See how Minnesota beef farmers and ranchers are rethinking the ranch to raise sustainable beef through land-saving, wildlife-preserving, and award-winning environmental efforts.
Stoney Creek Farm, located in South Central Minnesota, is owned and operated by Grant and Dawn Breitkreutz, alongside their daughter Karlie. The main focus of this third generation farm is rotational grazing to improve their grass. The Breitkreutzs have worked closely with the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to divide all of their land for rotational grazing purposes, and continually attend educational classes on the subject. As a result of their efforts, where grasses only grew to three or four inches high, they now grow above waist-height. Grant, Dawn, and Karlie have also installed 14 watering facilities to support their rotational plan, which has resulted in less runoff to the nearby Minnesota River and has improved the local creeks and streams. The family also works in partnership with the state, using their cattle to graze on and thus help manage state-owned land. Regardless of what the Breitkreutzs undertake, the happiness of their cattle and the health of their land is of upmost priority. For their work in conservation, Stoney Creek Farm was awarded the prestigious Environmental Stewardship Award (ESAP).
"Watching my dad learn about rotational grazing and mob grazing and what we can do to better our environment--he is passionate about creating something that's going to last, and he has become very passionate about creating something that's going to benefit our next generations." - Karlie Breitkreutz, 4th Generation Farm Manager, Stoney Creek Farm
Meet Jake Thompson from Four Hill Farms, Inc., in Barnesville, Minnesota. Jake and his brother, Nate, raise crops and beef cattle on their family farm. They use innovative technologies on the farm to decrease labor and add efficiency, from a camera system during calving to check cows to a handheld electric fence fault-finder to help check fences. Jake and Nate farm on the same ground that their great grandfather, grandfather and father did and take pride in continuing the legacy with the next generation.
Raising beef is a complex process, but throughout the entire journey, one thing remains constant – the shared commitment to raising cattle in a safe, humane and environmentally sustainable way by using the latest technology and resources. Currently, Minnesota is home to over 2.2 million cattle and 20,000 beef farmers and ranchers. Learn more about the people and the process involved in raising beef from the pasture to the plate in The North Star State.
Minnesota is a leading producer of red kidney beans, sugar beets, sweet corn and green beans and is 10th in the nation for cattle production with over 2 million cattle.