Lawren & Marina Castner
Dodge County, MN
WOW…..Where to start with our farm story.
Through 5 generations, the Castner Farm (LMC Farms) is still going strong. In these days of semis to haul crops and GPS in tractors to assist with planting and steering the tractor in the field, it is hard to fathom what farming was like in 1896.
George Castner of Warren, Illinois was born on March 7, 1850. Moved to Mantorville with his family. He met Jane Harris, who was raised in Mantorville. She was born in 1855 also on March 7. After George and Jane were married, they bought a farm site north of Mantorville, MN. Both are listed as early pioneers in Dodge County. They raised their two sons, Fred and Ed, on the farm. Eventually they acquired another farm site near their home. A farm to hand down to each son. Just imagine living in a time of working horses, no running water, and no electricity.
Fred Castner married Mabel Wheeler, who proceeded to live on the same farm as his parents. Two children were born to them, Lawrence and Marjorie. Marjorie passed away as a young child. Fred and Mabel built a new big white farm house, which housed many memories for generations to come.
Lawrence married Marjorie Andrist, a daughter of a farmer who raised brown swiss cattle east of Mantorville. Lawrence and Marjorie continued farming after his parents moved to town. Together their raised their 3 children, Lois, Charles, and Dorothy. Charles farmed with his parents.
Charles and Opal Larson met and were married. They built a home north of the main farms to raise their 4 children, Mary, Lawren, Ann and Caroline. A tornado came through in 1971, which took off the barn roof and the silo, which were rebuilt. Charles and his mother purchased the first labor saving device on the farm, a barn cleaner. In 1975, after the passing of Charles’s mother, Marjorie, Charles and Opal moved to the “big white farm house”. This started their journey of buying the farm. They milked cows and had pigs. Shortly after they moved to the main farm, a silo unloader was purchased, which was also a big labor saving device. They farmed the fields with IH (460, M, H and C) tractors. He planted the with a 4 row planter.
On the historic Halloween ice storm in 1991, Lawren married Marina Lermon. In 1993, they bought the farm and built a new home across the driveway from the main farm house. Raising their two boys, Christopher and Connor. LMC Farms was formed. As the years went on, we started to rent more land and expand the business. The building started, sheds to house farm equipment, grain bins, dryer set up, a hay shed and two cattle sheds. All of the buildings have some of our elbow grease marks on them by us, our boys and friends.
This farm was established with horses and have seen the innovations of cars, electricity, tractors, highways, telephones, computers, cell phones, GPS, windmills and whatever else is to come, from 1896 to 2023. Many generations of family memories also made and forever will live in our hearts. Through this process we have been able to track 7 generations of Castner family living in the area with 5 generation on our farm. We have learned, we have come a long ways, but haven’t gone far.
We hope you enjoy our story and our century farm corn that Century Farms Distillery has transformed to whiskey/bourbon.
May God Bless us all
Lawren and Marina CastnerCorn to Whiskey