June 23, 2023 at 9:48 p.m.

All in the family

Multiple generations work together at Goblirsch Dairy

By Jerry [email protected] | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

WABASSO, Minn. – The constant rush to get things done can push family connections to the back burner. Maintaining those family connections is the top priority at Goblirsch Dairy.
The Goblirsch family milks about 200 cows in the robotic dairy facility they built in 2005. The Goblirsches have deep roots in Redwood County.
“Our grandparents, Joseph and Rose Frank Goblirsch, homesteaded this farm,” Nels Goblirsch said. “They had nine children, one of which was my father, Bernard.”
Bernard was born on the Goblirsch farm in 1939. He passed away in November 2020 at age 81.
“I met Bernard when I was working as a nurse at Rochester, Minnesota,” Mary Clare Goblirsch said. “We learned that we had the same values and clicked right away. We were married for 55 years and raised nine children together on our dairy farm.”
Mary Clare and Bernard’s sons, Nels and Matt, operate Goblirsch Dairy. Nels and Matt’s sister Kate also works on the farm full time.
Nels is the herdsman at Goblirsch Dairy. Nels and his wife, Shannon, have two children, Cadence and Mikale.
Matt does the feeding and is the farm’s chief mechanic. Matt and his wife, Stephanie, have three children: Mason, Raeya and Scarlette.
Kate and Mary Clare are in charge of caring for the farm’s calves. Mary Clare also handles many of the farm’s bookkeeping duties.
Even though they are teenagers, Cadence and Mikale are well versed in the operation of their family’s dairy.  
“Everyone has their own specialty on the farm, but we also know each other’s jobs,” Cadence said.
Cadence is studying animal science at South Dakota State University and has served as a Red-wood County dairy princess for the past two years. She hopes to be admitted to the veterinary medicine program that is offered in conjunction with the University of Minnesota. Cadence wants to become a veterinarian in a mixed large and small animal practice.  
There are times when family dynamics can create stress. But, the Goblirshes have found that the pros of working with family far outweigh the cons.
“Working with family is the best,” Nels said. “There will always be good days and bad days, but you have to learn to be flexible and respect one another’s opinions.”
Matt and Stephanie’s children are already learning the rewards of hard work and working with family.  
“My kids are starting to help with feeding the baby calves and scooping out the feed bunks,” Matt said. “Because we all can do any job on the farm, we can easily step into each other’s roles if someone wants to take a vacation.”
Kate decided to rejoin the family operation after a years-long interval of working off the farm.
“The day that I was going to start a new job, Dad told me that I was needed on the farm because he was about to retire,” Kate said. “I had worked at a print shop for 13 years and decided to take Dad up on his offer and stay on the farm. I love working with my family and helping with the raising of my nieces and nephews, and it feels good to be your own boss.”
The sense of family on Goblirsch Dairy does not stop at the fence line.
Nels and Matt have partnered with their uncle and aunt, Robert and Lorine Goblirsch, who live on a neighboring farm. Robert and Lorine, along with their son, Joe, and his wife, Sarah, raise all of the bull calves that are born on Goblirsch Dairy. Robert and Lorine also share farm equipment with Nels and Matt.
“We also work with our neighbors when we tackle big jobs such as chopping silage and grain harvest,” Nels said.
The Goblirshes make a point of staying connected with their large extended family.
“We are all very family-oriented,” Cadence said. “Our family celebrates holidays and anniversaries together. Since there are so many of us, it can be difficult to find a space that’s big enough. We might rent a tent or hold the gathering in a garage.”
Despite her advancing years, Mary Clare continues to be an integral part of Goblirsch Dairy.
“Mom likes to scoot around the farm on her golf cart,” Nels said. “She will go down to the barn the first thing every morning and check on the cows. She has taken over some of the things that Dad had done.”
Mary Clare smiles broadly as she talks about her rich, full life on the farm.
“I like to drive through the barn and look things over to see if anyone is calving or is in heat,” Mary Clare said. “I enjoy gardening, so I will drive my cart down to the garden. It’s wonderful to be able to work with my family and watch my grandkids grow up. The grandkids love it on the farm. They raise chickens and play ball.”
Cadence has been working hard toward her goal of becoming a veterinarian. She already had 40 college credits under her belt when she graduated from high school in 2022.
“I have been shadowing a veterinarian this summer,” Cadence said. “This has given me several opportunities to visit other dairy farms and observe how they work. I have learned that every dairy operation is different and that our family is incredibly blessed to have what we have.”
Even though he is gone, Bernard continues to be an inspiration for the Goblirsch family.
“As I’ve grown older, I’ve gotten a better understanding of how difficult it was for Dad to let go of some of his responsibilities in his later years,” Nels said. “But, he gradually let his kids take over the decision making. He may not have agreed with all of our choices, but he let us make them on our own.”
Matt, who has worked on the family farm his entire life, has many fond memories of his father.
“Music was always a big part of Dad’s life,” Matt said. “He made sure that each of us was given the opportunity to learn how to play an instrument.”
In the end, it all boils down to one word at Goblirsch Dairy, and that word is family.
“Raising nine children on this farm was often challenging” Mary Clare said. “But now that our kids are grown, they thank me for teaching them how to work and the value of teamwork … The best lesson that Bernard and I passed along to our children was that family should always be your number one priority.”


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