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Two-Time Super Bowl Champ Is Back on the Family Farm

Adam Timmerman was born and raised on a farm in Cherokee, Iowa. He went on to play college football at South Dakota State University earning Division II All-American and Academic All-American honors, and the opportunity to play in the Division II all-star game: the Snow Bowl. 

Timmerman was then drafted in the seventh and final round of the 1995 draft by the Green Bay Packers, making him the 230th pick overall. He was a starting member of the Super Bowl XXXI championship team and the Super Bowl XXXII team, enjoying four seasons with the Packers before signing with the St. Louis Rams in 1999. As a Ram, he was a starting member of the 1999 “Greatest Show on Turf” team that won Super Bowl XXXIV and returned to Super Bowl XXXVI in 2001. During his eight years with the Rams, he also appeared in two Pro Bowls and was team captain from 2003 to 2005. In his 12-year pro career, he amassed 221 consecutive games played (204 regular season and 17 playoff) and blocked for six NFL MVPs before retiring in 2007.  

Timmerman is now back in Cherokee with his wife, Jana, and their three children: Mason, 18; Alexa, 16; and Jada, 12. He farms with his brother and nephews and is a shareholder in and general manager of Icon Ag & Turf, which are John Deere dealerships in northwest Iowa. Timmerman enjoys coaching his children’s sports teams and watching them in all of their extracurricular activities. In his spare time, he can be found telling his testimony at local churches and schools and serving on the state board for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

SF: What do playing football and farming have in common?

AT: They are both tough on you physically and mentally. And so is the John Deere dealership. I tell people I think I take more abuse now than when I played football. Kind of tongue-in-cheek in that a little bit. It’s enjoyable, but it’s tough, and it is a way of life. For all the people who farm out there, they know exactly what I’m talking about.

SF: Have much time do you have to farm while also running four John Deere dealerships?

AT: It’s not a lot, actually, because being the general manager does take a lot of time, and we have 110 employees. There is always something going on. There’s never a dull moment, so it demands a lot of my time. I would like to do a little more farming. But it is a nice release as well to go do some farming and spend some time with the cattle. I’m getting a kick out of that right now because my nephews are trying to get started farming. That’s been enjoyable. Those two guys really like to work, and it’s been fun to watch and help them get going. My youngest daughter is probably my biggest fan of farming, probably more so than my older two kids. She likes to go feed the calves with me at night.

SF: How did being a captain for the Rams help you develop the leadership to manage the dealerships?

AT: I’ve always been a leader, whether it was on teams that I’ve been involved in, ever since high school, college, all the way through. Anything I’ve been involved in, I have always gravitated toward a leadership role, enjoying that experience and building a team. I think also some of our head coaches were awesome leaders and did a great job as far as selecting those people. When I was signed to the Rams, Coach Vermeil brought me down there. He was a great person. He cared about his players, but he was a leader. He knew who the leaders were within each group. Like I was a leader on the offensive line; Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, those guys were the leaders among the receivers. People kind of gravitate toward those leadership roles. Really, I’ve had great mentors throughout my career and some coaches even in high school and college as well. I enjoy leadership, and I enjoy making decisions and responsibility, so that carried over very easily into the ICON Ag and Turf John Deere dealership.

SF: Did you have any concussions while playing, and how has your body held up after football?

AT: I was never diagnosed with a concussion. Now, football changed a whole lot from the leather helmet days. We actually didn’t have leather helmets, but my kids kind of laugh at that because they watch some of the Super Bowls on NFL Classic. They’re like “Oh, the throwback uniform.” And I say, “No, that was just our uniforms. Don’t make me feel older than I am.” But never diagnosed with a concussion. I’m glad that they are taking it more seriously now than they did. I think there still needs to be some focus on it. I think in some ways we’ve maybe overdiagnosed, but I think it is better to be safe and precautionary like they are right now. I am glad for some of those precautions that have been put in place. Overall, my body feels pretty good. I’m careful with my back as far as doing some things but all in all, I’ve made a lot of changes nutrition-wise, and I met a chiropractor down in St. Louis, Dr. Cory Webb. Just as far as an overall wellness standpoint and nutrition standpoint, I think that has made the best and biggest difference in my life after football. I’ve tried to talk to some of my teammates and convince them to make some changes. They don’t have to be major changes. The bigger change you make then I guess the bigger response you’ll get out of your body, but I think it makes a difference. It’s kind of like having a high-performance race car and putting great fuel in it. Or, you wouldn’t put crappy old diesel fuel in your brand-new tractor or combine. If you want it to run well, you have to put the right fuel and oil in it. Then it will perform and perform great for a long time.

