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Steffen farm, in the family since 1899


Farm on Highway 50 is 'firmly in the family'



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FAMILY MEMBERS now operating the Steffen Morningside Farm, from left Marie Raduenz, Mark Raduenz, Savannah Siegler, Jerry Siegler, Marleen Siegler, Dakota Siegler, Jeremie Siegler, Alan Kaddatz and Marilyn Kaddatz. They stand in front of the Morningside barn, with the "Wheel of Time" barn quilt.

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August 06, 2013 | 12:07 PM
LYONS — Descendants of Herman and Martha Steffen say they don't know what drew the couple to this particular 160 acres along Highway 50 in the town of Lyons.

But in 1899, the Steffens bought the property and settled down on it and established the Morningside Farm..

And the Steffens' great grandchildren have no intention of undoing the Steffens' decision.

The farm, at 5184 Highway 50, town of Lyons, is now in the care of three family members who are devoted to keeping the 160-acre farm within the family, said Marilyn Kaddatz, the family spokesperson.

Honored as a Wisconsin Century Farm at the 2000 Wisconsin State Fair, the Steffen "Morningside" Farm will be honored as a centennial farm at the Walworth County Fair this year.

Marilyn grew up on the farm with her sister Marleen and brother Mark. All are graduates of Badger High School.

Her mother, Joan Steffen Raduenz, who died in 2004, was the Lake Geneva Municipal Court Clerk.

Her father, Edward Raduenz, died in 1991.

While everyone in the family works on the farm, they also hold down other full-time jobs, said Kaddatz, who works in Walworth County's child support services.

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Despite the hard work involved in maintaining the farm, there is no talk of selling the Steffen farm, Kaddatz said.

"It's firmly in the family," she said.

She said growing up on the farm was a no-frills life.

"Our parents always instilled hard work and family values in us," she said.

But she said her parents also went out of their way to make holidays and birthdays special for the family.

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Herman and Martha passed their farm on to Walter and Hilda Steffen in 1935. It was passed on to Edward and Joan (Steffen) Raduenz in 1970.

In 1983, Alan and Marilyn (Raduenz) Kaddatz bought 60 acres.

Then Marilyn's sister, Marleen and husband Jerry Siegler bought five acres in 1995.

The Kaddatzes and Sieglers bought most of the remaining acreage in 2006, Marilyn and Marleen's brother, Mark Raduenz bought the homestead, where he lives.

Kaddatz said she and her husband own about 80 acres, the Sieglers 35 acres and Mark Raduenz holds 39 acres.

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Another generation is also coming up.

The Sieglers have three children, sons Jeremy, 20 and Dakota, 19 and daughter Savannah, 12.

The farm is still agriculturally active, with annual crops of corn, soybeans, winter wheat and alfalfa.

The Sieglers also raise beef cattle on the property, along with a few pigs, two donkeys, a pony, a rabbit, some cats and dogs, Kaddatz said.

The family barn showcases one of the Quilts of Walworth County, entitled "Wheel of Time."

The farm has been home to three grand champion steers shown at the Walworth County Fair junior show, as well as a champion feeder calf, a supreme champion beef female and a reserve champion pig.

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