Author Archives: Danielle Daugaard

Farm on Wheels features Grass Fed Beef and More

Minnesota Grown member Farm on Wheels was recently featured in the Town & Country Trading Post. The article highlights the family business and why Farm on Wheels transitioned to raising organically in the early 1990’s. Farm on Wheels offers grass-fed and finished beef and lamb, chicken, eggs, duck, and heritage turkey. Farm On Wheels can be found year-round at St. Paul Farmers Market and at the Prior Lake Summer Market.  Click the images below to read the article.


Mighty Axe Hops Celebrates 5 Years

Minnesota Grown member Mighty Axe Hops was recently featured on WJON Radio. This 80-acre Minnesota hops farm is celebrating 5 years of supply hops to breweries. They can be found in local beers like Summit in their Lazy Sipper and Fair State in their IPA and Keep The North Cold beers.

Minnesota Grown member Mighty Axe Hops was recently featured on WJON Radio. This 80-acre Minnesota hops farm is celebrating 5 years of growing hops. Their hops can be found in local beers like Summit Brewing Company‘s their Lazy Sipper and Fair State Brewing Cooperative‘s IPA and Keep The North Cold beers. 

Read the article.

Jake Pettit of Pettit Pastures named Outstanding Conservationist

Jake of Pettit Pastures receives conservation award.

Jake of Pettit Pastures receives conservation award.

Jake Pettit of Pettit Pastures was recently named the 2017 Outstanding Conservationist for Mille Lacs County. Pettit Pastures is a family-owned & operated farm near Milaca. The raise 100% grass-fed Lowline cross beef cattle. Thank you for your hard work in conservation! Learn more about Pettit Pastures.

Lori Cox of Roots Return named Outstanding Conservationist

Lori of Roots Return Heritage Farm receives conservation award.

Lori of Roots Return Heritage Farm receives conservation award.

Lori Cox of Roots Return Heritage Farm in Carver, has recently been named the 2017 Outstanding Conservationist for Carver County. After purchasing the property in 2014, Lori immediately began to implement conservation practices. A water and sediment control basin was installed to reduce gully erosion and downstream runoff, which was occurring on the farm before she purchased it. Lori quickly became an advocate for conservation on the ground, including soil health practices, through her use of various cover crop rotations and pollinator habitat establishment.

Thank you to Carver County Soil & Water Conservation District newsletter for sharing this article. Read the full article in the Carver County Soil & Water Conservation District newsletter.

Laura Bihl of Homeplace Beef Organic Farm named Outstanding Conservationist

Laura Bihl named Wright County’s 2017 Outstanding Conservationist

Photo of Laura Bihl and her family

The family of Outstanding Conservationist Laura Bihl includes: (front row, from left) Kia Bihl (granddaughter-in-law), Talon Bihl (great-grandson, seated with Laura), Laura Bihl, Grayden Bihl (great-grandson), Andy Bihl (grandson), Laura Athey Brown (granddaughter), Damon Athey (son-in-law); (second row) Jason Bihl (grandson), Jeanne Bihl Athey (daughter), Tim Athey (grandson), Mike Bihl (son), Brecken Bihl (great-grandson), Teegan Bihl (great-grandson), Tom Bihl (son); and (back row) Kameron Brown (grandson-in-law).  (Photo courtesy of family and SWCD)

Every year the Wright Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) honors an individual or conservation organization with the “Outstanding Conservationist” award.  Selected by the SWCD, this award recognizes the recipient for their work and accomplishments implementing conservation practices.  This year, Laura Bihl of Clearwater, Minn. was selected to represent the Wright District as their “Outstanding Conservationist.”

Over 40 years ago, Laura Bihl and her husband, Marvin (deceased), established their farm, Homeplace Beef Organic Farm.  Laura’s experiences as a public health nurse, with a degree in Public Health from the University of Minnesota, greatly influenced the Bihls’ farming approach.  In this profession, she saw the effects antibiotics, pesticides, hormones, and other chemicals have on the human body.  Laura truly believes that by farming organically, you not only improve the health of consumers, but also the animals and the land.

