All Roads Lead Home for the Geskes
It’s ironic how two people can grow up just five miles apart in rural North Dakota, yet never really cross paths for nearly two decades. But that’s exactly what happened to Gary Geske and his wife, Sandy. Today – as they have for the past 30 years – the Geskes live only a few miles from where both of their families farmed outside Enderlin, about 40 miles west of the Minnesota border just off Highway 46.
“All roads lead to home” as the saying goes. It’s no wonder that Gary’s career path has revolved around the farm. As a junior in high school, Gary bought a half section of ground from his great aunts and started farming. He continued to farm upon graduation and even worked his college schedule around the farming seasons.
“I enjoyed tearing motors and equipment apart to see how they work. Some of it even got put back together,” Gary says with a warm smile and a twinkle in his eye. His passion for motors led him to enroll in the Diesel Mechanics program at North Dakota State College in Wahpeton. He ran an engine rebuilding business out of the family’s farm shop, and he also was active in drag racing for six years.
Over the years, the Geske operation grew. Four families were involved at one time: Gary’s parents, Robert and Arlene; Gary and Sandy; Gary’s brother Bobby and his wife, Beth; Gary’s sister, Sherrie, and her husband, Darby Holub.
Gary left the family farming operation in 1990 to become a district sales manager for Keltgen Seed. He enjoyed working for the independent, family-owned company that was a real industry leader at the time. In 1995, Dow bought Mycogen and began merging companies. That was when Gary decided to pursue an opportunity at a machinery dealership.
After two years at the machinery dealership, Gary decided to return to the seed business with REA Hybrids of Aberdeen where his duties included managing the research plots and scoring hybrids. This research and production experience was valuable as Gary and Dan Lund started Quality Seed Genetics in 2001. Sandy handled most of the office duties, including newsletters and mailings, general bookkeeping and dealer communications. A few years later QSG started other profit centers like seed treating equipment, and Gary made the decision in 2009 to concentrate on the seed treater business.
After a two-year hiatus from the seed industry, Gary was ready to join the Latham team in 2011.
“Sandy and I had a chance to meet some of the Latham management team before I joined the company, and it was very evident then that the company revolves around teamwork,” says Gary. “I was impressed by the company’s access to the industry’s best genetics and technologies. I’m glad to now be part of the Product Development Team that helps move our product lineup forward. It’s so much fun meeting with Latham® dealers and helping them select the best products for their farmer customers.”
Whether it’s meeting with farmers to select the best hybrids for their operation or choosing hops for some homemade brew, Gary is sure to have a good time! He and Sandy value time spent with friends and family, including their three children: Kyle, Kayla and David.
Kyle farms with his uncle Bobby Geske on the home farm. Kyle’s wife, Katie, is a registered nurse at Sanford Hospital in Fargo. Kyle and Katie are the proud parents of 6½ year-old Averie and four-year-old Carson. David sells and services seed treating equipment, and his fiancée, Coty, is a CNA. The Geske’s daughter, Kayla, is employed at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota. Her husband, Kevin Murphy, is an assistant football coach at Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM). This week they welcomed their second son, Thomas Johnathan. They also are the proud parents of Rorke, who is 2½ years old.
Time spent with family and friends usually goes hand-in-hand with good meals. Today the Geskes are sharing some of their family’s favorite “quick and easy” meals.
½ cup mayonnaise
2 T. French dressing
4 tsp. sweet pickle relish
1 T. finely minced onion
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
Combine and ingredients, stir well and spread on top of grilled burgers. Makes about ¾ cup.
COOK’S TIP: For added flavor, mix and chill several hours or overnight.
Chicken Tortilla Hot Dish
- 3 cups cooked chicken or turkey
- 1 package of 8 flour tortillas, cut into strips
- 1 onion, chopped
- ¼ cup margarine
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- ½ cup milk
- 1 small can of chopped mild green chili peppers
- 1 pound of grated Monterey Jack Cheese
- Sauté onions and margarine.
- Add chicken, soups, milk and chilies. Heat together.
- Butter large casserole and spread a little soup mixture on bottom of pan.
- Now make two layers of: tortillas, soup mixture then cheese (Ending with cheese)
- Bake for 1 hour at 350°.
COOK’S TIP: Can refrigerate for 24 hours to blend flavors before baking.