Lyle Kruse (a.k.a dad) 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 us 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 dad. On top of owning the farm/ranch, he also owns his own on farm mechanic shop, and most importantly 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.
JoAnn Kruse (a.k.a mom) grew up living on a lake. The closest thing to farming that mom 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 dad were working hogs for the 1st time. When hogs get scared they “scream” as if you’re trying to kill them; lets just say mom wasn’t aware of this. So when dad 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 has even graduated to sorting cattle.
Kaylyn was the first team member of the K Creek Ranch crew. Shes 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 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 look forward to the day that their three boys, Caleb, James, and Mason can tag along for chores!
I Jessica, you’re official blogger, am the second oldest here on the ranch. The love of agriculture has always been running through my veins. One of my favorite past times was out with our bottle calves running around playing with them. Kaylyn and I even trained one of them to ride…somewhat. After graduating high school I got my AAS degree in culinary arts which I now use to teach cooking classes and create recipes. Over the years my love for sustainable agriculture has led me to an entirely new appreciation for land regeneration, healthy food, and teaching others about soil/animal/human health.
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 a knack for wood working/carpentry and of course hunting and trapping. The more in tune with nature he can be, the happier he is!
Danielle is the youngest here at the ranch. She is quite the little asset to our family operation in that she handles a lot of the chores and helps with all the different production operations. She brings a really cool dynamic to the farm with her new found interest in wool working. Since the day we first brought sheep onto the farm she has been working on her spinning and felting skills. Along with all the Kruse gals she is taking on a talent for cooking. It’s not uncommon to see her in the kitchen whipping up something delicious!