Day 30 of my “30 Days of MN Agriculture” is Ron & Lori and Jeff & Chandra of Paclear Farm from Eyota, in southeast Minnesota. The Pagels are a third generation family farm. They also use cover crops on their cropland.
Social Media Sites:
Facebook: Paclear Farm
Tell me a little about your farm and/or business?
We currently have a dairy herd of 70 Holstein cows as well as 75 crossbred beef cows.
How long have you farmed or been in business?
Tell me a little about what you grow/raise/produce or service provided.
Our dairy herd consists primarily of Holsteins. We milk our cows 2x per day. Replacement heifer calves are kept and raised on the farm. Our bull calves are sold as feeders. We also have a small cow/calf beef herd made up of 75 crossbred beef cows. Beef calves are raised and sold each year as feeders. We raise multiple crops for feed such as: alfalfa, sorghum, rye grass, and corn.
Where do you sell or provide services to? Who is your end consumer?
Our milk is sold to Land O’Lakes and we grow peas for freezing and canning, which are sold to Seneca Foods. Our corn, and soybeans are used primarily for animal feed on the farm.
What makes your farm/business unique or special? What are you proud of?
Jeff: We live on a 3rd generation family farm. In 2014 we built a new manure pit to aid in manure management and give us virtually zero runoff on the farm. With the added manure storage, it allows us to spread manure when it is needed on appropriate fields.
What is one interesting fact about your farm/crops/livestock/business you would like to share.
Jeff: We use cover crops to improve soil health and prevent erosion while at the same time still producing feed for the livestock. This allows us to get more out of the land while improving soil health and quality. For example, after we chop corn for silage we seed in winter rye to get cover for winter. In the spring, we are then able to harvest the rye for feed.
What is a most embarrassing moment you have had on the farm?
Chandra: A couple winters ago, I was carrying a five gallon pail of milk out to the calf shed to feed our bucket calves. Our neighbor was walking behind me. All of a sudden, I slid on a patch of ice and landed on my backside, the milk went everywhere and the neighbor boy saw the whole thing happen!
Jeff: I would say anytime I get anything stuck, especially getting the tractor stuck in the field because you have to go find someone to help you out.
What do you love most about farming/business?
Chandra: I really love being able to connect with the animals. To me, there is still nothing more exciting than watching or assisting with the birth of a new calf.
Jeff: I enjoy taking care of the animals on a day to day basis and watching them grow from calves to milk cows.
What is one thing you wish consumers knew about what you do or your farm/business?
Chandra: How hard we work to make sure our animals are safe, fed, and healthy each day. Before marrying into the farm life, I didn’t know much about farming at all. I will be honest in saying that I didn’t really have a clue on what being a farmer entailed before meeting Jeff. I was disconnected from where my food really came from and didn’t really understand all the hard work that is put in day in and day out in order to produce safe and healthy products for our family and consumers. Now that I have had some experience under my belt, I am able to share more with people that don’t have any farm exposure. It allows them an “insider” perspective on farming and ranching as well as getting information straight from the source rather than the Internet.
Jeff: I wish people would take more time to ask more questions and become more informed about where their food comes from using reliable sources. Many farmers are willing to share information about their operation, people need to know that its ok to ask.