September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
The storm popped the entire roof off the family's dairy barn.
"Every rafter was gone, it was like you were walking outside," Greg said. "Within a week we had plywood on it."
The top was torn off the silo and a calf barn was totally destroyed.
"We had just gotten the cows in to milk when it hit or else they would have been standing in the shade right beside the silo," Greg said.
Another building, previously used for hogs, was left leaning.
"I'm not sure which way to push it...up or down," Greg commented last week.
Fortunately, no animals were lost and the dairy barn has been put back together.
In spite of the storm, and a tough winter the year before the storm, Deutz still has faith in farming.
"Farming has been a good way of life, except 11 months ago it would have been a little hard to say that," Greg said. "Even so, I wouldn't want to live or raise a family anywhere else."
The Deutz children seem to share that philosophy as they enjoy having a variety of animals on the farm. The Deutz kids are Kenny, a junior at the University of Minnesota, with plans to be a veterinarian; Eric, a recent graduate of Marshall High School, who will attend Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa to study broadcast journalism this fall; Michelle, a high school junior; Shania, a freshman; Thalia, a seventh grader; Adrid, a fourth grader; James, a first grader; and Hope, a kindergartner. The older kids go to Marshall High School, the younger ones are homeschooled.
The Deutz family milks 60 Holsteins in a stanchion barn and raises steers.
"We had hogs until a few years ago, but the boys started to leave for college, so we cut back," Greg said. "All the kids help with farm work. Kenny and Eric can both milk on their. The younger ones have more responsibility as they get older."
"They'll get more this fall with both boys gone," Mary added.
The family also gets help with milking from Greg's nephew who lives down the road. A soon-to-be junior in high school, he can fill in when needed.
Dairy cattle may be the primary animals on the farm, but they're not the only ones. The rest are "just for fun," according to Greg.
The menagerie includes 13 geese, about a dozen ducks, seven peacocks, a dozen cats, two dogs, and a baby donkey.
"We've had peacocks since I was a kid," Greg said. "At times, we got down to none, but you can find them in the HyVee Trader...there are people out there who have them."
While Greg and Mary own the livestock, Greg farms the land with his dad, Pat, and his youngest brother ,Glen. Between them, they operate about 1,100 acres, growing corn, soybeans, alfalfa, and oats.
Greg and Mary are the second generation of the family to live on the farm. Pat-one of eight boys in his family-started the farm in 1967, raising hogs and beef cattle and growing corn, oats, and alfalfa. Five years later he added dairy cattle, a tradition that Greg and Mary and their kids continue today.
"I was involved with helping with the cows since I was a little kid," Greg stated. "I went into shares on the cows when I got out of high school. That's about 28 years now."
The Deutz children are involved in a variety of activities at school. The older kids have been or are in FFA. Eric took part in speech and was in every play produced by Marshall High School and was in community summer plays. Oldest son Kenny was the runner, taking part in cross country and track. The girls are in marching band, speech, Knowledge Bowl, and math team.
About being named the Lyon County Farm Family for 2011, Mary said, "We were surprised. We're honored and humbled. There are so many families that fit what they're looking for ... it was definitely an honor."[[In-content Ad]]
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