Caleb entered into sustainable agriculture through his taste buds. While working and learning in the Minneapolis fine dining scene, he developed a deep appreciation for the taste and quality of the produce and proteins coming from area farms and the relationships formed with those producers. This “epi-curiosity” led him to his first internship on a diversified vegetable farm in Southeast Minnesota. He was hooked – produce couldn’t get any better than right out of the field! Since then, his path has lead him to working on five farms, obtaining his Bachelors degree in sustainable agriculture, as well as managing a community-based non-profit farm and a farm to school initiative – all with the goal of learning to produce the best quality product possible. His passion in life is to grow high quality produce that tastes just as good on your plate as it does in the field. With his dedication to the mission, we were able to start our farm on rented land and eventually purchase a property of our own. Each year is a new endeavor, but he loves to build on all of the experiences he’s gained to this point to make it better than the last.
Lauren wandered into farming on a much different path. She studied anthropology and art, then moved into the field of community outreach. Throughout her life, she enjoyed the mysteries of nature and the joy of healthy living. She joined Caleb on his quest to grow organic vegetables and soon discovered a passion for shepherding. Throughout the year, she gets to use her fascination with biology and anatomy to provide most of the flock’s health care and balance their nutrition. Enjoying flock psychology and loving their fine fleeces for fiber arts are useful personality quirks. Her love and understanding of the sheep allows us to give them a happy life – on grass – while maintaining high-quality products for our community. She’s also taken a position as Program Director with the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) where she coordinates the nation’s largest organic farming conference and educates other producers about organic and sustainable methods to improve the landscape of agriculture for all of us.
Together, we operate Blue Ox Organics – a small, diversified family farm nestled between the Driftless and the North Woods. We hold ourselves to a standard – constantly working to improve the soil and provide a habitat for the bees, butterflies, and birds along with the host of other wildlife and biodiversity that either inhabits this land or just passes through. We draw from a number of schools of thought – including rotational grazing, permaculture, and Holistic Management – to create this farm which is constantly striving towards whole systems. Lauren and Caleb understand that the health of our water, soils, ecosystems, bodies, and communities are all connected and we aspire to support and improve all of these through our efforts on the farm.
Your farm continues to grow and change – and your farmers do, as well. We’ve taken on new roles in our community – sitting on farm policy committees, organizing with other area farmers, supporting local businesses, and sharing resources. This is all important work and needs to be done to strengthen the world of sustainable agriculture and revitalize local economies. We’re also trying to bring more community to the farm with Member Field Days – where Lamb List members, local community, and other producers are welcomed to the farm for tours, activities, potlucks, and fun. These are great opportunities for us each to widen our network of friends and experience a world outside of the every-day mundane. We hope that you’ll join us in these endeavors to create positive, direct actions toward the future we all know is possible. If you’d like to learn more, please feel free to contact us.