SF: How great was it to play in Green Bay and St. Louis – two Midwest cities close to home?

AT: I loved it. Playing close to home, I knew my family wouldn’t travel far to go watch me play. Luckily, I got drafted by Green Bay so I didn’t have to go far, which was a great fit for me. To go from Brookings, South Dakota, to Green Bay, Wisconsin, wasn’t a huge jump. It would have been different had I gone to St. Louis right after college, so it was a great stepping stone for me. I think the good Lord was looking out for me and had a hand in my life even at that point. Then to go to St. Louis, it wasn’t a lot farther away as both were an eight-hour drive from Cherokee, Iowa. I remember, though, when I was on my free-agent visit to St. Louis and then I took a free-agent visit to Philadelphia when Andy Reid took the head coaching job there in Philly. He really wanted me to come there, and the Eagles made a contract offer to me, and I had basically the same money offer on the table from St. Louis. I told them, “You know, I just really want to be in St. Louis.” Being in the Midwest, I love the people in the Midwest. Going from northwest Iowa to South Dakota, always being around really genuine people and just being very impressed whether I was in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri, by being around real people. I was very blessed to remain in the Midwest and close to home.

SF: For six years of your 12-year NFL career, you blocked for the NFL MVP: Brett Farve, Kurt Warner, and Marshall Faulk. What was that experience like?

AT: It was a great experience for me to be around Brett Farve and Reggie White and Ken Ruettgers, some of the guys we had on our team at Green Bay. To have those role models early on in my career and to be blessed with six MVPs playing on the same team as you was an awesome accomplishment. I think all the teammates, myself included, knew how special it was to have those kind of talented players on our team. It’s great as an offensive lineman to have those NFL MVPs on your offense because they have a way of making you look good. That was awesome to watch film on Monday after the Sunday game and see some of the moves that Marshall, I don’t where he would dream them up, but some of the moves he would put on people and some of the passes that Kurt Warner and Brett Farve would make. It was just awesome to see because you really don’t get the full effect when you are out there playing with them on the same field. But when you can watch them on film and realize how special they were, that was great, and I don’t think anybody on those teams took it for granted. It was fun to watch, and there were some other players that played at the same time as me that were fun to watch. Barry Sanders and some of those players, there’s some real special and talented guys out there.

SF: What does American agriculture mean to you?

AT: Well, growing up on a farm, it’s a way of life. Everybody who grows up around that knows it’s a way of life. When you smell dirt in the spring, when that dirt starts getting turned over, you get that itch to get out there. It’s been great to get back and get involved in agriculture. I’m very bullish on it long-term. We are in a downturn right now, obviously, with some commodity prices, but historically, it’s still up there. It’s not too long ago, I remember $1.90 corn, and we’ve been very blessed to have some great crops. Growing up in the country and with those responsibilities, I was taught a great work ethic by my dad and mom, and I’m very thankful for that opportunity.

Rapid-Fire Questions

  1. What is your favorite color of tractor? Green, of course.
  2. Favorite thing to do on the farm? I’m getting a kick out of feeding my steers right now. We’re raising them naturally on grass, and we’re finishing them off with some corn here. I’m really thrilled and excited about that. Kind of experimental a little bit, but I want to make sure I have a source of good, clean beef for my family to eat. I am really getting a kick out of feeding those steers out.
  3. What college football teams do you follow today? South Dakota State. I also pay attention to what Iowa State is doing; that’s where my son is going to college. And then I have a good friend of mine whose son plays for the University of South Dakota, so I watch them, as well. I pay attention to a few different teams right now, and it’s been fun because with those college teams and the pro teams I watch, at least I can get a win out of a weekend, hopefully.
  4. What NFL teams and/or individual players do you follow? Obviously, I watch the teams that I used to play for: Green Bay and St. Louis. My son likes the Saints, so he watches them. I think he got hooked on them with Madden. We have a few teams that we pay attention to. There are some guys who are coaching, some guys I’ve played with, so I will watch and see how their teams are doing. My old offensive line coach, John Matsko, coaches for the Carolina Panthers, so I’ll pay attention to what they’re doing. Doug Peterson, who was a backup quarterback with me in Green Bay, and his wife, Jean, a good friend of my wife, Janice, we watch and pay attention to what the Eagles are doing. Andy Reid at the Chiefs. So it’s a good time on Sunday just to catch up and see how all of our friends that we used to play with are doing on Sunday.
  5. Who would be a better tractor driver: Brett Farve or Kurt Warner? You know, probably Brett Farve. He is kind of a country guy. They both would probably do all right, but I think Brett would probably do better. His nickname around the locker room was Country, so I am going to bet on Country.
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