Karau Farms & Harvesting

Dean Karau is a man of the land. He lives in the farmhouse where he grew up and he cash crops the family’s rural St. James acreage. That, in itself, doesn’t set him apart from other Minnesota farm kids who grow up to take over the family farm. It’s what he does when he’s away from home that gives the story a twist. For three months each summer, he cuts a swath across parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota, harvesting grain from about 7,000 acres.

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Clint Brown – Runner-Up – 2008 Business Person Of The Year

Fresh from verdant Hawaii, blue crab Baltimore, oil-rich Oklahoma City, and with the possibility of visiting other potential construction projects in Denmark, 34-year-old Clint Brown of Industrial Construction Services (ICS) of St. James barely has time to change his socks before leaving home for yet another construction job elsewhere on the planet. He has become quite the frequent flyer the last thirteen years. Though able to spend only 100 days a year at home and having to work literally every Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, July Fourth, Labor Day and Memorial Day ad infinitum, Brown nonetheless enjoys his frenetic life and lifestyle.

In just the last few years, the pace has quickened considerably, in great measure because of anthrax and avian flu fears.

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El Sarape

Today’s immigrants wear different faces than the pioneers who populated the sod houses and the prairie towns across southern Minnesota. But they struggle for the same opportunity, a chance to live better lives than in their homelands.

More than a century ago, an immigrant shopkeeper in the bustling railroad settlement of St. James might have been asked this question: “Wie sind Sie nach St. James hergekommen?” (How did you come to St. James?)

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Schmidt’s Bakery

Earlier this morning I’d eaten but one lone bagel, flavored with Smart Balance margarine that contains no sugar and only five fat grams per single serving. I’d purposely starved myself. Two hours later, and now, on the road to my next assignment, I am nearly drooling from being tempted with thought after delicious thought of making taste bud love to a glazed doughnut.

I am motoring towards Sugar Mountain.

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