"My farming journey began when my Grandma Lucille Manthe purchased 2 bred gilts for me when I was 5 years old named Pork and Mindy. My Dad was farming, working a full time job, and helping me to raise my first batch of pigs. I still remember cleaning and fixing their waterer, putting straw in the hog houses, cleaning out feeders and watching pigs run in the dirt lot and play in the mud. After a close call with an overly protective sow, Dad thought I should stick with feeder pigs that I bought from my cousin Billy Pritchard. I bought the pigs, supplements, and paid vet bills, and Dad supplied me with the corn to help me get started. It’s fun to see my handwriting as a 5 year old on checks...kinda looks like my handwriting today!”
It was a photo, much like the one above, that Monte saw in a conference presentation given by Gabe Brown in 2017 that started their journey into regenerative farming. After an on-farm visit to Gabe’s farm in North Dakota to confirm the claims were in fact true, there were no other options but to bring livestock back to the land. Having always been interested in soil science, plants and doing on farm research year after year, it was not surprising to Monte’s parents when they announced their desire to bring livestock back to the farm that had been absent for years.
Monte and Robyn share a philosophy to Do The Right Thing Always. When they understood the impact livestock could make on their farm, they knew it was the right thing to do for the soil, for the animals and for the environment. And so their journey began with cattle later adding chickens, eggs and pigs. Every day presents new challenges and new opportunities to improve processes because not all ideas have proven to be great ideas!
A noticeable change has happened much more quickly than was anticipated. With improved soil, abundant regrowth of grasses and natural species while suppressing weeds, a huge increase and variety in wild life and a very real sense of harmony surrounds the farm.
On any given day it’s not uncommon to have as many as 2500 beating hearts depending on them for food, water and a great life.