Jer-Lindy Farm: HASP Return on Investment


Stearns County, Minnesota


2021 - present


Dairy and row crop farmers

Conservation Story

The first step Jerry Jennissen made when he and his wife, Linda, bought the farm they now operate in 2002 was build a whole-farm conservation plan.

Working with agency partners to build the conservation plan, the Jennissens were focused on assuring that Jer-Lindy farm would be financially, environmentally, and socially sustainable. Farmers since 1979, Jerry and Linda accessed funding and technical expertise to implement conservation practices which have significantly improved their soil, even in places that started with poor soil quality.

Jerry and Linda are motivated by their daughter, Alise, as she builds out her cheesemaking practice through Redhead Creamery. The family now shares a dream that Jer-Lindy farm can sustainably support Redhead Creamery production growth.

Practice Impacts

“I want to make the land better, and I think most farmers do,” said Jennissen.

Conservation practices

Grassed buffer strips

Manure management: Stacking slab and lagoon

Energy-efficient lighting

Grid testing

Conservation fits all three legs of sustainability. First, it’s profitable. It’s also socially acceptable and environmentally responsible.

Moving into the Future

The Jer-Lindy farm is undergoing an expansion. A robotic milking system will improve cow comfort and milk production, while reducing labor needs so the team can focus on other aspects of the operation. The expansion of the Creamery includes increasing capacity in order to triple cheese production and aging space. Additionally, they are building a kitchen, distillery, and tasting room that can seat almost 100 people. The expansion is necessary to create a business that will sustain lifelong employees, not just hourly workers. The Jennissens secured a rural development loan through USDA to finance the work.

Main Takeaways

Embracing the financial and technical support of partners has allowed the Jennissens to build their farm and improve their soil quality. While not every project has been a success, each of the partners involved put forth their best effort, and Jerry recommends any farmer interested in making changes reach out to conservation partners in the community.

Farm Description

Jer-Lindy Farm includes 250 acres of alfalfa and corn sileage and 200 head of dairy cattle.

Agriculture News

Report: Conservation practices benefit the environment and local farmer’s bottom line 

A recent return-on-investment study of dairy operations in central Minnesota found that profitability and environmental stewardship are complimentary. The study analyzed 10 farms and found that on average the farms demonstrated improved environmental and financial outcomes compared to benchmarks.

Connecting farmers with nutrients to improve environmental and economic outcomes

MINNEAPOLIS – Protecting Minnesota’s water quality and soil health are priorities for the organizations and farmers in the Headwaters Agricultural Sustainability Partnership (HASP), a group administered by Environmental Initiative. The partnership was recently recognized for its local…

Our role in Minnesota’s Climate Action Framework

The Walz Administration has released their Climate Action Framework, a vision for how Minnesota will address and prepare for climate change. Mike Harley shares examples of Environmental Initiative's commitments to collaborative action.

See All News

Return on Investment case studies

Schefers Brothers Dairy: HASP Return on Investment

The Schefer brothers joined the return-on-investment program in part to learn how their practices measured up against traditional practices. Learn more about their conservation journey.

Kuechle Dairy: HASP Return on Investment

The Kuechle siblings operate a third-generation dairy farm, plan to add cover crops into their rotation, and want to learn more about resources from partners and other farmers in the HASP return-on-investment program.

Blue Diamond Dairy: HASP Return on Investment

The Frericks of Blue Diamond Dairy believe everything they do is conservation minded. Explore the ways this first-generation dairy-farming family has implemented sustainable practices to increase productivity and profits.