Using a sustainable method of farming known as “holistic agricultural management,” Laura and her family keep the well-being of people, their cattle and the land in mind.  Laura believes “the key to a healthy grow is healthy soil,” and she feels strongly that pesticides and fertilizers basically do more harm than good.  The only fertilizer Bihl uses is composted cattle manure.  At any given time, this 240-acre farm raises approximately 45 Hereford cattle.  The Herefords graze on organic, rotated pastures and always have access to free-choice mineralized salt and Diatomaceous Earth, which is a natural de-wormer.  Calves are born in the spring on fresh green grass and nurse until they are 10 months old, when they are weaned.

Their beef is direct-marketed where their customers know they are buying local, healthy and clean meat and are assured that the soil and water is being protected for future generations.  Wooded areas, grasslands, fence lines, and wetlands provide habitat for pollinators and wildlife.  A beekeeper and his bees thoroughly enjoy being on the Bihl farm.

According to the SWCD, Laura’s farming ethic made Homeplace Beef Organic Farm an excellent applicant for the Natural Resource Conservation Service’s Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).  As a participant of this program, Laura selected water quality activities to enhance her farming practices.

In early December, Laura will receive and be honored as an “Outstanding Conservationist” at the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts Annual Convention.  This award is given by “The Farmer” magazine.  The Wright Soil and Water Conservation District congratulates and thanks Laura Bihl for her hard work in conservation, which helps improve Minnesota’s natural resources.

Article compliments of Wright County Press.

Minnesota Grown Spokesperson, Carrie Tollefson, inducted to High School Hall of Fame

Our spokesperson, Carrie Tollefson, was recently inducted to the National High School Hall of Fame. Way to go, Carrie!

The Minnesota Grown Program is proud to have Carrie Tollefson as our spokesperson. A native of Dawson, Minnesota, Carrie was a member of the 2004 Olympic Team competing in Athens, Greece.You can learn more about Carrie’s accomplishment by click the link below.

Read the article.

Costa Farm Receives National Local Farm Grant

We are excited to announce that Minnesota Grown member Costa Farm & Greenhouse in White Bear Lake has been named a winner of ProAct’s Cultivating Change contest, in which local farmers compete for grant awards ranging from $1,000 to $20,000.

The grants will be used to complete a wide variety of sustainability and expansion projects that will positively impact each winning farm and the surrounding community as well. Costa Farm & Greenhouse plans to use their grant of $5,000 to build a new storage and maintenance building.

Established in 1990, Costa Farm & Greenhouse grows sweet corn, assorted kale varieties, peppers, tomatoes and squash. They partner with Bix Produce Company, a PRO*ACT fresh produce distributor and member of Greener Fields Together, a program that supports sustainability throughout the fresh produce supply chain.

The funds will enable Costa Farm & Greenhouse to reach its goal to improve food safety capabilities by streamlining their produce handling. ͞”As a small family farm, this grant will help us guarantee that the fresh veggies that our community receives through our community supported agriculture (CSA) program, various farmer’s markets, and from our farm’s roadside stand is grown in a safe and sustainable manner. We are going to use this grant to expand and improve upon our food safety capabilities. We are humbly encouraged by the support we’ve received in applying for this grant and look forward to continue to grow great produce,” shared Toby Dessonville, Farm Manager at Costa Farm & Greenhouse.

Costa farm and greenhouse outdoor sign in a flower bed. Sign design includes a red background, gold lettering, and a corn cob and tomatoe

Maple Hill and Bakers’ Acres featured in CSA Article

Minnesota Grown members Maple Hill Garden and Bakers’ Acres Farm were recently highlighted by Dairyland Peach in an article all about CSA Day. The article includes 15 ways to celebrate National CSA Day including:

• Learn about Community Supported Agriculture and find the nearest CSA farm.

• Cook a meal from scratch using whole fruits and/or vegetables.

• Conduct a produce audit of your refrigerator and count the food miles your food traveled to get to your kitchen.

• Encourage your favorite restaurant to buy from local farmers.

• Give your kids some fun summer activities by planning to attend your CSA farm’s family events.

Read more here.

Colin King, with son Thomas (4), tending to the sheep at their farm.