DGA Update: Congratulations, Graduate!

The Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship has a new graduate in MN!   Jack Schouweiler has completed the program.  It’s so exciting to help someone through the apprenticeship and see them graduate.  I am excited to see what the future holds for Jack.  Watching someone else’s dream come true is the most amazing gift I have received through DGA.

Jack started with DGA in the spring of 2018.  He had been working with a farmer for a couple years when he heard about DGA and he thought, “why not go through the program?”  He knew that the program would benefit him by allowing him to qualify for FSA loan programs.  In addition, the DGA program also provides a more structured learning environment with support and networking.

Jack met his Master Grazier, Ben, at the local county fair and started talking about his goals of becoming a farmer.  He didn’t grow up on a farm but he knew that was what he always had wanted to do when he grew up.  Ben was looking for some help and thought he would give Jack a chance.  The two of them now have plans for Jack to purchase the farm over time in increments as Ben phases out of farming and Jack comes in.  Jack purchased a farm site just down the road, which happened to be Ben’s brother’s place.  He is building a parlor and received some EQIP funds to put in pasture fence, lanes, and watering systems.  Jack purchased Ben’s cattle in June of 2020.

Jack will continue in the DGA program as a Journey worker and hopefully someday he will decide to become a Master Grazier as well.  Maybe when he gets older, he will decide to get an apprentice on his farm and make another person’s dream come true.

If you have any questions about DGA or would like more information about the program, you can contact me by phone or email: Angie Walter at 320-815-9293 or angie@sfa-mn.org.