MN Agriculture: Matt Braun and Moving From Sod to Corn/Soybeans
Day 4 of my “30 Days of MN Agriculture” is Matt Braun. Matt is from Dennison, MN. Dennison is located southeast of Minneapolis. Matt is a beginner farmer and owns about 70 acres near Hollandale, MN. Matt comes from a Sod/Turf family farm. On his land, Matt grows corn and soybeans. Besides farming, Matt is very involved in his local Corn and Soybean board and the local Lions club.
Matt’s family’s sod and turf business is unique to Minnesota. Minnesota is not known for the sod or turf business. Braun Turf Farms grows over 600 acres of Mineral (Highland) sod all of which is irrigated for uniform color over the hot summer months.
Social Media Sites:
Facebook: Braun Turf Farms
Website: Braun Turf Farms
How long have you farmed?
In 2007, Matt purchased his first acreage. Prior to that purchase, Matt has helped his family’s farming business for as long as he was old enough to work.
Where do you sell or provide services to? Who is your end consumer?
“I sell my corn to the POET ethanol Plant in Glenville, MN and my soybeans go to Hayward Coop in Hayward, MN.”
What makes your farm/business unique or special? What are you proud of?
Matt is just starting out on his own farming. He was part of his family’s 4,000 acres corn and 800 acre sod farm but working with family is hard sometimes. It was a difficult decision for Matt to start farming on his own.
Why do you grow/raise/produce? What went into your decision to do what you do?
“I enjoy growing corn and soybeans because it gives me a challenge. I have two different soil types on my farm heavy clay and peat soil so you have to be able think outside the box when making decisions on what to do on the farm.” This is just an example of the complexities of farming. It’s not just about putting a seed in the ground and letting it grow. Much thought has to be put in on what crop grows best for the soil types and then what kind of care does that seed need through the growing season.
If there is one thing you could change about farming it would be . . .
Matt would like to see a better informed consumer and how farmers work with the chemical and seed companies. Most non-ag people think farmers are owned by the chemical companies and they tell use what to do. And, of course, this is not true.
What is one interesting fact about your farm/crops/livestock/business you would like to share.
What is one thing you wish consumers knew about what you do or your farm/business?
“I wish consumers knew the hard work and dedication farmers put in, even if it looks like we have everything perfect, things still break or mother nature can wreak havoc.”
What is one thing no one knows about your farm/business/product that you would like to share?
“I am just getting my feet wet and still care about what I am doing. I am learning as I go and want to improve my land and take better care of it.”
Who are your customers? Or what would you like to tell your customers?
My customers are the coop and the Poet plant my goal is to never give them a bad product.
What makes Minnesota the place to farm?
“Our weather is so different and the changes in the soil is so cool.”
What is one thing about Minnesota that people from other areas do not know about or are missing because they don’t live here?
“We have more farmers who are passionate about agriculture and the land.”
What is your favorite Minnesota location?
“I like the Brainerd International Raceway watching the NHRA drag races.”
What is one ag-related place in Minnesota that others need to know about. What is one non-ag related place in Minnesota that others need to know about and why?
For ag – it`s Hollandale, Minnesota. Hollandale has so much ag history because of all the onions, carrots and other canning crops produced there. There is a story and history around every corner.
Non-ag – it would also be Hollandale, MN. Located next to my farm is the Hollandale municipal pool and used to be the largest outdoor pool in the state.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Growing up on a sod farm which my grandpa started in 1952 and my dad grew to 1500 acres, I have learned to work with customers. You have one shot to make a good impression and do it right. And that same relationship ties in to farming. If you care about the customers, they will return and be happy.
Read the other people featured in my “30 Days of MN Ag. ”
There are others that are also participating in the 30 Days of Blogging Challenge. Feel free to check these out:
- Janice Person aka JP Loves Cotton: A Month of Memories
- Rural Route 2 – 30 Days of Farm Girl Faith
- Prairie Californian – 30 Days of Food
- Mackinson Dairy – Women in Dairy