Gerald, Duron, and Darin Bratland
Viking Valley Farm was established in 1945 by Kenneth and Gladys. Gerald became a partner in 1960. Later his wife Judy and the families of their sons Duron (wife Missy and children Kaitlin, Claire, and Kelsey) and Darin (wife Sara and children Lindsey, Samantha, and Carter) joined him. The farm started with 200 acres of land, 20 dairy cows, 350 slaughter hogs, and 500 laying hens. In 1951, a registered Brown Swiss heifer was purchased for a 4-H project. In addition to the cows, for 30 years, Viking Valley Farm also had a Suffolk Sheep and Hampshire Pig operation. In the 1970s and 80s the dairy herd was shown at the State Fair and was Premier Breeder and Exhibitor for ten years in a row. The herd was also shown at the National Shows. Over 130 “Excellent” cows have been developed, and 17 animals have been recognized All American. The herd has also received first place National recognition for production. The farm now consists of 200 Brown Swiss cattle, 710 owned acres, and 250 rented acres of corn, beans, and hay.
Gerald has been active in the Minnesota Brown Swiss Association, National Purebred Dairy Cattle Association, Swiss Valley Farms Company Board, National Milk Producers Association, and Houston County Fair Board. He has also been a dairy judge for various shows. Judy has been involved with the Houston County American Cancer Society Board, Relay for Life, the garden club, and Red Cross Bloodmobile. Duron and Darin’s families have been involved with 4-H.