HMI was excited to hear that Holistic Management practitioners Dawn and Grant Breitkreutz from Stoney Creek Farm near Redwood, Minnesota recently won the 2016 Trailblazer Award from BEEF Magazine.
The Breitkreutz family won this award because of their exceptional farm practices and leadership in environmental stewardship that has resulted in improved land health and productivity.
When Grant took over the farm from his parents in 1997 there were 58 cows and 125 acres. They began experimenting with pasture size to see what they could do to improve soil health and productivity. They now have 150 Angus cattle that they graze on 450 acres of pasture and 350 acres of no-till cropland that they use for fall and winter grazing. They now have 39 paddocks and make sure that watering sources are away from the riparian area and they have expanded their tree buffers to protect those areas.
The Breitkreutz first learned about Holistic Management during a three-day class they took with HMI Certified Educator Ian Mitchell-Innes. They continued to plan their grazing and have been getting a multitude of benefits including: increased forage production and health, improved water infiltration, and less runoff. Even though they are running three times as many cows, their vet bills are 25% of what they used to be. Instead of feeding their animals in a yard for five months out of the year, they are only feeding them four to six weeks, getting them out on the land more where they can improve land health. Getting the cows out on pasture means that the yards can be used for custom feeding 750 cows, increasing farm profit.
All these results are what led to their winning the Trailblazer Award along with numerous other awards including: the 2010 Minnesota Outstanding Conservationist Award from the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts and 2015 Cattlemen of the Year recognition from the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association (MSCA).
Congratulations, Grant and Dawn!