Shawn & Kristy Freeland are the owners of Dry Creek Farm & Ranch, a first-generation operation specializing in soil health, direct market meat production and community education. In the fall of 2015, Dry Creek Farm & Ranch began its shift from a traditionally managed ranching operation, to a holistically managed operation. Replacing tilled farming methods with no-till methods, incorporating managed intensive grazing practices, shifting from corn finished to grass finished and focusing on improving the soil with the implementation of cover crops. The Freeland's believe regenerative agriculture systems are imperative to the future of sustainable, nutrient-rich meat product
By managing to graze, our cattle hoof action breaks the ground, which increases water infiltration and tramples organic matter into the soil. The cattle also are redepositing important nutrients back into the ground as they move from paddock to paddock. Our animals are rotated to fresh fields regularly to ensure they receive nutrient-rich fresh grass as well as allowing our lands to rest & regenerate, thus further enriching our soil quality. This means our animals are not ingesting any pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Our cattle are born and raised on our land, so we know exactly what they are consuming.
As part of our values, we emphasize the importance of relationships, communication and trust. We actively encourage our community to become involved in understanding the importance of where their food begins. We have an open-door policy and welcome all visitors and tours, to help build our community’s understanding of why our soil quality matters. We have hosted youth field trips, soil health café talks, and rain infiltration demonstrations to help educate community members. As a member/Director of South Dakota Soil Health Coalition & South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, member of South Dakota Grasslands Coalition, Vice President of Pennington Soil Conservation District and a partner with NRCS, we ensure the research and knowledge we teach are accurate and tangible.
WHAT IS REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE?
An agriculture focused on improving soil health through increased soil carbon and life in the soil.
At Dry Creek Farm & Ranch, we adhere to the Five Principles of Soil Health: