Total loan: $10,000


Sleepy Eye, MN, United States / Agriculture

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A loan helped purchase necessary fencing materials to expand our bison operation on newly acquire leased land.

Craig's story

I grew up as the 4th generation to live on our farmsite in southcentral Minnesota. My kids are now the 5th generation. The area is very reliant on modern farming practices to produce commodity corn and soybeans. Over time, I became disenchanted with the perception that farmers are seldom profitable and hope to just break even most years. This upbringing was a source of motivation to find an alternative path, that was more fundamentally rewarding and profitable, which has led us to produce our own pastured animals. At this point in time I believe there are many exciting opportunities within agriculture. We have found grazing livestock in nature's image through strategic holistic planned grazing is quite possibly the most rewarding part of agriculture today. On our newly leased land, we believe we can use livestock to regenerate the 328 acres of land by eliminating soil erosion, reducing invasive plant and brush species, increasing soil organic matter, plant density, plant and wildlife diversity, water infiltration rates, mineral cycle effectiveness, and helping restore creek banks through strategically planned grazing of livestock. Our goal of financial independence would allow us to give back to our family and our local farming community in ways we would otherwise not be able to, such as speaking engagements relaying our farming experiences, internships, and jobs for aspiring local youth. As a young kid I sold candy on the school buses to other kids. Throughout grade school I worked at neighboring farms doing every job possible. As a college student, in addition to my studies and sports commitments, I found work at registered black angus ranch and volunteered at a local bison ranch. Immediately after college graduation, my wife and I started the bison business, which led to the other farm animals, and a family of our own.