Many of you may remember Jonathan Lundgren, a former entomologist with USDA-ARS in Brookings, S.D. Dr. Lundgren spoke at our Panhandle No-Till Partnership winter conference a few years ago.

Lundgren is a very enthusiastic and dedicated entomologist and his passion for his work shows in his presentations. Lundgren recently left the USDA-Agricultural Research Service center in Brookings to embark on a new career: Lundgren, his wife Jenna, and several of his colleagues from ARS have struck out on their own to form Blue Dasher Farm.

Lundgren is a well-respected agro-ecologist. His research is best summed up from a quote on his website: “Lundgren's research program focuses on assessing the ecological risk of pest management strategies and developing long-term solutions for sustainable food systems.

His ecological research focuses heavily on conserving healthy biological communities within agro-ecosystems by reducing disturbance and increasing biodiversity within cropland.”

Lundgren and his team started Blue Dasher Farm as a research farm, “where research, education, and demonstration converge to support the regeneration of agriculture.”

Lundgren and his staff intend to support their families off the profitability of their farm, so they’re definitely committed to making this farm work. The Blue Dasher Farm is beginning as a 50-acre working research farm in Deuel County, S.D.

Needless to say this research farm is setting some pretty impressive goals. Lundgren’s ideas on regenerating agriculture through adding diversity and minimizing disturbance in livestock and crop production are interesting. The goal of achieving a balanced and healthy biological community to enhance the efficiencies of the farm both above and below the soil will be very interesting to follow.

I really like the systems approach Lundgren and his team are taking with this research farm. Using a systems approach, the entire ecosystem that envelopes everyone's farm will be taken into account with their research and management decisions. The research may show directly how one management decision affects many parts of the farming operation, both positively and negatively.

Lundgren and his team are currently looking for donations to help get their farm up and running. They’re well on their way to raising the funds for the initial startup. As we all know, it’s difficult to generate the capital required to start and run a farm from the ground up.

I would encourage everyone to visit the Blue Dasher Farm website at

Lundgren and his staff guide you through their vision of what Blue Dasher Farm hopes to achieve. I think this is going to be a very worthwhile research farm and I hope you will join me in supporting their efforts.