Farm History

The history of our Farm dates back to 1895 when German immigrant Fredrich Riggers homesteaded on 160 acres of land three miles West of Nezperce, Idaho.

Fredrich paid a one-dollar filing fee for the land. The contract required him to make improvements, which Fredrich made within three years. Several years later in November of 1900, Fredrich married Ernestine Koepp who was from the Cameron-Julietta area of Idaho.

Fredrich and Ernestine had seven children. Two of the children, Ted and Ernst died tragically in infancy. The five remaining boys, including Nathan’s grandfather Winfred or “Wink” as he would later be called, helped out on the family’s farm.

During this period, the farm experienced several years of prosperity due in large part to food shortages in Europe that followed the conclusion of World War I.

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In 1929, the Great Depression hit. As the stock market crashed, so too did commodity prices. During this time, Wink and his brothers were forced to pursue work outside of the farm. The boys’ outside work allowed them to pay for seed and keep property taxes current on the homestead.

In 1933, Fredrich died, forcing Ernestine and her sons to deal with running the family business in the height of the Great Depression. Three of the boys, John, George, and Wink, continued to operate the family farm. The three sons later moved on, building their own separate farms in the Nezperce area.

In the 1950s, Wink farmed with his three sons, Stanley, Robert and Gerald in the Craigmont and Nezperce area. Wink passed away in 1969 leaving the farm to the three brothers. Stanley, Robert and Gerald farmed together until 1973 when the boys ventured out on their own, continuing to farm in the area. Three other descendants of Wink and George, and cousins to the Riggers' of Clearwater Farms, continue to operate successful farms in the Nezperce and Craigmont areas today.

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Stanley and his wife, Betty Tyler had four sons, Michael, Timothy, Steven and Nathan. In 1981, Steven returned to the farm, and later in 1992 Nathan joined Steven and his father on the operation.

Steve officially retired from farming in 2018 though still helps during the busy seasons and lends his many years of knowledge and expertise to the operation when he can.

Today Nathan & Christine, along with their son and his spouse, Christopher & Natalie, own and manage the Riggers family farm, now known as Clearwater Farms.