Rich Krafka Family Suffolks and Krafka Harkema Suffolks

Rich Krafka Family Suffolks

As full-time farmers, the Rich Krafka Family Suffolks flock was founded and is still maintained on the basis of producing quality meat animals as quickly and efficiently as possible. As true seedstock producers, the Rich Krafka Family Suffolks flock and Krafka Harkema flocks represent our lifelong commitment to honesty and integrity in livestock care, selection, sales and marketing.

Rich Krafka

The Rich Krafka Family Suffolks flock founded by Rich and the late Caroline Krafka, started as part of a full-time diversified farming operation, and grew into successful 4-H and FFA projects for daughters Kathy, Kristi and Kerri Krafka, who raised and showed champions at the Iowa State Fair-- the nation's largest open class Suffolk show-- and the nation's largest youth sheep show, the National Junior Suffolk Sheep Show-- topping classes at the National Suffolk Show and National Suffolk Sale, and producing satisfied customers across the country. The Krafka family has sold sheep across the United States and exported Suffolk seedstock overseas.

Rich & Caroline Krafka's property from overhead

In addition to their work with raising sheep, the Krafka Sisters took an active role in sheep industry leadership, with Kathy serving as the Director of the Iowa Department of Agriculture's Sheep Division when Iowa maintained more sheep operations than any other state and the Iowa Sheep Industry Association was established. She later led the National Suffolk Sheep Association as its Executive Secretary, professionally managing the world's largest Suffolk Sheep breed association, where she and husband Ed Harkema guided the team which computerized more than 1 million pedigrees and led the association's successful communication, sale management and youth leadership programs.

Sign reading 'Enjoy Lamb Often - Rich Krafka' in front of a white house

Today, Kathy manages Krafka Harkema Suffolks, one of the nation's elite flocks in natural performance and accelerated growth. She continues to share her expertise with young people, as a sheep judge, having judged extensively professionally for more than 25 years. She's the former Marketing Manager for the annual National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) Center of the Nation NSIP Sale and Seminar in Spencer, Iowa, and as President of the Iowa Suffolk Sheep Association.

As a charter member of the Howard Wyman National Lamb Feeders Sheep Industry School, and a sheep industry leader, Kathy interacts with all types of sheep producers and feeders, putting that experience to work in the type of practical, productive Suffolk sheep that today's progressive sheep producers desire.

Rich Krafka inspecting a sheep
Photo courtesy of Hannah Fletcher, Iowa Farmer Today

Kristi Krafka Kristi Krafka served in numerous leadership roles as an officer and board member of the National Junior Suffolk Sheep Association (NJSSA), actively promoting the breed as National Suffolk Queen, and interned at the Suffolk Banner magazine where she helped manage sheep shows, sales and marketing activities. She has been an active volunteer in the Iowa Foundation for Agriculture Advancement, promoting the Sale of Champions and the Iowa State Fair and raising scholarship money for young Iowa 4-H and FFA members.

Kerri Krafka served as President of the National Junior Suffolk Sheep Association, in addition to leading the Iowa Junior Suffolk Sheep Association at its peak when she guided the activities of more than 150 young Iowa sheep enthusiasts. She exhibited the Grand Champion Ewe Overall at the National Junior Suffolk Show in Detroit, MI, on a female bred and raised on the Krafka farm. She was named as runner-up in the National FFA Sheep Proficiency Award competition and today continues to judge 4-H events and helps young people with their sheep projects and leadership experiences.

All three Krafka Sisters earned sheep proficiciency awards and the Iowa Farmer and American Farmer degrees through their work with their sheep enterprises from the state and National FFA Assocation, the association's highest honor—the first all-female siblings in Iowa to do so.

The Krafka sisters in the barn

A side view of the Krafka property

Wallaces Farmer magazine called the Rich Krafka Farm as one of the neatest farms in Iowa, and that pride and tradition lives on today in the family farm.

Side view of a red barn     Front view of a red barn
Front view of a red barn

Click here to read the complete WALLACES FARMER article.

Children with mini pom-poms

The Rich Krafka Family Suffolks and Krafka Harkema Suffolks teams invite you to contact us for more information about registered Suffolks to add to your flock.

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