As part of a broader effort to increase organic farming, CCOF has partnered with Anheuser-Busch and their Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Contract for Change program to provide financial support for farmers during the critical phase of transitioning to organic. Are you interested in transitioning your farm to organic? Apply by November 27 for your own $5,000 grant to help you make the transition. Casey Madson is one of this year’s grant recipients and brave farmers committed to transition to organic.
Madson’s family farm was first established in Hartland, Minnesota 152 years ago by Johannes Madson. The land has seen many transformations from horse-drawn implements to modern tractors and from dairy cows to hogs and grains. They’ve always grown a variety of crops, both for livestock feed and for the family’s kitchen. Madson learned to farm while he was still in high school from his grandpa, Milo, starting with a few cattle and some land to grow crops. When Madson was deployed to Iraq in 2009, his grandpa and uncle managed the farm.
Since 2012, Madson and his wife, Stacie, also a fifth-generation farmer, along with their children, Evelyn, Emry, and Autumn continue to steward the land and are turning to organic as the solution to many of the issues they see with conventional agriculture. Today the original hog barn is home to their laying hens, a duck, and a few cats. In 2015 they built a modern hog barn and they’re looking to diversify their corn and soybean with rotational crops and cover crops. They are already using organic methods, both on the production farm and in their home garden.
Madson points to reducing their carbon footprint, fixing nitrogen through crops, diversifying their soil, improving water quality, and sequestering carbon as some of the many reasons the family sees organic as the solution. As Madsen states, “Why would I want to pay four times more for a bag of seed corn that has traits in it to kill pests or herbicide-resistant traits instead of using a crop rotation to balance naturally?… [It] seems to me that we will be happier working with the soil and biology to accomplish crop production.”
Congratulations to the Madsons! The CCOF Foundation and Anheuser-Busch are proud to support your family farm’s transition to organic.