Women Landowner Spotlight: Marilee and Katie Polacek

Farm and Food
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Marilee and Katie Polacek's farm is located outside Bruno, Nebraska.

Land with a legacy

Marilee and her daughter, Katie, have farmland that has been in the Polacek family for 120 years. Since Marilee’s husband, Louie, passed away 14 years ago, Marilee and her three children have mostly rented out the land for farming. Marilee has recently searched for a way to transition the farmland to her children.

Caring for the future

"Together, Katie and I have contacted the Natural Resource District, and have applied for a buffer strip along the creek to help with erosion. We have attended the Center for Rural Affairs’ learning circles on beekeeping, and are hoping to either lease out our property to other beekeepers or start our own hives." - Marilee Polacek

Connection to the Center for Rural Affairs

Marilee and Katie have participated in risk management, soil health, and beekeeping learning circles to learn about a variety of ways to improve their farm and their land. The women are constantly on the lookout for ways to address land transition to the next generation.

Women’s Learning Circles

"Many of the questions and hurdles I had been facing were addressed. It gave me hope when I heard other women tell their stories and share their ideas. It made me feel less alone in facing the future in regards to how the farm could go on and how changes could be made." - Marilee Polacek

Future plans

Katie is planning to take over five acres of the cropland to put it in a grass cover crop. They would also like to add some calves to start raising a few head of grass-fed beef.

End goal

To make sure their land is around and farmable for another 120+ years.

This spotlight is funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Beginning Farmer and Rancher grant.