Grinnell Lions honor Brooklyn family with the Jim Urfer Spirit of Farming Award at Ag Appreciation Day
The Grinnell Lions Club presented the Jim Urfer Spirit of Farming Award at Ag Appreciation Day on Thursday, Aug. 25 to the Lacaeyse family of Brooklyn. Pictured are, from left, front row: Kinze Lacaeyse; second row: Jessie Lacaeyse, Ilee Lacaeyse, Marvin Lacaeyse, Leyton Lacaeyse and Quincy Griffith. Joining members of the Grinnell Lions Club on the top row are: Joel Lacaeyse, Carol Meseck, Dean Lacaeyse, Al Lacaeyse and Lions Club member, Jenny Bos.
By J.O. Parker
The Grinnell Lions presented the Jim Urfer Spirit of Farming Award to a Brooklyn family who has deep roots in Poweshiek County and continues to plant more roots with each generation.
The Lacaeyse family has been farming for more than a century and has learned some tough lessons. Nothing replaces hard work. There is a time for sacrificing, such as when they had to sell 80 acres to pay for the taxes in 1929. To this day, they still don’t own that farm.
Marvin Lacaeyse, 93, and family received the honor at the 2022 Ag Appreciation Day held on Thursday, Aug. 25. Family, faith, and farming are the best words to describe Marvin, who today, carries on the farming tradition started by his grandparents and parents and is passing it along to the next generations.
Marvin’s dad, Fred, took over their family farm when his dad died of pneumonia. The family had to be self-sufficient raising dairy cows, butchering chickens, selling eggs, and tending to the garden and orchard. During the depression, Agriculture Adjustment Association was started and allowed Fred to keep things afloat. Times were tough. Once things bounced back in the 1940’s, Fred was able to pay off the farm. Fred and Laura were committed to making a living on the farm and insisted on teaching those values to their children, Evelyn and Marvin.
Marvin wasn’t very old when he learned how to drive the first tractor the Lacaeyse Family owned. It was a Fordson tractor with steel wheels. Marvin spent quite a bit of time at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Brooklyn while growing up. That is also where he married Delores Collum in 1954. Fred and Laura passed the faith down to their children.
The couple were blessed with four children: Gene, Carl, Carol, and Dean. They started their farmstead just a mile down the road from his parents. The 80’s didn’t bother Marvin and Delores much. They held T-notes that paid great interest. In 1988, the Century Farm had a devastating fire. They lost the feeding complex, barn, corn crib, lean-to hog house, and much fencing.
Prior to the fire, a new house was erected for Laura and the original house was tore down shortly thereafter. Today, Marvin’s son, Dean, lives in the house.
Incorporating good farming practices has always been a priority for the Lacaeyse family. Marvin learned they have Tama Silty Loam, Shelby Loam, and Otley Silty Loam on their farm. The terraces are well tiled. They always use crop rotation and seed down the waterways with grass to conserve the soil on the rolling hills.
Marvin continues to live on the farm he and the now late Delores built together. Marvin is thankful to see his values are shared and similar life lessons of hard work are experienced and passed down to the next generations.
Nowadays, Marvin remains active in the family farm. He can often be found driving around in his gator supervising the next three-generations of Lacaeyse family members.
The Lacayse family has acres in both Poweshiek and Tama counties where they raise row crops (corn, soybeans, alfalfa). They also have pasture for raising cow/calves, and they feed hogs. Marvin enjoys sharing his knowledge and wealth of local history with those who find a seat nearby.
“It was a great event and I am honored to be chosen,” said Marvin following the presentation.
Marvin is very proud of the roots he laid in Poweshiek County and the family he is raising here. Congratulations to Marvin Lacaeyse and his family for being Grinnell Lions Club 2022 Ag Appreciation Day Farm Family.
Grinnell Lions Club member Al Maly gives Marvin Lacaeyse a pat on the back after he and his family were presented the Jim Urfer Spirit of Farming Award during the Grinnell Ag Appreciation Day on Thursday, Aug. 25. Marvin, 93, a Korean War Veteran, has farmed his whole life.
Marvin Lacaeyse checks out the Jim Urfer Spirit of Farming Award he received at the Grinnell Ag Appreciation Day following the presentation in Central Park on Thursday, Aug. 25. At right is his daughter, Carol Meseck.
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