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Meyer has meat-and-potatoes family

By Staff | Aug 7, 2009

-Farm News photo by Clayton Rye Robin Meyer stands next to the only cow that followed them in their recent move from rural Rowan in Wright County to their home in residential Dows.

DOWS – Until her family’s recent move to a home in Dows, Robin Meyer had lived all her life in the same section of Iowa Township, north of Rowan in Wright County. When she moved, it was all within a two-mile area of that section.

Robin and her husband, Bruce, a 27-year employee of Eaton in Belmond, recently moved to Dows from their rural Rowan home because their younger son, Eric, was enrolled at school in Clarion, which includes Dows.

This also allowed their son, Jeff, a recent graduate of Iowa State University, to live on the farm and pursue his interest in cattle while being employed at John Deere in Kanawha. The Meyer brothers work together in a cow-calf operation, do some finishing of cattle and produce show cattle.

Last year the boys showed a purebred Chiania heifer that took top honors at the Iowa State Fair and the Minnesota Beef Expo. Right now, getting ready to show at the State Fair is top priority for them.

The Meyer’s daughter is married and living in the Quad Cities.

Robin Meyer said hers is a meat-and-potatoes family and she doesn’t get a lot of encouragement to try new recipes. Her family’s attitude seems to be “why ruin a good thing?”

She said both sons wrestled in high school and learned the importance of eating quality food, including vegetables.

Meyer said she enjoys cooking out of her garden, and she has a wide choice there. She grows green beans, carrots, onions, tomatoes, cabbage, zucchini, peppers, cucumbers, sweet potatoes and yellow, butternut and acorn squash. The farm has seven apple trees of different varieties.

Menus for family meals are prepared according to what is in season, and Meyer freezes surplus vegetables once the fresh season has ended. Her son’s cattle provide beef for the freezer, and her in-laws raise broiler chickens the Meyers can share.

Robin Meyer is a nurse, working full time in surgery at Franklin General Hospital in Hampton and as needed at Wright Medical in Clarion. The move to Dows was a central location for everyone.

For 16 years, Meyer has been a 4-H leader for the Pleasant Progressors, a coed club out of Belmond, with members scattered across Wright County. Her move to Dows will not change that leadership.

The Bruce Meyer family is active in the United Church of Rowan, where Robin Meyer’s 95-year-old grandmother, who lives independently, is the oldest member and chairman of the church bazaar.

Meyer’s parents, Robert and Bonnie Leist, live northwest of Rowan and are actively farming. Her mother recently retired as manager of the county ASCS office after 47 years.


2 pounds ground beef

1 envelope onion soup mix

2 eggs

1 sheaf of saltines, crushed

Milk as needed


1 can tomato soup

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon mustard

1/2 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons vinegar

Mix meatball ingredients, adding milk as needed, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup. Shape into balls about 1/3 cup each and place in a greased 9-by-13 pan and cover with the sauce. Sauce ingredient amounts may be varied to suit tastes.

Bake covered for about 90 minutes at 350 degrees.

Hash Brown Casserole

2 pounds hash browns, thawed

1/2 cup margarine

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 cup chopped onion (optional)

10 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

1 carton sour cream

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Mix last seven ingredients and pour over hash browns in a greased 9-by-13 pan. Blend mixture with hash browns. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Note: Diced ham may be added to the casserole.

Zucchini Casserole

1/2 cup margarine, melted

1 package Stove Top dressing

2 cups cubed zucchini or yellow squash, cooked and drained

1 cup grated carrots

1 small onion, chopped

1 can chicken soup

1 cup sour cream

Grated cheese

Combine melted margarine with stuffing and put in greased 8-by-10 baking dish, saving 1 cup for topping.

Mix together zucchini, carrots, onion, chicken soup and sour cream and pour over stuffing. Top with reserved stuffing and grated cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Buttermilk Brownies

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

4 tablespoons cocoa

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

Blend first eight ingredients well. Boil water, margarine and oil and add to blended mixture. Bake in a greased bar pan for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

These brownies can be frosted while still warm.


6 tablespoons margarine

6 tablespoons milk

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Boil margarine, milk and sugar for 30 seconds, then add 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Mix well and spread quickly on brownies.

Sourdough Raisin Bread

1/8 cup vegetable oil

1/8 cup honey

1/2 tablespoon salt

1.2 tablespoon gluten

3/4 cup warm milk

1/3 cup sourdough liquid

3 cups flour (white or a mixture of white and wheat or rye)

1 tablespoon yeast

3/4 cup raisins

In order listed, except for raisins, put ingredients in bread machine on dough setting. After 24 minutes of mixing, add raisins. If you put them in earlier, they will break apart. When mixing complete, take out and form dough into a loaf. This is a large loaf. Let rise about one hour or until double in size and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.

Contact Clayton Rye at crye@wctatel.net

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