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BusINess » Business » Huseman family marks 100 years on Homestead Farm

Huseman family marks 100 years on Homestead Farm

Chuck Huseman, president of 100-year-old Homestead Farm in Cedar Lake, checks on his cattle during a walk of the farm grounds Tuesday. (Photograph by The Times.)

Chuck Huseman, president of 100-year-old Homestead Farm in Cedar Lake, checks on his cattle during a walk of the farm grounds Tuesday. (Photograph by The Times.)

Keeping a farm in the family is less common today as generations move into fields other than those filled with corn or soybeans, so the 100th anniversary of the Homestead Farm is something to be celebrated.

The Huseman clan will be do just that Saturday, when the annual family picnic unfolds at the farm on rural Sheffield Avenue, a tradition that began in 1949.

This year’s party will include T-shirts in special colors to represent each family branch, Chuck Huseman said. He said he ordered 135 T-shirts for those he expects will come in from nearby and as far away as California, New York and Alabama.

Huseman, the grandson of Homestead Farm founder Joseph Huseman, operates the farm now with his wife, Marsha. They assumed the reins in 1976.

The secret to survival as well as keeping the farm in the family was the certified Angus cattle herd established by his grandfather, Huseman said.

“The herd of Angus cattle had such a fine reputation. It was nationally known,” he said.

Huseman said his grandfather won national honors around 1918 for his herd, and there are silver trophy cups in the barn.

His grandfather’s personal reputation as a man of integrity kept the farm out of the bank’s hands during the Depression, Huseman said, because he was able to pay on his bank note from cash stuffed into mattresses by his neighbors from whom he borrowed.

While some acreage of the 220-acre Homestead Farm is planted in corn and hay, it was always the Angus cattle that carried it, Huseman said.

“My dad (William) always said that God takes care of the birds in the sky, and he’ll take care of us. He was a man of great faith. You need that as a farmer,” Huseman said.

His father raised his family on the farm Joseph Huseman founded. Life on the farm instilled a love of nature and animals, said Huseman’s sister, Nancy Blossom, of LaPorte.

“We spent hours in the woods back there. Coming here brings back many good memories,” she said. “It’s nice to have it in the family. So many farms split up.”

Although he has his degree in agricultural from Purdue University, Huseman’s primary business is FFC Fencing, which he founded to provide fence for livestock.

“None of the descendants are interested in agriculture. I’m the end of the line,” he said.

To learn more about the Homestead Farm’s Angus beef cattle visit hfbeef.com.

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