Trial By Fire Podcast Ep. 163

Ear to the Ground 163: Trial by Fire

February 26th, 2015
Rising from the ashes: Farm Beginnings grads recover from a disaster and launch a dairy farm.

Brian DeVore, of the Land Stewardship Project, came out to do a podcast interview with us, back in January 2014.  He was here for approx. 1½ hours, discussing what we went through to get to this point.  In conjunction with this podcast, he also did a written article. (excerpt below) 

Rich & Carol in their new milking parlor

He entitled the interview ‘Rising from the ashes: Farm Beginnings grads recover from a disaster and launch a dairy farm.’

The title sums up our journey of creating our small, start-up dairy.  Discussed in the interview was the barn fire, our new dairy, Farm Beginnings Class, gratitude to the community, and our Holistic decision making process… and more.

A little over a year after that fateful fire, the Radtkes, while not exactly on a roll, are also not headed to town. In fact, they are back on track toward their ultimate goal of making a living on the land while helping feed people healthy food. One morning in early February, Carol and Rich took a break after the morning milking to reflect on the fact that just a few days prior they had shipped their first load of milk to the Organic Valley Cooperative.

“We’re selling our milk and people are eating cheese and butter made from our milk,” says Rich while sitting in his living room, a Imagenew milking parlor visible through a picture window. As he says this, it’s clear he’s barely able to hide his amazement, given where the family was at a year ago.

The Radtkes rose from the ashes through a combination of innovative fundraising, creativity, hard work and plain old grit. But the couple maintains that the glue holding this comeback effort together is the people outside the operation who believe in the idea that having more family farmers on the land is good for the community.

Brian DeVore, – Land Stewardship Project


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