Since the 1950s, our family has been farming in rural Eastern Iowa. Cecil Knuth, patriarch of our family, purchased a farm about one mile south of the town of Cascade where he started with raising cattle, hogs, and crops. He and his wife Jeannette raised two children, Mary & Mark, instilling in them a sense of hard work and giving back to their community.
In the 1970s, son Mark and his wife Cathy joined the farm operation, and Knuth Farms, Inc. was founded. As the father-son duo worked together, they brought in employees who grew into loyal, trusted friends and family, who helped the corporation grow into multiple farmsteads and acres of crop ground throughout Dubuque and Jones counties. In recent years, the third generation of Knuths have joined the farm: Amanda, Ryan, Kayla, and Eric. With the third generation, Knuth Farms Inc. has added new technology and additional business opportunities, such as the Bale Barn.
With the Bale Barn, the Knuths saw an opportunity to serve local farmers and livestock owners by offering quality hay at an affordable price. We offer small square bales and bundles of 21 bales to agricultural and residential entities in Eastern Iowa and the surrounding area, and we're also always looking for ways to offer more consistent, quality products for our consumers.
Our family thanks you for your support over these past few years, and we look forward to offering an even more consistent product in the near future with the installation of our Veda Farming Solutions hay drying system.
meet the team
Mark Knuth, bale barn visionary
As a second generation crop and livestock farmer, Mark has had a lifetime of experience in working the fields of Eastern Iowa to get the best yields for his family's farm operation Knuth Farms, Inc. In 2012, Mark's dreams for the farm grew beyond just what he could build within his own organization, and he began to think bigger. Mark knew he wanted to create something that could help local hobby farmers while generating enough revenue that a percentage of the income could be directly donated to the CureSMA organization. SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) is a form of muscular dystrophy that affects Knuth's grandson, Colin, and in the early 2010s still did not have a treatment. Drawing upon his ag knowledge, Mark began to formulate a concept for a bale-production facility in his hometown of Cascade, Iowa. “I heard about someone in Arkansas doing this. It seemed there was a demand for a similar product around here because of the large number of acreages in the area. So I went down to Arkansas to see it in action, and I brought it back home,” says Mark about the beginnings of the Bale Barn. In the past, small square bales were the norm, but as technology advanced and farms got bigger, large round bales overtook the market. Thus square bales, which are ideal for small livestock and hobby farmers, were hard to find. Mark felt that by offering these small bales, he could offer local farmers an affordable, convenient option for their hay needs. In addition, a percentage of each bale sold is donated to Cure SMA and other local programming to help kids with SMA, like Camp Courageous and Miracle League of Dubuque.
cathy knuth, accounts & customer service
Wife to Mark Knuth, Cathy has been instrumental to the history of Knuth Farms, Inc. and the Bale Barn. Over the years, Cathy has helped with the administrative side of both businesses, overseeing accounts payable and receivable, customer service, and infrastructure support. When asked about her role at the Bale Barn and how it helps local farmers, Cathy says, "It's nice to meet new customers from all over the area but helping those close to home is very rewarding." As a lifelong farmgirl growing up in Bernard and Cascade, Cathy loves to see Bale Barn products helping farmers and their families come together as they care for their livestock. She also takes pride in the ability it gives the farm operation to support community nonprofit events like the recent Color Run at Cascade Elementary PTO and Small Heroes, Mighty Cause and larger organizations such as Cure SMA and Miracle League of Dubuque. Next time you're at the Bale Barn, stop into the office and you might just catch Cathy working at the computer on billing, using her design gifts by installing a new wall collage in the conference room, or hard at work organizing the storage room - Cathy has the touch for keeping things in order.
amanda schlemme, accountant & office manager
After graduating from the esteemed University of Northern Iowa College of Business, Amanda attained her CPA license and moved with her husband, Travis, to the Twin Cities. There she worked for Deloitte and Capella University and put her education into practice for some of the biggest names in the accounting and education industries. As her young family grew and they welcomed two boys, Amanda and Travis decided the time was right to move back to their hometown of Cascade in 2010, at which point Amanda assumed her role at the family's farm operation. As a girl, Amanda always loved being on the farm, especially working with hogs and cattle. During her 4-H career in high school, Amanda even had the Grand Champion hog at the Dubuque County Fair, so the progression into Knuth Farms felt not only natural but welcomed. In her 8 years with the company, Amanda has taken on the accounting and various office work for Knuth Farms and the Bale Barn, helping the companies grow through some of their largest projects to date including the purchase and installation of the Bale Barn's Veda Farming Solutionshay drying system. Not only does she stay busy at work, but Amanda consistently volunteers in an array of community organizations and nonprofits, including Cascade Elementary PTO, Cascade Heart & Soul, Camp Courageous, Miracle League of Dubuque, and Small Heroes, Mighty Cause, helping these organizations raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to support their missions.
ryan knuth, production specialist
A born farmer, Ryan is a third generation cattle, hog, and crop farmer who has been taking on jobs around the farm since he was old enough to walk...though with a nickname like "human tornado" as a child, some of those jobs were fixing his own messes ☺️ we kid, we kid...One of Ryan's gifts is his sarcasm and sense of humor, so it only feels fair to invoke a little in his bio. Truly, Ryan has a gift for visioning a farm of the future while maintaining the tradition of excellence that his father and grandfather built. From spending long hours in the planter during the season of the year, to loading bale customers before he goes home to his family, Ryan makes sure that any job done around the farm or the Barn is done right. In addition to his role at Knuth Farms, Ryan is a husband to Molly and father of four young kiddos who he hopes to involve in the farm operation one day soon too.
eric knuth, production specialist
A graduate of Kirkwood Community College, Eric brings his mathematical mind and love of animals to Knuth Farms Inc and the Bale Barn. As a third generation cattle, hog, and crop farmer, Eric has seen the family's farm operation firsthand as it grew from the small farm on Eby's Mill Road where he and his wife Cara now reside, to the shop/office/Bale Barn headquarters today. Each day Eric comes to work, he wants to bring his pride of being a family farmer and the values it taught him as a young boy into his job. Whether you talk to him on the phone to place your order or work with him on a delivery, Eric makes sure that kindness, compassion, and quality product are provided to each and every customer.
Front row (left to right): Cathy Knuth, Cecil Knuth, Mark Knuth
Back row (left to right): Ryan Knuth, Amanda (Knuth) Schlemme, Kayla (Knuth) Thompson, and Eric Knuth