Dirt Rich: Old Farm, New Visions
A new episode of Dirt Rich features farmer and SFA board member Scott Haase of Blue Earth, Minnesota. Haase grows crops with his brother Brent and raises pasture and woodland pork on Blue Dirt Farm. Their German ancestors “walked here from Wisconsin back in the 1860’s,” and they still farm some of the land where those ancestors homesteaded.
Like most in the area, the Haase family farm is still a fairly conventional corn and soybeans farm. They have made some changes, including going completely no-till on their soybeans and reducing tillage overall, and adding cover crops to their management. The soil in the region feels difficult to manage for most, but Scott thinks “tillage here just begets more tillage” and the transition has been worth it.
In his conversation with host Jared Luhman, Scott discusses the challenges and joys of raising Mangalitsa pigs on pasture. He speaks on his experience with pasture rotation, marketing, inventory management, processing, and fencing technology. He has long range goals for the land, and is mindful of the risk of burnout. “It’s very hard and you need support from customers and the community at large” he says, reflecting on the value of farmer-to-farmer relationships and knowledge that he’s built through SFA and other networks.
His passion and self-admitted stubbornness keep him moving forward: “I really want to make an impact on more land than just my own farm…I’ve really gotten excited about finding things that work on the land and sharing those with people and providing really high-quality products.”
Listen to Dirt Rich anywhere you get your podcasts, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Podbean, YouTube, and on the SFA website. Do you have ideas for future episodes? Comments? Drop us a line.