Chad Crowley firmly believes that for those who want to get into dairy or farming in general, grazing is the way to go.
That route has certainly gone well for him. He was told many times that he couldn’t find success in farming because he didn’t grow up on one, but today he and his wife Melissa farm in southeast Minnesota as part of Enchanted Meadows Farms.
Enchanted Meadows is an organic, pasture-based dairy in La Crescent. The Crowleys were hired by owners Art and Jean Thicke in the early 2000’s. After prior experience working at a high-production dairy, the grazing dairy model allowed for the lifestyle that Chad and Melissa were looking for. They stayed on for several years, and the Thickes began gifting them calves to “build sweat equity” in the farm business. If they ever left Enchanted Meadows, their growing herd could move on with them.
Twelve years in, the Thickes concretely initiated a farm transition, selling the Crowleys one of the farms and splitting ownership of the herd. “Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do it,” says Chad. The four continue farming together, and good communication and planning has helped the partners through inevitable times of disagreements.
Listen in as Chad Crowley offers a candid conversation on getting into farming and non-family farm transitions in this episode with Jared Luhman.