Crops, cattle, hard work and family- that’s what agriculture means to the Tesarek family. And their gorgeous property overlooking the small town of Coffee Creek, Montana is truly a family business. Purchased in 1935 by Anton Tesarek, the farm has always been managed and operated by a Tesarek. Paul took over for his father and now Steve and Sheila operate the farm as the 3rd generation with their children Kaiser, Keira and Kamden.
Currently they raise Winter and Spring wheat, feed and malt barley and beef cattle. With a small workforce, developments in technology that permit them to be more efficient is most exciting for the Tesarek family. Different varieties of wheat and barley that are meant to withstand disease and drought common in this area as well as real time data trackers such as yield monitors allow them to better track their efforts and save time.
Keeping people connected to their food becomes more and more important as people become further removed from the rural lifestyle. Encouraging people to understand the route their food takes- from dirt to table- should be a priority for consumers and producers alike. One summer, Tesarek’s had two young kids and their grandmother come to the farm to ride on the combine during harvest. At the end of their visit, they took some grain with them, once home they milled it into flour and baked bread with that flour. Although small in scale this was a great example, allowing those children to make the connection between a wheat field and their sandwich bread.
The Tesarek family believes the difficulty to provide a stable income on agriculture alone is one of the largest obstacles facing farmers and ranchers. Working in a high-risk occupation where weather and volatile markets can impact your once-a-year paycheck has encouraged diversification. Those in agriculture are inventive and resourceful, they will do what they need to support their family and continue their passion. Passion is what has driven the Tesarek’s for 3 generations and they take pride in fostering that passion in their children.