David Brandt farms 1,150 acres in central Ohio's Fairfield County. He began no-till farming in 1971 and has been using cover crops since 1978.
David has participated in yield plots for corn, soybeans and wheat into various covers. This information has been used by seed growers as well as county agents and universities to encourage other farmers to adapt no-till practices in their farming operations. He has also been planting various blends of cover crops to find out what benefits they provide to improve soil.
At present David is working with Ohio State University's Randall Reeder and Rafiq Islam on reducing input costs of fertilizers and herbicides using various cover crops, which improve soil health. He is also working with the regional Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) soils lab in Greensboro, N.C., on the benefits of cover crops to improve soil health.
David has received numerous awards for conservation practices, including the Ohio Conservation Educator Award from the Ohio No-Till Council, Ohio State University South Center's Supporter of the Year, Ohio Agriculture's Man of the Year, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award, and Ohio NRCS Soil Conservationist Partnership and State Volunteer Awards.
I am one of six siblings born and raised on the CS Ranch located near the village of Cimarron. We are a family owned and operated ranch that spans 5 generations located in northeast New Mexico where the shortgrass prairies meet the Sangre de Cristo Rocky Mountains. Our main business is beef cattle, but we also raise quality Quarter Horses.
Though rooted in my family’s ranching heritage, I am also an out-of-the box thinker. Lifelong observation of our pastures and the desire to improve the resilience of our drought-prone prairie ecosystem led me to the study of Holistic Management and the fascinating promise of regenerative agriculture.
I graduated from Sul Ross State University in 1981 with an associate degree in veterinary technology. I returned to the ranch full time in 1982. My dad offered me the opportunity to run the south end of the ranch and a newly purchased headquarters consisting of riparian area, farmland and rangeland. The headquarters had been overgrazed by the leasee before the CS purchased it. This had a profound impact on me, in a sense molded who I am today. In my quest for solutions, I was instrumental in bring many “trailblazer’s”/out-of-the box thinkers within the agricultural community in the 80’s and 90’s to the ranch, some of those being:
• Allan Savory – Founder of Holistic Land Mgmt. principles (HM, Savory Institute)
• Ken Williams – HM consultant (a former NRCS District Conservationist)
• Don Green – Family Business Consultant (Collaborated with Allan Savory in the 80’s/90’s)
• Wendell and Mark Bader – Animal Nutrition experts – mineral, grass-fed meat production
• Stan Parsons/Dave Pratt – Ranching for Profit Schools
• Bud Williams – Pioneer of Low Stress Stockmanship
• Ray Hunt/Tom Dorrance – Natural Horsemanship Pioneers
• Charley Orchard – Founder of Land EKG – Expert in rangeland monitoring
• Gearld Fry – Bovine Engineering – grass-fed beef genetics, advocate of Dr. Jan Bonsma’s teachings
Along this path, I became passionate about the physical and environmental effects and benefits of healthy nutrition. Realizing the importance of business, financial and long-range planning skills/knowledge for both my family and other multi-generational ranches and farms. These interests took me to Albuquerque in 2006, where I was able to focus on developing skills and founded a consulting service, Full Range Financial LLC through which I work with ag families and businesses.
I raised two wonderful daughters and have an amazing three-year-old granddaughter. I returned to my ranching roots in the fall of 2017, excited to continue with the revitalization of our rangeland, farmland, riparian area and mountain country on the CS.
Deeply committed to preserving the culture and history in Northeastern New Mexico, and preserve the way of life we know and love, my mother, Linda Davis, my sister, Julia Stafford and I purchased the historic Cimarron Mercantile building in 2017. We are in the process of renovating this magnificent building in old town Cimarron.
Once renovated and we are “open for business” through sustainable/restorative networks that we have been long-time participants, and through our ranching background (The Savory Institute and Quivira Coalition, as two examples) we will be able to educate visitors on practices that are working to revitalize rural communities and the vast rangelands that surround communities in Northeastern New Mexico.
Dawn Breitkreutz, along with her husband Grant, run Stoney Creek Farm along the bluff of the Minnesota River near Redwood Falls, MN. Over the past 21 years they have converted a conventional crop and cow/calf operation into a multi-enterprise regenerative family business. They run at least a three-crop rotation, with cover crops incorporated whenever and where ever possible in their 100% no-till cropping system. They use managed intensive grazing throughout their pasture systems and their farm fields. Their overall goal is to heal the land, create a successful and enjoyable multi-generational family business, and ensure that future generations have a beautiful legacy to carry on. They strive to help educate others about regenerative agriculture through on-farm tours and classes. Dawn is an Air Force veteran and very active with the American Legion Post #38 in Redwood Falls. She has learned to farm/ranch alongside Grant, always questioning "why" about all phases of farming. Having had no farming background, she looked at the operation through a different lens than Grant. Together they have worked hard to make the changes necessary to the future of their farm.