Riemer Family Farm offers farm experience, healthy products - Paycheck

Riemer Family Farm offers farm experience, healthy products

   Mimicking nature in their rotational grazing operation is the key to success for farmers Bryce and Jen Riemer, owners of Riemer Family Farm northwest of Brodhead. The natural way they farm is attracting not only the locals but also dignitaries from Rwanda, who recently visited the farm to see the operation.

   “It was so cool to meet the Rwandan archbishop and his wife,” said Kalena Riemer, 14-year-old daughter of Bryce and Jen Riemer. “They talked about how they do both mission work and agriculture, which is exactly what I want to do.”

   Kalena Riemer showcased her pig enterprise to the Rwandan couple, which was a primary reason for their visit to Riemer Family Farm. The archbishop’s wife recently began a similar operation at an orphanage in Rwanda and wanted to learn about the American way of raising pigs.

   “She had a goal of importing less and being more sustainable,” Kalena Riemer said.

   Being sustainable aligns with the goals at Riemer Family Farm. Along with their three daughters, Bryce and Jen Riemer raise a variety of animals on high-quality grass with a healthy soil foundation. Annually they finish 70 head of beef cattle, and produce 2,000 meat chickens, 120 hogs, 70 lambs and 400 turkeys.

   “The turkey products are value-added for our customers,” said Jen Riemer. “People love these products, especially the ground turkey, because it’s hard to find in stores and what’s there is of questionable quality in my opinion.”

   Riemer Family Farm is 280 acres and has been family owned and operated since 1927. The farm began with a herd of Hereford cattle and a few pigs; today, it has evolved into an oasis of sustainability.

   While the family used to sell products at local farmers markets, the covid-19 pandemic has forced most business to transition to an online shopping experience through the farm’s website: riemerfamilyfarm.com. In addition to the meat, Riemers also partner with an Alaskan fish farmer to offer fresh seafood.

   “There is more selection on our website than what we were able to take to the farmers markets,” said Jen Riemer. “This is where we wanted to go, and covid actually accelerated that and that’s where we’re going to keep focusing our attention.”

   Riemer said she hopes her neighbors and the local population know the farm and its fresh products are accessible to them. Not only can customers place their product orders online, but they can also purchase covid-friendly, self-guided farm tours for just $15.

   “The self-guided tours are a safe, inexpensive way to get the farm experience – and maybe make a purchase onsite – while maintaining the safety of your family and ours,” she said.

   The Riemer family has 2,100 customers on its email list and ships 20 to 30 boxes of product through FedEx every week. Bryce, Jen, Elli, Kalena and Caroline work as a team to prepare boxes for shipment just as they work together to raise the animals in the grazing operation.

   “With the large population we have now, we are trying to prove out that you can both restore the land and produce a lot of food,” said Jen Riemer. “This doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive; there’s room for both.”

Mary Hookham

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