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Consumers increasingly want to know more about how their food is grown - and this excites us. We love talking about food and sharing our farming story. During the 1980's farm crises, Keith saw that if we wanted to keep farming, we needed to do it differently. As is often the case, being different has had it's challenges, but mostly, it has been a life-altering event for the better.
In 1996, our farm became one of the first in the nation to become organically certified, giving up synthetic chemicals and assuring that our herd had access to outdoors and fresh grass. This transition was difficult and Keith likes to tell the story of how he once ordered a dump truck of garlic to feed to the cows and boost their immune system. At that time, organic was novel and new, but as so often happens, today, the organic standard is being challenged by other, newer and higher standards.
We believe that challenge is good. We stand strongly by organic standards as originally intended, and we continually pushed ourselves and the Organic Valley Cooperative (which Keith is a board member on) to farm better. Some of our practices that push the boundaries of organic farming and that we are particularly proud of include:
We are particularly excited to offer locally raised pastured beef. A newer project of ours (started in 2019), we noticed a shortage of affordable beef in the upper Midwest that is raised chemical free and on pasture. Trial runs showed us that we can cross breed our Holsteins with angus beef to produce a high-quality, sustainable product at an affordable price.
Our fearless leader, Keith has been at this since 1968. It is his vision that led us to organic, sustainable farming and today, when not at the farm, he is traveling to Organic Valley meetings across the country.
Keith's nephew, Kim, is a mechanical wizard. When not keeping our equipment up and running, he is managing our fields and thinking strategically about the next year's crop rotations. Rorie, Raena, and Alexxis are Kim's children who help on the farm today!
Keith's nephew, Calvin, is the herd manager. If you need to find him, he is probably in the barn, mixing feed, studying rations and feed nutrition, monitoring animal health, inspecting pastures, or moving fences.
Keith's nephew, Kevin, combines the skills of his two brothers Kim and Calvin often sharing roles across raising livestock and feed production. His knowledge and experience in organic crop production makes him a priceless asset with the cultivator and weed management of the crops.
Rorie, Kim's son, is the 8th generation on the farm. He brings a focus for detail that can often be lost in the hustle of the day to day. He spends much of his Spring thru Fall preparing fields and harvesting forages while the Winters he is the primary care taker for most of our future dairy generation of heifers and beef cattle.
Raena, Kim's daughter, is also the 8th generation on the farm. She loves animals and books which makes her perfect at her main responsibilities. Year round she helps with raising calves in their first weeks of life and seasonally spends full weeks in a tractor harvesting feed and listening to her favorite books on tape.
Most of the photos found on this website (the ones that look nice!) are taken by Kim's daughter-in-law and Rorie's wife, Britney Neis Wilson. Please check out her work at Britney Neis Photography!