Stoney Creek Farm is known throughout the region for growing diverse, nutrient-dense food, but it’s becoming increasingly known for growing another important crop: successful regenerative farmers.
Dawn and Grant Breitkreutz, who operate more than 1,200 acres of cropland and pasture near Redwood Falls, are hosting a three-day Soil Health Academy school June 23–25 in an effort to help other farmers successfully transition from chemically dependent conventional agricultural practices to more profitable, nature-centric regenerative methods.
Soil Health Academy schools feature instruction by Ray Archuleta, Gabe Brown, Shane New, Allen Williams, Ph.D. and other technical consultants, all of whom are widely considered to be among the most preeminent pioneers, innovators and advocates in today’s soil health and regenerative agricultural movement.
“Stoney Creek Farm is an ideal outdoor classroom for the school, because the regenerative practices and principles that Grant and Dawn use every day, can be seen and experienced in a real-life setting by the students who attend,” SHA instructor Shane New said.
According to New, the school features a mix of soil health and regenerative agriculture classroom presentations as well as in-field exercises and demonstrations that are designed to provide a foundation of understanding that will provide attendees with the knowledge and confidence to successfully implement regenerative agriculture principles in their own operations.
The Breitkreutz family has hosted numerous on-farm regenerative agriculture workshops throughout the past several years.
“The upcoming SHA school represents another great opportunity to share our experiences and help other farmers make the transition to a more profitable and fulfilling farming business model,” Dawn Breitkreutz said. “At an especially challenging economic time in agriculture, we believe regenerative agriculture offers significant opportunities to improve overall profitability.”
In fact, by implementing regenerative agricultural principles, Stoney Creek Farm has reduced its input costs for chemicals, synthetic fertilizers and seed.
In addition, the family has created a meat sales enterprise, which features additional species of livestock.
Operated by their daughter, Karlie, and her husband, Cody, the company is known as Ten Creek Range. Its direct sales to customers in local communities are providing additional marketing opportunities.
“We have been on our regenerative path for 15-20 years now and have seen such an improvement to both our pastures and farm fields, and we feel that it is vital for our neighbors to find their way to a regenerative path also,” Dawn said. “We know what a difference regenerative agriculture has made for us, and we know others can make the transition successfully, too.”
To learn more about the Soil Health Academy School, visit www.soilhealthacademy.org or call (256) 996-3142.
– SHA photo by Ron Nichols