Jim Klebsch is a fifth-generation farmer who farms land near Redfield that his paternal great-great-great grandfather homesteaded in 1882.
“My son, Collin, will be its sixth-generation and I am really proud he wants to continue the legacy that was started 135 years ago when this was still Dakota Territory,” he said.
Klebsch, a Redfield High School graduate, earned a degree in mechanics from Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown. He returned to Redfield and worked as a service technician, and then as the service manager at the local International Harvester dealership while farming with his dad. In 1994, they had an opportunity to grow their family farm, so he left his service manager position and started farming full time. They raise corn, wheat, soybeans and sunflowers, background cattle and do some custom farming.
Klebsch said the most important issue facing today’s corn farmers is managing farm risk. “One way we can do that is by adding value to our corn through the use of ethanol, so I think it is important to educate growers and consumers on the use of ethanol and ethanol by-products.”
He was on the steering committee that formed Redfield Energy and has served on the board of managers as treasurer and vice chairman. He currently serves as chairman of that board. He also serves on his township board.
Klebsch likes to spend his spare time with his family and friends, attending local school sporting events, and fishing. He and his wife, Pamela, have son Collin and their younger son, Logan, who lost his life in a farm accident in fall 2014.