The farm straddles two adjacent glacial "drumlins", on the western edge of the geologically significant "Wadena drumlin field". These drumlins are elongated southwest-northeast oriented hills up to 100 feet in height formed as the last glaciers melted, dropping their loads of unstratified glacial till - a mix of fine, course and large, generally rounded, rock fragments. Though the soil is very capable of supporting plant growth it is hard on equipment due to the large number of rocks, thereby favoring pasture-based perennial agriculture.
The farm was established in the early 1900s by the Finnish "Mattie" family. The major structures such as the 36' X 100' dairy barn and gambrel roof grainery date back to 1915 through 1950. The farm name was registered with Otter Tail County in 1936. Dairy, grain, and beef production continued under Beishline family ownership from 1967 through 1997. I have owned the farm since 1998 and am concentrating on 100% grass fed beef. and organic hoophouse tomatoes.
Hay Creek and its wetlands meander through my 160-acre farm, reducing the tillable acres to about 80 while providing refuge for nesting and migrating waterfowl. Riparian buffer strips consisting of perennial grass and hardwood/softwood trees were planted in 1999 to preserve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat. My focus on the tillable land is to develop a sustainable grass-based system with pastured livestock. Former cornfields have been converted into stands of various grasses and legumes to provide nutritious, palatable, and high quality forage for the livestock. Also, I've installed new fencing to enable rotational grazing, which allows for more efficient utilization of pasture crops, naturally reduces parasites in the livestock, and allows for more crop rest/rejuvenation between grazing episodes.
My beef operation began in the spring of 1999 with registered Galloway cattle. My grass-finished cattle herd is from crosses of this original base herd with a Shorthorn bull for increased growth and ease of marbling.
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