Prairie Heritage Farm is a 30-acre organic, diversified farm near Power, Montana, on the short grass prairie where the Rocky Mountains meet the plains. The farm is owned and operated by Jacob and Courtney Cowgill, two central Montana kids returning to their roots. Both left rural central Montana as young adults, for school and careers but came back as soon as they possibly could. The farm occasionally has seasonal apprentices, otherwise it is run by Jacob and Courtney, who are in turn run by their two children: Willa (4 years old) and Elias (2 years old). Prairie Heritage Farm is focused on three main enterprises: fresh vegetables and vegetable seed; heritage and ancient grains, including some of the oldest domesticated wheat known; and pastured livestock. We sell most of what we grow direct to the people who eat our food. We sell some wholesale vegetables and grain, but our primary outlet is through our Farm Share programs, also known as Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA. Our newest enterprise is our Grainy Day Box, where customers nation-wide receive our unique grains and legumes along with recipes once a month in the mail.
In 2006, we purchased what is now known as Maple Hill Farm. We knew we didn’t want to milk large animals but we knew we wanted to make it a fully functioning farm. So our oldest son at the time was in FFA and needed a fair project. He decided on a lamb. So off we went to buy two lambs for his project. Well several hundred sheep later, here we are a sheep dairy with a full milking parlor. During lambing season, we usually have the 100 milk ewes along with several hundred lambs. So needless to say, it is busy. In addition to lambs, we started raising animals for meat for ourselves which turned into raising for our family which now has turned into a business. We are a multi-species farm which is home to beef cows, pigs, pastured chickens, free range laying hens, and of course sheep. We raise all our animals as naturally as possible – no growth hormones, when possible non GMO feed, and rotationally grazing or free ranging our animals. While we are not certified organic, we follow a lot of the same practices. We like to think that we are providing a quality product from animals that have lived a quality life. Our employees are my husband Brian who is the full-time employee, our oldest son Nathan who is away at college studying gender studies and sustainability as he is interested in equitable urban agriculture, our youngest son Brandon who when not in school is the ultimate farmer and eventually will have a farm of his own, and myself. I have a full time off the farm job but the dream will be to eventually work along side my husband on a daily basis. The farm is 40 acres of land but has somehow transformed and inspired each one of us since we stepped foot on it.
Free Union Grass Farm is a patchwork, portable, 150-acre livestock farm that utilizes modern techniques and timeless ecological principles to produce nourishing food for our community. We own just 13 of those acres, and creatively piece together the remainder by leasing land from generous neighbors. This year we’ll raise 2000 ducks, 6000 chickens, and 40 hogs, as well as maintaining our 20-head cattle herd and 400-hen layer flock. We do all of our own poultry processing by hand, on the farm. As we raise these animals, we strive to improve and conserve our pastures, soil, and waterways, while creating a lifestyle that sustains our financial, physical, and emotional well being. We have been influenced by the techniques and writings of Joel Salatin, Wendell Berry, Eliot Coleman, and Allan Savory. The brains of the operation are Erica Hellen and Joel Slezak - we are college graduates, but didn’t bother to enter the rat race only to leave it for farming; we knew this life was for us from the get-go. We have developed an insatiable market for our products over the last 5 years by direct-marketing everything we sell. Our customers include restaurants, grocery and gourmet foods stores, catering companies, small hotels, and farmers markets. We also maintain an active social media presence to keep our customers engaged with on-farm happenings and promote the local food movement.
At Windy Hill Goat Dairy we have 220 goats which of we are milking 118. The farm is 150 acres which we use to make hay for and pasture our goats. We use half the milk from our goats to make cheese the other half we sell to other cheese makers. We are a family run business their is my wife Kaylynn my mother Vicky and my father Chuck that all work the farm on a daily basis