Farming and Football Are (Still) Mauch Family Traditions
No Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) program has claimed more national championships than North Dakota State football. The Bison won nine FCS titles from the 2011-21 seasons.
Those stats are treasured by fans of the NDSU Bison, but they have a much different meaning today for the Mauch family of Barney, North Dakota.
Cody Mauch played offensive tackle for the NDSU Bison football team before being drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the spring of 2023. He made his NFL debut with the Bucs on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023 in a game against the Minnesota Vikings – a team he always cheered for growing up.
His dad, Joe Mauch, recalls feeling proud watching his son play that first game, even if it felt odd to root “against” Minnesota.
A From-the-Farm Work Ethic
“We’ve been Vikings fans our whole lives and now we’re here cheering for the Bucs,” Joe says.
One of eight kids who grew up on the family’s fourth-generation farm in Southeast North Dakota, Cody says his parents, Joe and Stacey Mauch, introduced him to hard work at an early age. In an interview with reporters after his second-round draft pick, Cody explained how that upbringing translated into his football career.
“I was driving tractors at seven or eight years old. They put a lot of trust in me when I was young,” he says. “But that helped me a lot in life. My mindset is to go out there and have fun, but get the job done. I’m going to work hard and do my part.”
The Bucs officially listed Cody as starting right guard – a position he says fits his 6’5”, 302-pound frame well. With his signature long red hair and missing front teeth, Cody says he “couldn’t be any more authentic.”
Joe and his younger brother, Andrew, raise corn, soybeans and sugar beets on the family farm. They also custom bale wheat straw. The brothers recently took on a Latham® dealership to diversify their operation and to provide their seed customers with more options.
Everyone Watched This Watch Party
More than half their town of 900 people came out in full force to support Cody on NFL draft night, Joe says.
“The crowd went wild when Cody’s name got called,” he says. “Cody was with us at the community center with teachers, friends and coaches. People came from rival towns. It was just so neat that a small-town kid got drafted because that doesn’t happen that often.”
Joe says the families will travel to Florida after harvest to watch some games on the Bucs’ home turf.
Cody’s favorite “taste of home” meal is his mom’s Hamburger Hot Dish.
Hamburger Hot Dish
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2, 10.25-ounce cans Tomato soup
- 1, 10.25-ounce can Cream of Chicken Soup
- 1 cup shredded cheddar or Colby Jack cheese (optional)
- 12 ounces egg noodles
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Cook noodles according to directions on the package.
- Season hamburger with salt and pepper before browning. Drain meat and return to the skillet.
- Stir soup into browned meat; then add cooked noodles.
- Pour into baking dish. Cover and bake for about 25 minutes. Stir, top with cheese, cover and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.