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University of Minnesota Extension

Grant County Farm Family

Olson Family

The land farmed by Nic and Megan Olson’s family was originally purchased in 1915 and has been in the family for 107 years. Nic Olson’s great-grandparents, Harry and Alice, raised wheat, barley, turkeys and cattle. In 1951, Nic’s grandparents, Marvin and Harriet, took over the farm and continued with cattle, wheat, barley, corn and soybeans.

The cattle operation was phased out and by 1981 Nic’s parents, Loren and Sherry, moved onto the farm and took over the operation. They added a small pork business that ran for about ten years in addition to growing wheat, barley, corn and soybeans.

During the difficult years of the 1980s, Loren took a full-time job off the farm and in the 1990s the land was rented to a neighbor. In 2010, the family’s land was placed in CRP for a decade.

In 2016, Nic and his wife, Megan, moved to the farm and worked to establish an organic regenerative farming system that focused on annual grains and beans. They’ve set up a rotational grazing system that mimics natural grazing patterns and have worked to rebuild their soil. The Olsons named their farm “Plain Farms” reflecting their prairie setting and the simple nature of their farm’s products that are raised without synthetic inputs.

The Olson farm currently raises 100% grass-finished beef, grass-fed lamb and pastured heritage pork. The family grows organic Red Fife wheat, organic black beans and organic pearled barley.

Nic and Megan are the owners/operators of their farm. Nic manages the farm operation. Megan manages the sheep—and their children. The Olsons have four children on the farm: Corinn, Noah, Silas and Karis. They all help with various chores. Four adult children, Maria and Andrew Costello, Serena Olson and Aliah Olson, also help with various farm projects and chores.

The Olson are members of the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota and their farm has been certified by the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program. Their farm is certified organic by the MCIA. The family is involved in the Do & Dare 4-H Club, which was founded in part by Nic’s grandmother, Harriet. The family is a member of Cornerstone Church in Fergus Falls.

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