All Roads Lead Home for Pocahontas Farm Family

Maddie, Jessica, Heidi and Mark Vosika enjoy farm life in Pocahontas County, Iowa.

Maddie, Jessica, Heidi and Mark Vosika enjoy farm life in Pocahontas County, Iowa.

Schools across the Midwest will soon close their doors, and many families will enjoy taking a summer vacation. Mark Vosika, who farms near Pocahontas in West Central Iowa, looks forward to seeing new country with his wife, Heidi, and their two daughters.

“We enjoy traveling and experiencing different cultures. We really enjoy watching the scenery change as we drive, and of course, Mark enjoys seeing the different crops that are grown,” says Heidi, a registered nurse who spent about a decade working in long-term care, home health and hospice before switching to medical claims review.

A few of the Vosika’s favorite places include Rocky Mountain National Park, Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. They also enjoyed Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Mackinac Island. Heidi says, “We had so much fun exploring Arches National Park and JEEPing in Canyonlands that we’d love to visit Utah again.”

No matter where the Vosikas roam, they always look forward to returning to home. Mark and Heidi feel blessed to raise their family in the same home where Mark was raised. Their oldest daughter, Maddie, is a high school junior and sold more than $1,000 in FFA fruit sales. Their youngest daughter, Jessica, is in seventh grade. She enjoys cross country, basketball and soccer. Jessica also enjoys helping Mark on the farm, running the grain cart and moving equipment. She also likes to spend time with him in the shop.

Mark and Jesse bringing in the 2015 harvest

Mark and Jesse bringing in the 2015 harvest

“What I like the most about living here is that our kids get experiences they wouldn’t otherwise have. They see the long hours that go into farming, and they see how dedicated their dad is to the operation. They learn about farm safety, and they learn to accept more responsibility at a younger age,” says Heidi, who grew up in town and now enjoys the privacy of country living. Participation in extracurricular activities helps their daughters develop leadership skills, which will be of value if they decide to follow in their dad’s footsteps.

Mark is a township trustee for Sherman Township. He also serves as a director for Pocahontas County Corn Growers and as a District 1 Director for Iowa Soybean Association. As a trained diesel mechanic, Mark proudly promotes biodiesel to increase lubricity and longevity of engines. As a soybean and corn farmer, he says it just makes sense to use homegrown fuel.

Mark and his brother, Mike, farm in partnership. Mike usually runs the combine and planter; Mark does the spring fieldwork ahead of the planter and hauls grain from the field in the fall. Mark also does all the equipment maintenance and repairs, saving valuable down time and decreasing out-of-pocket expenses.

Just as Midwest farmers work to get their crops in the ground this month, gardeners also are busy working the soil and planting seeds. April is National Gardening Month, so the Vosikas are sharing recipes that use spring produce. Chicken Oscar is one of Mark’s favorite meals, and the entire family enjoys dessert.

Nothing showcases spring in Iowa quite like fresh asparagus and rhubarb. Get a taste of spring this weekend!

Rubarb bars

Chicken Oscar


Boneless chicken breasts, seasoned as desired, bake or grill.
3/4-1 pound asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch pieces & cooked to desired doneness.
1 package imitation crab or real lump crab meat, chopped
1 package English Muffins

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 cup shredded cheddar


Melt butter in 3 quart saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Let bubble 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly. While continuing to whisk constantly, slowly add the milk, chicken broth, salt & cayenne pepper; bring to a boil. Cook & stir constantly for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add cheese, stirring until melted. Stir in the asparagus & crab.

To serve: Place chicken breast on top of toasted English Muffin halves. Top with sauce & enjoy.