Couple Carries On Farm Tradition

Pictured are Adam, Megan and Nathan Bierbaum.

GRISWOLD – Adam Bierbaum grew up on a farm east of Griswold.

His parents raised corn, soybeans and hogs, and Adam couldn't wait to help when it came to doing farm work.

"When you a little kid, it's always such a treat or so much fun to go out and ride with dad in the tractor," he said. "You just wanted to be out on the farm."

As he grew, he was now the now driving the tractor instead of just riding in it. "That eventually lead to be able to drive a tractor (and) you thought it was so cool to drive a tractor," he said. "That passion (for farming) just came through. You figured out you could do that your whole life."

He was frequently seen working with his hogs, getting them ready for shows as part of participation in 4-H and FFA. If he wasn't doing that, he was likely doing a woodworking project. He still has a end table he made back in the day.

He graduated from Griswold High School, and with the goal in mind to work in the ag industry, he attended Iowa State University, studying agronomy. After that, he worked in several internships in the ag industry, and later worked for a Pioneer dealer.

His future wife, Megan, was growing up in the city of Des Moines, and she was only slightly familiar with the 4-H and FFA programs.

"I didn't have direct access to anything (in the agriculture industry) aside from food at the supermarket," she said.

She also attended Iowa State University, first studying math.

"I didn't know what I wanted to (study in college), but I really enjoyed math, (so I started with that)," she said.

While she finished that degree, she also found a love for helping people, and decided to study psychology. The two met through mutual friends at ISU, getting engaged in 2014, which was followed by marriage, and a move back to Griswold to start their farm life. Megan started working at Cass County Health System as a social worker, and Adam continued the family tradition of working on a farm.

This year, the farm received a Heritage Farm Award, which means it has been in the family for 150 years. While the couple was unable to attend the award presentation - their son Nathan was born around the same time - Adam said other family members went to the Iowa State Fair for the ceremony.

"My grandpa and his sister my great aunt were both there," Adam said, explaining they are "oldest living generation (who have) stake in the land currently," and "They were very excited (about the honor)."

Adam said one special part of working in the industry is "Being able to work the land (that our family has had for so many years). Knowing it's been in the family (that long, and) you are piece of that."

He said it's also fulfilling to be able to see the possibility of it going to the next generation.

"You can continue to pass it on the next generation as well," he said. And even though son Nathan is only 5 months old, Adam is excited to be able to pass on the opportunity to him years down the road if Nathan wants to continue onto that path.

"(If he continues in the ag industry), I hope he enjoys it as much as we do," Adam said.

Megan said while it was a transition to change from city living to farm life, she now enjoys being part of it.

"I grew up in a family where my parents worked 9 to 5 jobs," she said. "Farming is not that way. It truly is a lifestyle like people say. I've really come enjoy it- the farming lifestyle."