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The Hood Magazine

Working Parent: Meet the Stensland’s

Nov 28, 2016 01:00PM ● By Hood Magazine
By Jessica Brovold, 'Hood Editor 

From sports, to music and other extracurricular activities, keeping everyone organized is a
full time job. Imagine having everyone in your family working for the same cause. This is the reality for the Stensland Family from Larchwood, Iowa. They are no strangers to striving for work-life balance. Their family farm was established in 1915 and they continue to work together as a family today.


“We have our trials and tribulations, but we actually function together very well,” said Leah Moller. “We work as a team and each have our area of expertise, which makes it an easier process to work together.”


 Leah is in charge of retail operations at her family business. She also handles events and marketing. Her brothers Jason and Justin manage the farm and plant. Her other brother Kyle is involved in the farm, crop and plant operations. Doug (dad) manages the herd and herd health. Mona (mom) manages the kitchen and ice cream development. Mark (uncle) is the general manager for their retail locations. Paige (Jason’s wife) assists in both the marketing and plant operations. Chelsea (Justin’s wife) is in charge of coordinating tours.  Add in more than 10 kids between this group and you’ll see that Stensland Family Farms is truly that: a full time family operation and they wouldn’t have it any other way.


“We all know each other so well and are all working towards the same goal and focusing on 
 the core business to support our entire family,” said Leah. “Being family, we’re also able to hold each other accountable and responsible for each other’s roles. Some might think that working with this many family members is tough (and it is some days), however, we truly do get along and work together fairly fluid.”


The Stensland Family, like many families, is always juggling work and busy schedules and while it doesn’t come easy, they know it’s important.


 “This is the hard part. Since we’re all working in one business, it’s hard to get everyone together sometimes,” said Leah. “Most of us have kids and families of our own and have to maintain a home life as well. One good thing is all of our kids are fairly close, since they get to see us all working together and are also present in various parts of the business. The biggest struggle for all of us is finding a balance.”


It’s a similar struggle many of us face; finding that balance when life is busy.

“It’s both rewarding and SO much work,” said Leah. “However, with determination, hard work and dedication – it can be done!”


For the Stensland’s, they say their trick is having open communication and working together
by including everyone in the process.


“Find a balance that works for your family,” said Leah. “We also include our family within the business as much as we can. Whether it’s for promoting, deliveries or assembly – guaranteed that one or more of our kids are involved in some way.”


 By involving everyone, when the days are busy and the juggling is tough, you can come together knowing you’re working toward the same goal. You can find a healthy lifestyle and the energy to keep up with that busy schedule.

Here are some tips to help: 

  • Manage your technology. Don't let it manage you.
  • Recognize you can't do everything. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
  • Take a break to refocus. Unplug from work when you can.
  • Divide household duties with your spouse/partner.
  • Create age-appropriate chores for your children.

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