The Lilienthal family harvests soybeans, corn, and rocks. Bruce Lilienthal says, "It's a crop we never plant but we always harvest."
Every spring they search their land for rocks before planting. When her three kids were little mother Nelva Lilienthal made a game out the chore. Nelva Lilienthal says, "We teased them we told them it was their track practice."
Son Kevin Lilienthal says, "We were kids we used to play a game with it. Who could pick up the most rocks? But that didn't usually last long...Cause we found out that it wasn't very fun."
Now with their children grown, farmer Bruce Lilienthal had to come up with a new way to enjoy this constant chore... He started a collection. Each rock different from the next, but one stood out more than the others. Bruce Lilienthal says, "We didn't' know what it was at first. Just part of it sticking out of the ground"
Not knowing what they had this 33 pound chunk of meteor was added to the pile. Bruce Lilienthal says, "We had our hunches that it was a meteorite."
Showing it to friends and family over the years, most didn't know what to make of it. Nelva Lilienthal says, "I've heard a burnt piece of pizza. Looks like a plowshare."
Finally their curiosity brought them to the university of Minnesota to get a solid answer. Bruce Lilienthal says, "We thought it was. We were 99 percent sure."
Experts at the University hope to study it and believe this rare meteor is more than a billion years old. Nelva Lilienthal says, "It is unusual and unique and I'm beginning to like it more and more."
The family isn't sure what's in store for this meteor, but there is one thing in their future they are certain of. Bruce Lilienthal says, "You can always go after you're done picking up rocks you can go back and always find more."
This family's farming future will always be filled with rocks.