Prairie Horizons Farm is located at 31008 State Hwy 29 Benson, MN
The farm encompasses 480 acres and embodies the idea of growing grass and sequestering carbon. This vast landscape of original native prairie and diverse, perennial, Certified Organic pastures is home to about 150 cattle and many native creatures, as well.
Available products include Certified Organic 100% grass-fed beef, orchard fruits, garlic, berries, hazelnuts, and vegetables in season. Native prairie teas gathered from our land and preserved items made from farm produce are available, as well – and they make great gifts!
You can purchase fresh, seasonal foods from our on-farm store from May through October. Grass-fed beef is available year-round by appointment. Please call to confirm your visit (320) 760-8732
Prairie Horizons Farm products are also available at the Morris Area Farmers Market between June and September. The market re-opens June 18, 2020.
5th generation Minnesota farmers Luverne and Mary Jo Forbord have been the proud owners of this beautiful farm since 1985, when they purchased the land from Luverne’s parents. The farm was initially run as a Grade A dairy operation called Hilltop Holsteins with the help of the Forbords’ children, Meriah, Joraan and Jaiden.
In 2000, the Forbords tired of harmful pesticides and herbicides killing the biodiversity in and around their farm. They began the transition to grass-based organic agriculture and have never looked back. They abandoned dairying and stopped growing corn and soy, instead focusing on organic practices, their cattle operation and planting native prairie grasses in various pockets around the farm.
Forbords studied their farm and drew up a plan to maximize the solar energy and grass that feed their cows. A more complete grass plan emerged, including grazing “cocktails” of many grasses and legumes and special ‘finishing’ pastures for cattle to load up on nutrients and protein before they become hamburgers and steaks.
More than 300 acres are now planted to diverse mixes of perennial grasses, legumes and forbs, with fencing and water lines built for rotational grazing of Lowline Angus cattle. The cattle move to fresh pasture each day from spring “green up” through ground freeze, usually April through November. One hundred acres of original native prairie are also managed through rotational grazing. Prairie Horizons farm has been Certified Organic since 2006.
Today, customers of Prairie Horizons Farm can purchase grassfed beef, fruits, vegetables, nuts and prairie teas directly from the farmers.
Learn more about Prairie Horizons in the
West Central Tribune.
MEET THE FARMERS
Luverne and Mary Jo Forbord are both 5th generation Minnesota farmers honored to steward beautiful lands and abundant life. They have been farming together for 38 years, Certified Organic since 2006 and opened a farm store in 2018 to sell products from the farm on-site, directly to their community.
Both Luverne and Mary Jo enjoy cross country skiing, music, goats (sometimes), German Shepherds (always!), eating good food and sharing it with others.
Luverne Forbord is a lifelong farmer on the land where he grew up and has decades of experience with dairy and beef cattle, row crop farming, grass-based agricultures, biofuels, diverse perennial systems, rotational grazing and managing to promote a healthy and diverse climate-resiliant ecosystem.
He has observed and managed the farm with great care, has deep and extensive knowledge of the land and continues to evolve the farm toward sustainability.
Luverne has served as a director and chairman of the board of Chippewa Valley Ethanol Cooperative, one of the first, most successful and most diversified farmer-owned, value-added, new generation cooperatives in Minnesota.
Mary Jo Forbord is a Registered Dietitian with experience in clinical, administrative, community and food systems dietetics. She is a past president of the Minnesota Dietetic Association and a past chair of the Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Practice Group of the American Dietetic Association. In 2011 and 2015, she received the Excellence in Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Leadership awards and currently works with dietetic internships to offer a credit-bearing on-farm food system immersion experience for dietetic interns.
Mary Jo is a leader in local and regional food systems, where she catalyzes policy, systems and environmental change for increasing food skills, food affordability, accessibility and availability for all citizens, while working to reinvent food infrastructure and restore food cultures in rural Minnesota. She is a past Executive Director of the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota and currently coordinates Morris Healthy Eating at the University of Minnesota, Morris.
Our mission is to build a farm-based system of healthy food production, processing and distribution that is economically sound, environmentally responsible and beneficial to future generations.