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Fred Poppe purchased the first ground in Southwest Nebraska in the late 20's and his son, Otto moved from Southeast Nebraska to farm it. In the 1950's his sons, Orville, LaVern, Lawrence and Eldon began farming the land and continued through the 1980's, when LaVern and sons, Leland, Brian and Alan took over the farming operations. As of the turn of the century, Alan is the only one who continues to farm all of the ground.

LaVerne Poppe
LaVern Poppe 75, thrashes wheat by hand to check the straw after a rain caused a delay in the harvest.

LaVern Poppe won the Man of the Year Award from the Wheat Grower's Association in 2000 with the help of his three sons, Leland, Brian and Alan.

Since that time, Poppe Enterprises has been grinding their own wheat flour. A popular use for their flour has been pancakes for pancake feeds. We also use the flour for pancakes and waffles for our bed and breakfast Poppe's Country Haven.

Blake Poppe, 18, rests on the bed of his fathers pickup after rain halted the wheat harvest.

Alan Poppe dumps wheat at a grain elevator. Alan 46 was harvesting on the family farm with his father sons and a family friend.

Farming has been a part of Poppe family ever since the Poppe's can remember. LaVern's grandparents came from Germany and bought the land in Nebraska in the 1920's. Since then, the Poppe's have had a presence in western Nebraska farming, producing wheat, corn, sunflowers, and dryland millet.

Blake and Alex hope to continue the family business. "They've grown up with it ever since they were little" Alan said. "It is in their blood I guess" Both kids started their farming education early by going out to work in the fields with their father or grandfather.

"I started driving a combine on my dad's lap when I was six." Blake said. "I was nine when I drove it by myself." His father then quickly added. " I won't let him sit on my lap any more" Blake won't go directly into farming though. Alan wants him to finish college first. "You've got to have something to fall back on." Alan said The crops have been good the last two years, producing over 60 bushels to the acre for them. But Alan still worries about the future. " I just hope they can keep it going." Alan said. "they're going to get some different deucation in case it doesn't work."

A tornado passes in the distance as Blake
watches from the cab of a tractor pulling his grain cart

Contact LaVern Poppe with any questions you may have concerning any of our products or services.
Pictures with written permission from the Omaha World Herald.
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