“Our family’s been here for over 150 years,” says “Bob Kautz, sitting on a hay bale on the Buffalo Pumpkin Farm.
He took over his family farm in 1999.
“I left for 25 years to find my fame and fortune and when I figured I wasn’t going to find it, I came back,” he says.
Now, he roams his nearly 200 acres.
It’s open seven days a week and admission is free.
There are more than a dozen activities for kids of all ages at the farm, including pony rides– and everything, Bob says, has a purpose.
“My whole goal was to give people a farm atmosphere. Everything I do, is it cost effective? No, no,” Bob says.
Currently, no activity costs more than $4.
Bob says he sometimes comes under fire for that from other business owners.
“Why do you have so fricken many animals around here? Jiminy Christmas, what do you charge for them? We charge for pony rides, but the rest of them, they get to see them,” Bob says.
To him, it’s not about the money. It’s about the experience.
“When I was a kid, many decades ago, everybody around here had kids that came to farm…. Now, the family farm is gone. So, kids that used to have the ability to go and go swimming in a fish pond or something and throw hay around, it’s not around, anymore,” Bob says.
Bob says he plans to keep that experience alive for as long as he can.
“I have people now that have their family reunions here that they used to bring their kids. Now, they live in Iowa City and the kids live in Moline and they meet here with their grand kids,” he says.