In 1965, Finn and Anna Marie were two Danes abroad with a couple of the last immigrant Visas. They met working on farms in Woodland, California. Anna Marie had designs to go back to Denmark and finish a psychology degree to become a psychologist. But her fate was to become a farmer.
Finn convinced her to join him and they headed north to Prosser, Wash., where they found hard work: harvesting poor dryland wheat, and in the winter pruning grapes together as a dynamic left and right-handed duo.
The two looked a little farther north for better ways to make a living.
Finn networked and embellished his experience into a job hauling potatoes from Wapato to Warden. He and the truck survived his first load hauling down Lincoln grade near Prosser without any semi driving experience. This story had the potential to be a lot shorter because of that day, but it turned out to be just a few miles more in the journey all the way from Denmark to making a significant mark on Columbia Basin agriculture.
He found farmhand work in Warden for Columbia Producers, and within 4 years became the large farm’s manager. Finn created success for the farm by working with European and Danish contacts to grow and market vegetable seeds, hitting it big with leek seeds. As a bonus, The Clausen’s received 140 acres and an old farm house. By 1981, Finn and Anna Marie, with young children Shawn, Shanna, and Boe set out to try farming on their own.
With a John Deere 4020, a couple of other pieces of equipment and their two farm units, Stokrose Farms began. Vegetable seed was the farm's forte. In one season, Stokrose grew 17 different vegetable seeds, including plantain, which was used as the active ingredient in a laxative powder. This farm really has farmed it all.
But the vegetable seed marketing environment can be difficult, so Stokrose grew with a focus on lower-risk/higher-acreage crops. In 1989, Stokrose purchased a small feedyard nearby and the manure from it continues to shape the farm's productivity and competitiveness. During the hard times, manure could be sold to solve cash flow problems, but now all of the compost is applied to Stokrose ground to build nutrients, save on commercial fertilizer, and realize high corn and hay yields.
Today, Stokrose is operated by the second generation of the family - Shawn and Boe Clausen, and Shanna's husband Aaron Golladay. We have a dozen employees, many of them long time hands, considered extended family. The young third generation gets a Stokrose education through seasonal work when they are not in school.
Shawn and Jeanne Clausen with Soren, Svend, Annelise and Axel
Aaron and Shanna Golladay with Kayla, Averie, Reagan, and Hunter
Boe Clausen Family
Boe and Shannon Clausen with Keeley, Kenzley, Everly, and Case
CROPS AND CATTLE
Almost 40 years, over 4,000 acres of farm ground and 8,000 acres of rangeland later, Stokrose is managed by the 2nd generation - brothers Shawn and Boe Clausen and brother-in-law Aaron Golladay. In the early 2000's, the family set out to answer the question, "how do we make the best use of our farm ground all 12 months of the year?"
The answer: Cattle, of course.
Fall calving cows, to be specific. Over the last decade, the herd has grown from 22 cows purchased from Rathbun Angus, to a closed herd of over 700 Angus mother cows. In 2019 Stokrose added "The Ranch" near Edwall to accommodate their cattle business expansion. In November 2020, Stokrose held the first annual Angus seedstock sale at the Rathbun sale barn in Moses Lake. The successes of that first offering laid the ground work for Aaron to now traverse the northwest delivering bulls all winter, and prepare an annual Stokrose Angus sale, scheduled for the first Thursday of November each year.