It’s not every farm family who can say that the ground they farm has been in their family for 100 years. One McPherson County family who can make that claim are the children of the late Dale and Bertha Galle, whose family farm was recently recognized by the Kansas Farm Bureau as a Century Farm. The designated farm is located three miles north and one-half mile east of Moundridge.
To receive Century Farm recognition, the property must be a minimum of 80 acres in the original farmland, have had ownership within the same family for 100 or more years and the present owner must be related to the original owner. The present owners of the farm are the Galles’ children, Nelson Galle and his wife Marilyn, Manhattan; Dorothy Claassen and husband Ralph, Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Edith (Edie) Dahlsten and husband Larry, Lindsborg; and June Krehbiel and husband Perry, Moundridge. Neal Galle, a cousin, currently farms the land. 
The Galle family was recognized as a Century Farm family during the McPherson County Farm Bureau annual meeting held Oct. 27.
The Galle siblings inherited the property from their parents in 2005, continuing a tradition in agriculture which dates back to the purchase of the 160-acre farm by Jacob Galle in 1894 from James Pack, who had purchased the property from the United States government in 1878. Jacob Galle and his brother, Peter – the Galle siblings’ great-grandfather – both moved to the Moundridge community from Iowa in 1877 after immigrating to the United States with their parents from Germany in 1850.
According to Edie Dahlsten, the move to Kansas in 1877 was attractive because of the comparatively lower price of Kansas farm ground. P. J. Galle, son of Jacob Galle and cousin of the current owners’ grandfather, David Galle, came into possession of the property in 1890 and his wife, Anna, inherited the property from him. Dale and Bertha Galle purchased the property from her in 1947. Until recently, the farm had been operated by Dale and Bertha’s grandson Randy Galle and his wife Terrie. The original farm house burned in the early 1900s, but the house built to replace it, and where the Galle siblings were raised, has been remodeled and still stands on the property. The homesite, however, has been segmented and sold out of the family.
Wheat has been raised on the farm since Jacob Galle purchased it. Over the years, the farm has also produced oats, alfalfa, prairie grasses, cattle, sheep, and in the 1950s and 1960s there was a significant quasi-confined swine operation. Family members also ran a butcher shop in Moundridge for a time and did custom harvesting for neighbors with a threshing machine, all while actively farming.
Dahlsten said that after her mother passed away, she and her siblings sat around the table and discussed what they would do with the farm. 
“We wanted to stay connected to the farm. There was nothing but positive responses to keeping the farm in the family,” Dahlsten said. 
She attributes that response to the deep ties she, her sisters and brother have to agriculture and the very positive experiences they had growing up on their farm – experiences that continued even after her sister Dorothy and her brother moved away from the area. Dahlsten said during wheat harvest, for instance, they call Dorothy on the cell phone from the field and let her know what is happening and how the crop is yielding. Her sister June lives in Moundridge and occasionally takes pictures of the farm to document changes and growth of the crops and e-mails them to her siblings so they can experience it too. Until last year, Larry Dahlsten had cut the wheat crop. The farm has just been part of their lives, Dahlsten said.
Even though Krehbiel and her husband do not farm, she still feels a deep connection to the land and the sense of place which it gives her, something she believes most people who have grown up on a farm feel. 
“It’s not just a connection to the land, but the wind, the sky, the smells that are all part of it. The farm also connects me to the people I lived with and the people who lived there before me,” Krehbiel said.
The family is very appreciative of the heritage their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents left to their generation. 
“(When I stood on the stage at the state fair) I thought I’ve been very fortunate to be from a family that for over 100 years cared for the land and, as a family, by their actions were leaders in their community, working to make things better for themselves and also trying to make things better for the family and friends around them,” Dahlsten said.
Dahlsten, who with her husband is actively engaged in production agriculture and the Kansas Farm Bureau, said that one of the biggest challenges facing agriculture in Kansas and the country is keeping the bottom line positive so that future generations can continue to farm if they wish – continuing the possibility of more century farms. 
“There’s no doubt we all dream about a farming opportunity that would go on for generations. We all hope that what we have done in life will be reflected in our children and future generations. Does that always mean that kids will live on the farm to make it viable? It doesn’t have to be, but the interest can still be there,” Dahlsten said.
Dahlsten spoke for the rest of the family when she said, “It’s a real privilege and honor to have a century farm. It’s reflective of those who came before us. Dad would have been very pleased to receive this honor from an organization that he had been involved in.”
The Century Farm recognition program was started by the Kansas Farm Bureau nine years ago as a creative way to honor the family farming legacy within the organization as it approached a new century. The program was intended to be short-term, but has proven to be so popular it has been continued. To date, more than 2,000 Farm Bureau families state-wide have been honored as owners of Century Farms.