A DAY IN THE LIFE
Our family farm, located in Willow City, North Dakota, is a mother/daughter operation.
Elizabeth Rose (aka Beth) and Margaret Schmitke are moving forward in the restoration of the entire acreage that has been certified organically according to USDA’s National Organic Plan since 2005 for small grains and 2008 for beef cattle. As of the Fall of 2021, we are taking a break from all livestock.
From certifying the grains including hard red spring wheat, barley, oats, rye, and flax along with alfalfa and grass hays, the natural progression led to learning the management of herd health according to these standards. We gave ourselves two years to adopt natural herd health management and certified organically in 2008. Nature’s International Certification Services of Viroqua, WI has been our certifier since 2008. Dave Engel was influential in helping with the cattle certification and Jeff Mattocks of Fertrell, Inc was a great help with nutrition advisement.
This farm is Margaret’s childhood home and she is a second generation cattlewoman. In 4-H she excelled in fattening calves naturally and running her own trials comparing for marketable beef rations. She also walked away with showmanship prizes. She and her husband, Joshua lived in Indiana their earliest years of marriage while pursuing educations. They moved back to help on the farm in 2014 along with a granddaughter, Naomie. Just recently a second granddaughter has been added to the family; Leah.
Margaret has a keen interest in large animals and a gentle way she relates to their flight instincts. This works especially well with her passion for horses and equine interests. She is very attentive to nutritional needs and this definitely influences the quality of alfalfa and grass forages.
Beth came to this farm from a warmer climate- south Mississippi. She helped with the small Holstein dairy that lasted eleven years before transitioning to Angus cattle. There was no previous cattle experience before this time. It was a large transition from ‘town girl’ in the South to North Dakota farm girl.
This farm is not simply about us, but about our Creator’s provision. There is a beauty to the design of all things working together holistically. Looking at the entire picture and the intricately woven mutual dependence of one aspect to another lends itself to the appreciation of God Himself. There is a balance needed in order to accomplish good soil health which directly relates to good herd health which produces nutritional food for those who are in need. And we all need sound nutrition.
So it is that we offer clean nutritional foods at affordable prices yet must be able to maintain the business. It is an act of Love.