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New Crop of Farmers :: Kristine & Ryan Jepsen

Thumbnail image of a young farmer Thumbnail image of a young farmer
Thumbnail image of a young farmer Thumbnail image of a young farmer
Thumbnail image of a young farmer Thumbnail image of a young farmer
Thumbnail image of a young farmer Thumbnail image of a young farmer
Thumbnail image of a young farmer Thumbnail image of a young farmer
Thumbnail image of a young farmer Thumbnail image of a young farmer
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Photo of a young farmer.
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Grass Run Farm, Dorcester, IA

Ryan and Kristine manage nearly 300 acres of pasture and hay ground where they raise grass-fed Angus cattle. They market grass-fed beef and pastured pork to regional restaurants, food co-ops, and families. Their daughter, Eliza, will turn one year old this year.

“Ryan and I established Grass Run Farm in 2005 to meet several deep-seated needs and desires. We wanted to be close to family and raise children in a healthy relationship with the natural world and with a sense of place on land that we love. We wanted to make a diverse living from our home as farmers, educators, writers, and collaborators. And we wanted to prove to ourselves that small-scale sustainable agriculture can flourish, providing both good food and livelihoods for our friends, neighbors, and regional food network.

“We joined the Land Stewardship Project's ‘Farm Beginnings’ program in 2007. Through the program's bi-weekly meetings and customized mentorship with an established farm family, we studied the mechanics of running a farm. Many of our classmates have started successful enterprises in our region and remain a vital network for ideas, problem-solving, and inspiration.

“We're proud that our pastures are now certified organic, and we're believers in the tenets of holistic management—that the health of the farmer and his or her land and animals are intertwined. We spend hours cultivating relationships with buyers, processing and packing orders, ironing out our bookkeeping, and developing still more plans for future infrastructure and efficiencies. It's endless work, but each day is a little different and that keeps the challenge fresh.”

Visit the farm at www.GrassRunFarm.com.


Anna Stern and Kim NochiAnna Stern and Kim Nochi interviewed the young farmers in this series for Food for Everyone, the spring 2009 issue of YES! Magazine. Anna and Kim are editorial interns at YES!

 

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