Jer-Lindy Farm: HASP Return on Investment
RegionStearns County, Minnesota
Timeline2021 - present
AudienceDairy and row crop farmers
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.
“I want to make the land better, and I think most farmers do,” said Jennissen.
Grassed buffer strips
Manure management: Stacking slab and lagoon
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.
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.
Jer-Lindy Farm includes 250 acres of alfalfa and corn sileage and 200 head of dairy cattle.
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