My name is Jim Steffen. My family owns an organic eighty just west of Omaha and a half-section of permanent pasture south of Massena, Iowa.
Both places are rented to experienced cow-calf farmers.
Our goal is to sell these places to beginning beef cow-calf producers who are interested in regenerative (pasture-based) organic production methods. But like thousands of other farms and ranches in the United States, our farms are too small to be profitable as free-standing enterprises.
Without a new source of income, these places will most likely be purchased by a large family farmer, a corporation, or a well-off family that wants a country home (USDA Farming and Farm Income).
New Farms and Income
To make these farms profitable, we need a farmer-controlled production base for high-value organic markets. This means leasing and buying groups of contiguous and nearby farms in several communities and converting them to regenerative organic methods.
Obviously, we can’t do this by ourselves. We need qualified investors to develop local producer-controlled production units for rapidly expanding high-value specialty and organic markets.
To attract investors and build markets, we will organize a farmer-controlled marketing company. This company will manage land acquisition for local production units along with farm development, local processing contracts, and marketing.
Clearly this is a complex venture. Readers are encouraged to look over the rest of this website and then get back to me with questions and comments.
However, before moving on please take a moment to read the following section on our family history in agriculture.
Steffen, Sund, and Holbach
The ideas on this webpage start with my parents, Robert and Clara (Sund) Steffen. Dad was the farm manager for Father Flanagan at Boys Town for thirty years and a leader in developing commercial-scale organic farming methods in the Midwest. For more information, readers are encouraged to search the Internet for “Bob Steffen and organic farming.”
However, my mother’s contribution to our farming history is just as important. She convinced my grandfather, Henry Sund, to invest in our farms. To help secure this investment, Mom taught school in Omaha.
Contribution from a third family have allowed us to continue our work. My wife, Karen (Holbach) Steffen is from a family of North Dakota wheat and dairy farmers. They were also partners in a livestock auction. Their home place just south of Minot was finally destroyed after a series of floods on the Souris River. Global warming and urban sprawl combined to wipe out over a hundred years of sustainable crop and livestock production. Despite drought, depression, floods, and conventional agriculture, Frank and Ruth Holbach educated five strong women, all with college degrees.
In closing, my qualifications and those of my associates to develop and manage regenerative farms and markets can be found on page 4 of this website.