Aksarben Heritage Award honors 150-year farm

Wendy Werner

The Lavern and Barbara Wolf family were recognized with an Aksarben Heritage Award at a ceremony at the Otoe County Fair Thursday, July 22.  

The Aksarben Heritage Award recognizes Nebraska farm families who have consecutively held ownership of land in the same family for 150 years.

Jim Stuart, Otoe County Ag Society Board Member, emceed the program, read the 150-year history of the Wolf Family Farm and said it was an honor to work on the process to recognize local farm families.

In 1867, Lavern’s great-grandfather, John, immigrated to the United States from Mecklenburg, Germany, arriving in New York City on the steamship, Alamania.

He proceeded to Nebraska directly where he worked on farms and the railroad. 

In 1868, he married Minnie Tesnow, and, in 1869, they purchased the 80 acres of raw prairie in the Berlin Precinct, Otoe County for $450.

Together they worked to develop the land, raise hogs, cattle and horses.  They also raised 200 apple trees and other fruit trees as well as cottonwood saplings dug up along the Missouri River.  

In 1875, John added 160 acres and in 1877 another 80 acres.  

Today, the farm raises corn and soybeans and a small patch of original prairie hay.

In 1921, the ground was inherited by Adolph and Clara Wolf, John and Minnie’s son, and in 1961, passed on to Adolph and Clara’s son, Willard and Leona.  

Lavern purchased the farm from his parents in 1973 and son Brian, a fifth generation farmer, continues farming the ground originally settled by John in 1869.  

Lavern and Barbara also have two daughters Jane and husband Doug Traster and Laura and husband Dominic Martacho.  

Grandchildren include Ethan, Sean and wife Lauren, Hannah and Abigail Traster and Connor Martacho and Ella Martacho. 

“It’s quite an accomplishment to say a farm has stayed in the family for 150 years,” Stuart said.

The Wolfs received an award and gatepost marker.  The award is presented by the Aksarben Foundation in partnership with the Nebraska Farm Bureau and the Nebraska Association of Fair Managers.

Pictured are members of the Lavern and Barbara Wolf family. The family was honored with an Aksarben Heritage Award at a ceremony at the Otoe County Fair.