Seeing the farm with fresh eyes

A wonderful aspect of our farmer-to-farmer network is the energy and idea generation that happens when we’re together. Sometimes getting a new set of eyes on a challenge that you’re experiencing can spur a sustainable solution.

Beyond our group field days and workshops, SFA has a team of farmers that offer individualized, on-farm consulting to those seeking additional guidance in implementing soil health and other regenerative practices. Over 100 farmers just this year have benefitted from these consults!

Our Give to the Max Day goal is to raise $15,000 for our farmer-to-farmer consulting program. The first $5,000 in gifts will be matched by community leaders! Take it from farmer members Dawn and Mark Madison below, this service is a valuable extension of the SFA community.

Dawn and Mark Madison, Adrian, Minn.

“Jared helped us to look at our operation with fresh eyes. Barns and items we felt were a burden we now see as having potential. We had gotten caught in a tunnel type vision seeing each farm as its own operation instead of the contiguous acres that they are.

Jared also helped us to see that we are further into the soil health journey as we had ever given ourselves credit for. It is humbling to see your operation through another’s lens. I really appreciate having that person to bounce ideas off of and who always challenges us to continue to grow our thinking.

I love the life I see and hear becoming more abundant as we modify our systems. We went from historically range grazing our pastures with our dairy herd and then our cow calf herd to incorporating more grazing management. When we move the cows the barn swallows and other birds swoop and swarm above the cattle in the new paddock, grabbing insects in a frenzy much like you see in ocean films when whales swallow up large schools of fish. The pastures and crop fields covered in cover crops and diversity have a choir of buzzing, chirps and noises.

Often I revel in the differences thinking back to my many years flagging CRP and erosion control practices in fields that were absolutely silent and had a so-hot-you-would-want-to-melt-by-the-oven like feel. Our cows are happy to go to that new parcel that’s cool and abundant.

A journey may begin with a desire or passion and be carried forward when you enjoy what you are doing, but you won’t have continuance or staying power until you have an understanding of the process and real profitability.  Working with nature, applying the principles, but also being realistic about how it fits our operation I feel is key to our success, and we appreciate any assistance with this that SFA provides.”

How to give

Make a gift to SFA in support of farmers helping other farmers succeed! You can donate or renew your membership through the SFA website, or give through our Give to the Max page. All are eligible for the match. And if it isn’t a good time to give, you can always help us out by sharing this message and social media posts with your networks.