MANURE MANAGEMENT. No-tilling winter cereals for forage after corn silage harvest allows the Crave family to make multiple smaller surface applications of digested manure onto a growing crop as soon as possible. Not only does this build soil health, but it also allows them to produce good quality forages.

Prioritizing Soil Health to Protect Profitability for Generations to Come

The Crave family sees soil health as a key to reducing inputs, lowering machinery costs and creating more value-added products for long-term success and sustainability.

FORWARD THINKING has always played a prominent role for Crave Brothers Farm. 

Since the founding of the multigenerational dairy farm in Waterloo, Wis., in 1980, they’ve adopted sustainable farming practices, added a cheese factory to increase the value of their milk, and operate a manure digester that generates enough electricity to power their operation and 300 neighboring homes, making them a carbon-negative company.

Now the next move for the Crave family is a smooth transition of ownership and management to the second generation, while also furthering their regenerative ag practices.

Value-Added Products

With four senior owners and three junior owners, the farm is in the thick of the transition process and aims to transition ownership of a large portion of their business in the next 10 years.

“All of the senior members have a lot of experience, and we still lean on them a lot,” says Jordan Crave, who is one of the junior partners. “But ultimately, the direction we go is going to be up to the younger generation members and managers. So we are making those decisions and setting the foundation for that move.”

The Craves are being proactive in how they plan to stay profitable. One approach is finding ways to add more value to their products. They’ve already achieved this with their cheese factory, a decision that was made after the three senior partners evaluated several ideas to add value to their milk, which they felt was necessary to be a sustainable business. Since 2001, they’ve…

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Laura allen

Laura Barrera

Laura Barrera is the former managing editor of No-Till Farmer and Conservation Tillage Guide magazines. Prior to joining No-Till Farmer, she served as an assistant editor for a greenhouse publication. Barrera holds a B.A. in magazine journalism from Ball State University.

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