Empower Our Farmers

‘Farmer’s Footprint’ is a film initiative that will reach consumers and farmers to demonstrate the critical role of regenerative agricultural practices in the recovery of human and ecological health. The second avenue is a platform to empower our farmers towards education, resource and development as well as grant support. The following farmers have been targeted by way of our farm education partners – Soil Health Consultants, LLC and Simple Soil Solutions.

We will continue to add farmers to the growing list as we expand our relationships and learn of farmers across the country exercising regenerative practices.

By empowering farmers across the country, our platform is intended to build relationships, obtain training from leading experts, decrease input costs, improve
nutrient density of food, increase yield as well as expand the direct market between farmers and consumers.

Our mission is to regenerate 5 million acres by 2025.

Meet the Farmers

Grant and Dawn Breitkreutz

Located in Redwood Falls, Minnesota, Grant and Dawn Breitkreutz along with their daughter, Karlie, manage 950 acres on Stoney Creek Farm. In 1996, Grant’s parents turned over the farm and sold their 58-head cow herd to Grant and Dawn. At that time the farm was run in a conventional model, but with minimal tillage because their ground was considered marginal soil. Having farmed at his dad’s side since he was eight years old, Grant learned all he knew from his dad and extended family about farming and livestock.

When Round-Up Ready crops were introduced, Grant adopted the concept quickly. This would make managing crops easier, eliminating the need for cultivating on their small fields and were told yields would increase. However, it became obvious and quickly that the promised increase in yields wasn’t happening. As time went on, yields continued to fall, more diseases appeared, cattle health declined, and input costs rose alarmingly. The health of their cattle declining was the main catalyst for change on Stoney Creek Farm. Their cattle were dying and their breeding program was failing along with veterinarians abandoning them because they couldn’t explain it. They eventually found answers to their problems from a nutritionist who told them GMO feeds were the problem.

Within a year or two, they changed their soybeans back to conventional seed also. Through research, travel to classes, and many phone calls to many people around the world, Stoney Creek Farm began a slow return to health. They changed to a complete no-till system, minimizing disturbance on the fields. Cover crops were introduced to keep the ground covered year-round and also to provide feed for the cattle operation. Fungicides were no longer used in the small grain crops. As the soil began to heal, herbicide usage was reduced and also the synthetic fertilizer was reduced by at least 75%. The cows now calve on cover crops or pasture in late April through May to mimic nature in the area. Input costs continue to drop and their farm is more resilient. Their yields have increased as have the nutritional value of their crops. Wildlife on the farm has exploded thanks to the increased soil health.

They have added a new enterprise to their operation in the form of meat sales and feed out a majority of their calves for this part of their business. Their daughter Karlie and her husband Cody will run that operation in addition to helping manage the cattle.

More of Ten Creek Range and Stoney Brook Farm can be found @ https://www.facebook.com/tencreekgrange/

Ryan and Megan Robinson

Ryan and Megan Robinson from The AZ Ranch are ocated in southern Minnesota, near Redwood Falls. Ryan and Megan along with their 8 year old daughter Riley, run close to 1000 acres along the Minnesota River which includes row crop acres, pasture acres, and conservation program acres. The farm produces corn, soybeans, multiple small grains, and diverse cover crops along with a cow/calf operation.
After working within conventional farming and use of chemicals they grew concerned due to the environmental impact. They then began working more closely with Grant and Dawn Breitkreutz from Stoney Creek Farm, and came to understand that there were many ways to reduce inputs and better soil health. The first step was to transfer to no till and start planting conventional crops. They also cut fertilizer and chemical inputs and started integrating livestock onto the row crop acres. By making these steps, they started to quickly see the benefits of less erosion, production of organic matter, and better yields with no need for any pesticides or insecticides. Over the years they have added cover crops on ninety percent of the row crop acres to try to keep a living root in the ground as long as possible. They also began rotationally grazing cattle throughout the non tillable acres.

The benefit of grant support would be a tremendously beneficial impact because as the regenerative movement moves forward, it is becoming harder to get operating loans through the normal Ag business. This is because it is not common practice in normal conventional farming, and the current model of conventional farming does not familiarize with regenerative Ag. Any resource, whether it be monetary or educational, would be beneficial to the operation by allowing them to focus more on implementing these practices.

Kyle Platt and Family

Located in Uniontown, Alabama, Kyle Platt and his family have built and maintained soil health through the use of no-till, bio-intensive, human-intensive growing methods. Alongside their no-till practices, they use animals, compost, and cover cropping to impact and keep their soils constantly active. Their market garden has been growing food for local communities since January 2018, including: A 100 member CSA, restaurant sales, and local Farmer’s Markets.

Grant support would allow them to broaden their apprenticeship program to train new farmers before they went on to start their own farm using regenerative practices. They intend to expose new farmers to small scale agriculture and pass on efficiencies without the debt of heavy machinery that often leaves soils exposed and vulnerable.

Deb and Johnny Wray

Located in Northeast Mississippi on the edge of the state’s famed and fertile “Prairie Belt’ , Deb and Johnny Wray created ‘High Hope Farm.’ They’ve created a healthy, vibrant, fertile and hospitable farm which has meant a commitment to using no herbicides, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, antibiotics, growth hormones, and other chemical pharmaceuticals (with very rare exceptions like saving an animal’s life).

They have grown over the past decade from selling just 3-4 grass-fed steers in our first year to now selling shares in around 25 annually, along with around 100 lambs, plus a growing flock of layers. Education, Resource Development and Grant Support could be of benefit in order to instill additional practices they still would like to put into place. The Wray’s continually review and adapt their grazing plan – including animal movements, fencing design, watering system, shade, introduction of cool and warm weather annuals, etc. In addition, they intend to find the right farm resident\partner to offer him\her\them immediate opportunities to begin making their own income as well as  offer them educational opportunities (workshops, conferences, etc that focus on regenerative practices).

John and Salina Locke

A 6th generation member of the Locke Division of ‘JD Hudgins Ranch’ just southwest of Houston, TX, John and Salina Locke have been providing quality registered Brahman Seedstock to cattleman all over the US and around the World since the early 1900’s.

On the heels of a family succession event and during the historic drought of 2011, they found themselves challenged to do more with less and searching for a better way to make a living ranching. The adversity they faced at that time led them onto a path of regenerating their soil, the biology around them, their cow herd, business, and quality of life.

Recognizing that there are natural systems in this world, and beginning to understand how those natural systems work has inspired them to move their business and personal development forward in ways they could not have previously imagined. Not having used a herbicide, pesticide, or fertilizer in 7 years, and through the use of Ultra High Density Selective Mob Grazing, they have seen their soil and biological functions begin to regenerate and restore themselves while increasing their carrying capacity by 75% and at the same time improving animal performance. They have found that operating on a few key principles and fostering synergies that help regenerate biological functions provides simplicity, and simplicity leads to a higher quality of life.

“While we as a civilization may never understand all of the complexities of nature and how the parts communicate for the betterment of the whole, my hope for the future of Agriculture is that we come to an understanding that we have to work with nature and not against her if we are going to succeed in feeding a growing population and keeping them healthy. There is no doubt that healthy, biologically active soil is the cornerstone to everything we desire in farming and ranching. We look forward to learning, growing, being inspired, and helping to inspire others as they embark on their own regenerative agriculture journey.” – John Locke