Commissioner By Day, Farmer For Life

Weld County Commissioner Douglas Rademacher shared some photos of his farm in southern Weld County. Rademacher is a fourth generation farmer and rancher from southwest Weld County. He has been married for 34 years to his wife, Jane, and has three children and two grandchildren. He submitted the following for the 150th Anniversary site:

History of Rademacher Farms

The Rademacher family came from a small town called Olpe in Germany. The first to arrive was Frank Rademacher in 1868.

In 1911, Joe and his wife Annie Rademacher moved to Snyder, Colorado. They ran cattle as well as the general store.

In 1924, Theodore Rademacher purchased land in Southwest Weld and started to farm and raise his family. He had nine children, many are still living in the area. Theodore’s oldest son, Louis, passed away in September of 2009. Louis had eight children most of who are still in the area.

Farming in the past required all members of the family to be involved. Summers were spent working the sugar beet fields and doing other tasks that now are handled by machines or technology. The Rademacher farming operations are now managed by four of Louis’ sons, Mike, Douglas, Richard and Roger. They also depend on the children of the brothers to assist in day to day operations.

Currently, they are farming up to 1500 acres of irrigated land and run a small cow/calf operation. They have grown sugar beets as their main cash crop since moving to Colorado. They also grow wheat, corn, hay, sunflowers and have tried others. It is a family operation and only employs outside of the family during harvest.

The greatest threat they face today is the continue growth of Southwest Weld. As the population continues to grow, the competition for water and other resources become more intense. It has also become more difficult to persuade the children to continue the farming tradition. The long hours, low pay and hard work requires a passion for the quality of life farming offers.

It was also not uncommon to find the Rademachers involved within their community. Several have served and continue to serve on many boards or hold elective offices. Louis Rademacher was very involved as his children are today.

Douglas was first elected in 2000 as one of the County Council members. He was re-elected in 2004. In 2006, he was elected to the Board of County Commissioners, was re-elected in 2010 and continues to serve today.

I want to thank my brother Dale and his wife Karen who supplied many of the dates and have done extensive research of the Rademacher family history.

The generations of tractors from 1964 to 2011.

A mole board plow, which is still used in some applications.

The instrument panel of a new tractor.

Fire is still a useful tool to maintain pastures.

Teaching the next generation! Working calves before they head to summer pastures.

We still practice the art of processing our own beef for the Rademacher clan.

The posts in the Platte River were part of a toll bridge built at the time that Fort St. Vrain was operating (somewhere around 1840).