What began as a small farm located on the banks of the Toussaint River in the late 1800s has grown into a multi-state operation. Elmore, located on the banks of the Portage River in Northwest Ohio used to be covered by glaciers during the ice age and was wetlands prior to the early 1800s. This contributed to a nutrient-rich topsoil, perfect for highly productive farming.Read about the Rothert family history handed through the generations.
In the late 1860s, Frederick Rothert moved from Buffalo, New York to Elmore, Ohio with his wife Marie Avers and their children Henry and Emma Rothert. They began farming acres of land on the banks of the Toussaint creek.
Pictured: Ralph, Fred, Henry, and Frederick Rothert.
Henry Rothert, son of Frederick Rothert, married Elizabeth Steinkamp. The Steinkamp family settled on the stone ridge between the Portage River and Sugar Creek in 1837.
Henry and Elizabeth were Fred Rothert’s parents.
Fred Rothert and Katie Croll were married. Katie was a great record keeper and wrote a biography of her father, Henry Croll.
Pictured: Fred Rothert and Katie Croll.
A successful farm operation required women to assume numerous roles ranging from full partner to manual laborer and performer of the most menial tasks. Carl Rothert and Eileen Anstead were married in 1938. Eileen was a great example of a working woman in this era. She managed the family household while also working in the fields with her husband. Eileen supplemented the family income by selling eggs from a large chicken operation.
Pictured: Top, Eileen Rothert driving a tractor.
Bottom, Carl and Eileen Rothert’s wedding photo.
Horse and wagon were a practical and dependable power source for agriculture at this time.
Pictured: Carl Rothert (Fred’s son) poses with his two worker mules.
The invention of the tractor was a huge milestone in the farming world. Agriculture became more innovative and efficient than ever before.
Pictured: Carl Rothert sitting on a Ferguson tractor.
Paul Rothert began farming at a young age and this is a picture of his tomato crop during his high school years.
Paul Rothert and Susan Tabbert were married. Together, they purchased the homestead of Ralph Rothert which is where Rothert Farm Inc. is located today in 2020.
Pictured: Top, Paul and Susan Rothert’s wedding photo.
Bottom, Rothert Farm Inc. in 1966.
Hauling tomatoes was done by stacking filled hampers on a flatbed truck or trailer. The hampers were carefully clipped to keep them stable during the 20-mile trip to the Heinz tomato processing plant in Fremont, Ohio.
Aerial photo of Rothert Farm Inc. taken in 1982.
Carl Rothert (left) farming sugar beets in 1940. Trent Rothert (right) farming sugar beets 50 years later.
The early years of harvesting cabbage looked very different from the equipment we use today.
Harvesting tomatoes in the 1990s.
Rothert Farm continued to grow in acres and in people.
Paul Rothert working the soil in a harvested corn field to prepare for the following spring planting season.
Rothert Farm Inc. purchased an upgraded tomato harvester that cut harvest time while enabling the harvest of 60 tons of tomatoes per hour.
After working out of a temporary trailer for almost two years, the new business office was completed.
A new wet bin was added to the existing grain system that was built in 2010. This included computer upgrades to the dryer system and a mobile app to monitor the drying process.
Aerial shot of the farm in October 2020.