Eighty years ago a pristine white house sat atop a hill next to an iconic red barn on a farm southeast of Decorah in Northeast Iowa. The setting was straight from the pages of Country Living magazine.
Walter and Elsie Tietz dreamed about raising their family here, but they were wrestling with whether or not to buy it. Taking a leap of faith, they bought the farmstead plus a small herd of Hereford and Shorthorn cattle.
This land and their cattle herd became their legacy. Years later their son, Leonard, took over the operation. He decided to raise Shorthorns, as well as crops.
In the early 1980s, Leonard’s son, Galen, started farming with him. Galen added Black Angus and Simmental cattle to the Shorthorn herd. Galen also acquired land to grow soybeans, corn and alfalfa.
Galen and his wife, Melanie, have been farming together since 1992. They raised their two children, 24-year-old Jordan and 21-year-old Daiton, on the Teitz family farm.
Each member of the Tietz family inherited Walter and Elsie’s love of agriculture. Jordan attended the University of Wisconsin—Platteville. He graduated in 2015 with a major in Agricultural Business and a minor in Industrial Engineering Technology. He says the hands-on experience he gained at Platteville help him both on the farm and in his off-farm jobs in agronomy sales. Daiton will graduate this December from Iowa State University with a double major in Agricultural Communications and Animal Science.
Thanks to the decision Walter and Elsie made 80 years ago, the Tietz family’s legacy lives on today.
Jordan, the fourth generation to farm this land, lives in the picturesque white farmhouse in the valley next to the old red barn. His favorite childhood memory is riding around with his Grandpa Leonard. He’s proud to continue living in his grandpa’s footsteps and hopes to continue his legacy.
“The reason I get up every day and do what I do is to carry on the family legacy that was started years ago,” says Jordan. “I was raised on this farm. Farming is in my blood, and it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.”
As we celebrate May Beef Month, find a recipe for the Iowa Beef Council below.