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Wisconsin farm returns to its roots, spurred on by pesticide damage


ROCK COUNTY – A sixth generation farm goes back to its roots. We went to visit the Evansville, Wisconsin family which has almost 120 years of history and why it became a certified organic farm. The farm is called Doudlah Farms Organics.

Doudlah Farms Organics sells seeds, beans, honey, flour and more at Outpost Natural Foods. You can also order from them through Amazon.

Here’s a photo of Mark Doudlah’s great-grandfather in the early 1900s, showing kids how to farm organic fields.

Doudlah Farms Organic

Mark learned how to grow sunflowers, corn, beans and more with pesticides. Then, her father was diagnosed with cancer in 2008.

Wisconsin farm returns to its roots, spurred on by pesticide damage

Doudlah organic farms

“I used to clap my hands on my chest, proud to feed the world,” Mark said. “But I really didn’t understand at what cost.”

It was then that the Doudlahs decided to return to fully organic farming.

“It’s not like I can go back to my great-great-grandfather and say, ‘Hey, how do you rotate the crops and how do you control the weeds?’ ”Said Mark.

His son Jason, the sixth generation, quickly learned under his wing. “Between organic and conventional, it’s maybe three times more work just because of the number of passes,” explains Jason.

Jason thinks it’s worth it. “It’s a lot more work. Much more laborious. But I can live with myself, ”he said.

The cost of farming has also skyrocketed. “The equipment side of agriculture has really become expensive. Today, head-mounted combines cost $ 1.2 million, ”said Mark.

The technology is far beyond the first generation of the family, which dates back to at least 1805.

This one has built-in GPS and will automatically drive their 1,600 acres of crops within an inch of where they last drove.

Wisconsin farm returns to its roots, spurred on by pesticide damage

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“When we grow and plant, we want to know where those rows are because we are no longer using herbicides to control weeds,” said Mark.

Because a lot of what they do now is with computers and sensors, Jason goes to MATC to get a degree in electromechanical technology to, in his own words, “Fix things or build things, and that would cost. cheaper than asking someone to come and work on them. “

Mark thinks he’s setting up not only his family, but our entire next generation, to be a healthier, happier Wisconsin.

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