Hello… Welcome To Our Website
We are the Radtkes. As of April 3rd, we are commercially milking 17 cows on our own small, family-sized, organic dairy farm.
It almost didn’t happen…
We have been proudly providing local (and not so local) patrons, fresh, wholesome raw milk – both goat and cow milk (we’ve been hand-milking for quite a few years now). We believe in raw milk and the right to drink it. Until our barn fire, we were only weeks away from buying a herd of Jersey cows and starting a small, commercial, organic, grass-fed dairy. We were making the leap from micro to commercial.
Last year, our barn burned down and we were asking for help to rebuild.
A little of our history (prior to Jan. 2015):
We are the Radtke family (Rich, Carol & Madison). We ran a small organic family farm and micro-dairy, located in west-central Minnesota. We have been here since 2008, working on being as sustainable as we can be. In 2011, our land was certified organic. Of the 159 acres, 65 are in permanent pasture, 54 in hay production and the rest is forage and small-grain (oats, wheat, surgham-sudan grass). We had dairy goats, a dairy cow and several Scottish Highland cattle (one of which is our 2nd “dairy” cow).
In 2012, we took a Farm Beginnings class. During this class, our dream was born to run a small 100% grass fed, organic, commercial, cow dairy. Upon graduation, we applied and were approved for Beginning Farmer, dairy loan… in the spring 2013. Excited, Rich began remodeling the existing 1960’s barn in the fall of 2013. Then it happened.
Our dairy barn burned to the ground on March 4th, 2014. Our dream ended with the burning of the barn. Devastating as that is, we found out that our insurance would not cover the loss of the barn because we were remodeling it.
Our USDA dairy loan agreement does not allow us to spend its monies on a building. When we applied for the loan it was granted to us for the purchase of the cows, dairying equipment (milk-room equip, water heater, milkers, vacuum-pump, etc…) only and machinery (including a tractor, manure spreader, forage wagons, haying equipment, etc…). As we never anticipated our old burning down, we did not ask for additional loan proceeds. It is now up to us to fund the completion of the barn and that’s where you come in. We now ask you to participate in one of our fund-raising efforts.
Rich, Carol & Madison
Lost In The Fire
Besides the barn, we lost our Bobcat skidsteer, 3 sows and 16 piglets that were less than 3 days old (they were in pens under the hay-loft), organic hay, straw, corn and oats, $4500 worth of lumber, supplies and tools needed to renovate it and our dairy/milking equipment (pipeline, tank, compressor, claw-units, etc…), our pitchforks, and scoops. In a nut-shell… we lost nearly everything,
The barn was in the process of being remodeled. We thought the barn was insured, but when the insurance adjustor was here, he told us it was not added to our policy. We figured the value of the barn and it’s contents was approx. $55,000-75,000. We were WAY off… we got an estimate from a local contractor. To rebuild the barn, with absolutely no frills, it was estimated to cost $93,000.
We have spent nearly $51,000 (Paypal, cash, savings and personal donations & loans) to get this far.