The Darren Janssen family was one of many to receive the Century Farm designation this year. Others received Heritage Farm status. Pictured are Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, Jay Janssen, Evan Janssen, Beth Janssen, Darren Janssen, Brent Janssen and Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Hill.
The Janssen men proudly display their Century Farm designation at their farm near Austinville. From left to right are Evan, Brent, dad Darren, and Jay. Darren was younger than his own sons when he was basically forced to take over the farm following his own father’s untimely death. Darren was just 13 years old.
When Darren Janssen and his family accepted the Century Farm designation from the Iowa Farm Bureau at this summer’s Iowa State Fair, he was flooded with emotions he hadn’t felt in years.
Not since he was 13 when his dad, Donald, died just a couple of months after learning he had liver cancer. He was diagnosed in September, spent some time at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and then returned home to the farm. The cancer was far enough along that he opted not to treat it. He died that November at the age of 53.