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19. Mikayla Tabert – Diversification and Innovation are Key at Trinity Creek Ranch

Cover crops, Farmer programs, Grazing, No-till

If you could choose only three words to describe Trinity Creek Ranch in Red Lake Falls, Minn., you would probably land somewhere in the realm of diversification, innovation and family.

That combination of values is why we’re so glad to have Mikayla Tabert from Trinity Creek join us on The People of Soil Health Podcast. The farm – which was started by Mikayla’s grandfather in the 1950s and now includes her husband and parents – raises everything from 150 cow-calf pairs to a diverse crop rotation of corn, soybeans, wheat, peaola, alfalfa, cereal rye and sunflowers.

“We’ve got a lot going on but, with the four of us working, it does help to manage that,” Mikayla says. “[Diversification] helps us be a lot more resilient. You know what crop commodity prices can be like, or you get a wet year, dry year, certain crops do better than others. We like having that diverse mix so that we can have a fail-safe. And if all else fails, we always have the cattle.”

Trinity Creek Ranch enrolled in their SHP trial in 2019 with goals to build soil organic matter and decrease the amount of synthetic inputs applied. In their first two seasons, Mikayla says, they’ve already started learning a lot, including the impact of cover crops on weed control and how a wider variety of soil tests can be used to measure success and change over time.

“Our goal is to have that healthy functioning soil that doesn’t need a bunch of inputs to have a productive crop.”

Learn more about Trinity Creek Ranch’s approach to soil health by clicking the player above or listening to this episode in your favorite podcast player.

You can also keep up with the activities at Trinity Creek Ranch on their Facebook page or by following Mikayla and her dad, David, on Twitter.