The Next Move

June 3, 2023

When Monte and I first married (25 years ago on June 13th) I thought it would be fun to have a chess set. It would be a game that the two of us could play. Little did I know he was such a strategic thinker with a great desire to win. After being beaten badly a number of times the chess set soon became coffee table decor.

His ability to manage and juggle all the tasks he does sometimes blows my mind. He takes on every day with a fresh start while answering emails, texts and phone calls, fixing problems, placing orders, attending meetings, driving a gazillion miles, managing our entire farming plan, sourcing new livestock, scheduling the processing, planning the grazing, marketing our grain, giving farm tours, working at the farmer's market, recording his podcast...the list goes on. It's kind of a living chess game if you will and there are many moving pieces and people to help get it all done.

On Tuesday of this week the cattle were moved to the ranch from a field where they've been grazing a cover crop. Before getting on the trailer each animal is weighed and looked over and the No-Fence collars were serviced and put back on the momma cows.


Farm tours are in full swing. The past couple of weeks have seen 38 visitors from all around the country in five different groups. Each tour takes about three hours so it's a significant time commitment for our team. You can find more information and dates available on the Events & Tours tab on our website and a link in the newsletter. 

Wednesday of this week we had friends from California stop for a visit. Tom Willey and his partner Denesse were visiting family about an hour from our farm. Monte had extended an invitation to Tom several times and they were finally able to make a stop and spend the day together. Tom is an organic farmer from Madera, CA. He was organic before there was organic. After a tour around the farm they recorded a podcast that will be released at a later date. 


During their visit we decided to host a little farm to table dinner with a few friends of Grateful Graze. The conversation was lively and delightful. Good people, good food, good times!


Thursday night our 13 year old grandson, Devin, started his summer job with grandpa by loading up 550 chickens from 11:00 pm to 1:30 am. Our processor is located in Arthur, IL a three hour drive from the farm. Matthew was here at 2:30 to take the first batch in for processing. Then bright and early on Friday morning team members, Remington, Devin, Treyten and I led a group of students from Black Hawk East on Regenerative Ag Tour. I was kind of surprised that only 4 of the 21 students had any knowledge of what regenerative farming was. I hope we opened some minds to new ways of farming.


In his spare time, Monte has been finishing up planting. After the cattle moved off of the field on Tuesday, the fencing was being removed to allow for planting our final field of Non-GMO soybeans. Across the road he inter-seeded a cover crop into a field of growing corn. The cover crop will help suppress weeds and cover the soil protecting it from run off, heat and evaporation. After the corn crop is harvested this fall, the cattle will go back on and graze this field spreading their own beautiful little piles of tractor required!


Technology plays a big part in making all of this work but it still requires a man with mission, a mind, and a desire to win. If we could just schedule a delivery of rain we would be in great shape. That's all part of this game we call farming...sometimes you win, sometimes you just leave it on the coffee table.

From the Farm,


Robyn Bottens

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May 28th, 2023

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May 12th, 2023

The Grateful Graze Farm to Table Experience

May 7th, 2023