Lyle Kruse grew up on the same farm we live on now. After attending a 2 year college for diesel mechanics and getting married he spent a few years away from the farm working at his own tractor repair shop. In the year 1991 he moved back to the farm and has been pursuing his dream of agriculture ever since. Little did he know how contagious his dream would be for his family. All of our kids have our own passion in different entities, which makes us a great team.
The expression “having a lot of irons in the fire” more than applies to Lyle. On top of owning the farm/ranch, he also owned his own on farm mechanic shop, and most importantly is a father/grandfather. One of dad’s biggest dreams is to pass on his holistic mindset to the generations to come. He wants to see the family operation stay in the family and continue to thrive in a way that leaves the land healthier now, than it was when we started. And we can see the fruits of that already from the practies we now use.
JoAnn Kruse (a.k.a mom) grew up living on a lake. The closest thing to farming that she knew was planting a big garden and visiting her sister and brother-in-law at his grain/hog operation. This was truly evident when her and Lyle were working hogs for the 1st time. When hogs get scared they “scream” as if you’re trying to kill them. As she was “pushing” them into the scale and they didn’t want to go, they let out those “screams”. When lyle turned to ask her for something, he found her hanging from the rafters of the barn afraid they were going to “eat” her. She has found that life as a farmer’s wife is far from glamorous and always keeps you on your toes. Now mom is the first person to tell you that life on a farm is the best way to raise children. She even graduated to sorting cattle. She loves her Mary Kay business because she love to “clean up” and get fancy to go out on the town!
Kaylyn was the first team member of the K Creek Ranch crew. She has always loved spending time outside whether it was playing in the yard or out with the livestock. Dad even made her a mini crowd-board so she could help sort pigs as a little tyke. As she got older she kept adding animals to the farm. Our relatives would call us the old McDonald farm because we had so much variety .
In the last few years her life has made a few turns that she hadn’t expected as a child. While working on a ranch out in western SD she met and fell in love with a WI dairy farmer, Mathew Dwyer. In the fall of 2011 they got married and she moved out to WI with him. Now Kaylyn and Matt love it that that their three boys, Caleb, James, and Mason have their own livestock and two girls, Riley and Mikayla can tag along for chore time!
Jessica, our official blogger, is the second oldest here on the ranch. The love of agriculture has always been running through her veins. One of her favorite past times was out with our bottle calves running around playing with them. Jessica & her sister, Kaylyn; even trained one of them to ride…somewhat. After graduating high school she got my AAS degree in culinary arts which she has used to teach cooking classes and create recipes. Over the years her love for sustainable agriculture has led her to an entirely new appreciation for land regeneration, healthy food, and teaching others about soil/animal/human health. This landed her as a CA health coach for Minnetonka Family Chiropractic for 2 years and a sub CA at Inspired Chiropractic in Sioux Falls, SD. She and Danielle manage the herds grazing and calving and them make quite a great team.
Jordan happens to be the brains behind the operation; the rule of thumb is when in doubt…ask Jordan! His love of soil health and ecology is the backbone of what we do here at K Creek Ranch! Over the years he has taken charge of managing our grazing rotations, our winter grazing operation, and in adding sheep to our production. Creating diversity and minimizing soil disturbance are two of his main focuses. He also has started a very succesfull carprentry business. Kruse Construction. So if those crazy winds do damage to your place and you live near Canby MN give him a call. You will love his attention to detail in everything he works on. 507-531-7939
Danielle is the youngest here at the ranch. She is quite the asset to our family operation. She has stepped up as main production girl, and is in charge of rotationally grazing and maintaining our heard. Along with all the Kruse gals she is has a talent for cooking. It’s not uncommon to see her in the kitchen whipping up something delicious! She has been perfecting her sour dough skills and handcrafed egg noodles!
4 thoughts on “The Team”
Great job Jessica! I’ll look forward to more of your posts. Good luck with it and all the fun farm and ranch work. You are lucky to have been raised on the land:)
I enjoy reading your insights on farm life and photos. I especially love the photo of the newborn calf. It makes the viewer feel as though he/she was right there.
I work at Minnesota West with Lyle. I too share an interest in sustainable agriculture, and will be following your blog – you are off to a great start!
I just read the article in the Land about all you great Kruse ranch and family members. Congratulations on making such a great impact on the land and food for people! You are doing a great job. My best to Lyle and JoAnn! Audrey Arner