lynette continue to enjoy retirement but help where they can. Veronica and her husband, Jerry Bruckhoff, help on the farm when needed. Noah and Alec take care of anything their dad says.
Sam currently works as the director of GreenSeam. He also serves on the Mankato Area Public Schools Ag Advisory Board and the board of the Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture Excellence. Lynette is a member of the board of directors of Farmamerica. Earl serves on the board of Blue Earth County Corn and Soybeans Growers as well as the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association board. The Zieglers are members of the Minnesota Soybean and Corn Growers Associations, Minnesota Pork Producers, Minnesota Farm Bureau, Minnesota Farmers Union, Sons of American Legion, Mankato FFA Alumni and Greater Mankato Growth.