Farmers Behind Your Food: Grotberg Farm, North Dakota
Dick and Linda Grotberg began their transition to sustainable farming largely by accident.
In 2004, the North Dakota farming couple got out of the confined-hog raising business when the often unstable hog market was strong and decided instead to buy cattle to graze their Barnes County land.
They discovered that the soil on Bethany Prairie Farm began getting all the nutrients it needed without applying chemical fertilizers, which often washed off the land into nearby rivers and streams.
They have been able to complete the transition thanks, in part, to support from USDA conservation programs. With the funding they received, the Grotbergs and their partner Dick Lovestrand worked with a team of soil scientists and other experts to make the shift to farming without synthetic pesticides. They also implemented no-till farming, which leaves the soil undisturbed and reduces soil erosion.
For Linda Grotberg, the benefits of a sustainable farming plan are straightforward: Healthy soil creates healthy plants; healthy plants create healthy animals; and healthy meats, eggs, and milk create healthy people.