Your Questions Answered: Family Farmers and Ranchers

On November 11, local community leaders, foodies and farmers gathered together at Prairie Berry Winery in Hill City for a Harvest Social. The Hungry for Truth event brought South Dakotans together to share in meaningful conversations about the journey from farm to plate over some delicious foods and local wine.

“It’s a very rewarding experience to talk about food and agriculture with people,” said Colin Nachtigal, farmer from Harrold. “We chatted about simple things like the crops people see while they’re out hunting and which of those crops I grow on my own farm. This kind of thing comes naturally to me, but I love sharing it with others. There is always more work to do on the farm, but it’s worth it for me to take the time to make connections with people about what I do.”

The Harvest Social venue.

The Hungry for Truth table at Prairie Berry Winery.

Harvest Social programs.

Harvest social party favor.

Hungry for Truth table.

Event attendees in front of the venue.

Harvest Social venue.

Place settings at the event.

Hungry for Truth oven mits and customized boards.

Prairie Berry Winery

Harvest Social welcome sign.

Colin said he had the chance to talk with almost every person in attendance that evening. He said many people were interested to hear more about the family aspect of farming. “The people I visited with were surprised to hear that 97 percent of farms in South Dakota are family owned and operated,” said Colin.

He farms with his father, two uncles, brother and six cousins. Together, they grow soybeans, corn, wheat, milo and grass seed, and run a cow-calf operation. Colin says that, when it comes to making decisions on the farm, they’re always thinking about the future.

Guests sample wine at the event.

Wines featured at the event.

Wine and beer menu.

Guests sample a variety of creative appetizers.

Appetizers that were available for guests to try.

Guests socializing at the event.

Guests listen to an address from Jerry.

Harvest Social party favors.

A few guests gathered for a photo.

Guests chat as they enjoy their wine.

Prairie Berry wine glasses.

“Because we are a family farm, when we make decisions about how to manage things, we think about our children and grandchildren, the future generations who will take over the farm,” said Colin. “For example, we conserve our soil by using minimum tillage and, in some cases, no tillage at all. We do this to reduce soil erosion and to keep nutrients in the soil. Caring for the environment is a top priority for us.”

Do you have questions for Colin about his family farm? Let us know in the comments.