Perennial Forages Farmer Profiles
Mob Grazing for Building Soil Organic Matter
Contract Grazing-Beginning Farmer
Contract Grazing-Conversion of Cropland to Perennial Forage
Hay Production in Rotation With Corn/Soybean
Forage Production for Hay or Grazing on HEL or Marginal Cropland
Breitkreutz Farm – 125 cow-calf pairs mob grazing in Redwood County, Minnesota. The family has a “cooperative farming agreement” with the DNR where they help manage the state land by grazing their cattle herd there periodically.
WE Farm – Josh Egenolf and wife Laura Beth Wayne raise cattle, pigs, and poultry using high-density grazing patterns on a farm in Owen County, Indiana. Forested parts of the property provide acorns, paw paws, beechnuts, and walnuts for the pigs. Egenolf says that chefs appreciate nut-finished pigs. The farm is leased from Lisa Harris of Indianapolis. Harris is a big fan of leasing to farmers that are stewards to the land.
CLC Practices: Perennial Forage, Agroforestry
Nate Weisenfeld is a beginning farmer with an 80-acre grass farm near Merrill, WI with additional pasture and milking facilities leased from a neighboring farm.
Gabby and Julio Rojas are young farmers that own a heard of dairy cattle and lease dairy facilities with 60-acres of pasture near Wausua, WI.
Hans Breitenmoser – As a project for his employee Nate Weisenfeld (see Nate’s profile), Merrill, WI dairy farmer Hans Breitenmoser rented a 78-acre farm nearby that had grown row crops. They no-till planted the farm to meadow fescue, red clover and sweet clover for grazing.
Altfrid and Sue Krusenbaum Elkhorn, WI started farming in 1990 with a leased conventional dairy/cash grain operation. Over the years they have transitioned to an organic grass-based farm. Conversion studied and assisted by the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems.
Seth Watkins grows corn, soybeans and alfalfa and runs a cow-calf operation on hilly pastureland in Taylor County, Iowa. The 2,800 acres of land in southwest Iowa that he owns, rents or manages include crop fields, pasture and natural habitat. He rotates 600 head of cattle through 2,300 acres of pasture to keep the land healthy and produce high-quality beef. He plants a diverse array of cover crops in his corn-soybean fields and has about 30 acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program. In the summer of 2013, Seth seeded a 50-acre field with about eight acres of prairie in an effort to reduce soil loss, slow runoff and create vital patches of native habitat among his row crops. Watkins also preserves habitat for hunters, who keep the deer herds at a manageable level and provide an additional source of revenue for the farm—more than he could make by putting the same land in crops.
The Anderson Farm – 22 head of beef cattle graze on 65 acres of pasture in Cherokee, IA. Burr oak on part of the farm creates a savannah-like area for grazing.
CLC Practices: Perennial Forage, Agroforestry, Cover Crops
Joe and Christy Tomandl own a 320-acre grass-based dairy near Medford, WI. In 2010 they purchased a 200-acre satellite grass-based dairy 3 miles away. The satellite dairy is managed by young farmers Clem and Melinda Miller. Clem is a 2013 graduate of the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship (DGA)
Full Circle Farm - Rick Adamski and Valerie Dantoin are managed grazing dairy farmers in Seymour, WI. Rick and Valerie hosted the first public demonstration of managed grazing in Wisconsin. From 2002 to 2004, Rick worked for the Glacierland Resource Conservation and Development Program, Inc. as a grazing assistant, consulting with farmers in 13 counties and the Oneida Nation. From 1996-2000, as a watershed education specialist with the Oneida Nation, Valerie introduced the tribe to managed grazing and organic farming, establishing a demonstration farm on the Tsyunhehkwa farm. Rick and Valerie have held annual pasture walks on their farm for nearly 20 years, hosting more than 1,000 farmers and ag educators. In 1998, Full Circle Farm was named the Shawano County Conservation Farm of the Year.
Cliff Schuette is a beef producer, crop consultant and sales rep for two seed companies. He raises 50 cow-calf pairs on 115 rented acres in Breese, IL.
Ryan and Cheri Klussendorf manage a 140-cow grazing dairy on 10 owned and 230 leased acres in Taylor County, Wisconsin. The farm was purchased in 2007, and includes 177 acres of improved pastures and 63 cropland acres.
Green Acres Dairy – Matt, Tabitha Hartwig and son Ben operate a 160-cow dairy grazing operation in Marathon County, Wisconsin. The Hartwigs’ purchased their 180 acres farm in 2009 and lease another 315 acres, with 265 acres of the total land available in improved pastures and the remainder in crops. Matt is a current board member of GrassWorks, Inc., a statewide grazing producer organization.
Enchanted Meadows Organic Dairy Farm – Art and Jean Thicke own the 477 acre dairy farm and run it with the help of Chad and Melissa Crowley. The farm consists of 90 rotationally grazed milking cows, located in La Crescent, Minnesota.
Yoder Farm – The Robert & Luella Yoder farm outside Bloomfield, IA comprises 100 acres of pasture and 59 acres of timber, and includes broilers, eggs, horses, hogs, beef cattle, dairy cattle and goats. Their pasture-based livestock is direct marketed to friends and family in the area, as well as, through farmers’ markets in Fairfield and downtown Des Moines.
CLC Practices: Perennial Forage, Agroforestry
J & J Farm – Jeremy, Jodi, and Molly Peake operate an organic pasture-based dairy farm west of Waukon, IA. They also raise pastured meat chickens and help out with Peake Orchard, which is located on the same farm.
Brattset Family Farm is a family owned and operated farm located in Jefferson County, WI. Organic, 100% grass fed and finished beef, pastured pork, and free-range poultry. Practices include interseeding winter wheat into overgrazed pastures for early grazing and weed suppression; field preparation for silvoculture planting; plans to incorporate warm season prairie grasses into grazing rotation.