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University of Minnesota Extension

Lake County Farm Family

Wolf Ridge Farm at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center

Wolf Ridge Farm was born out of a desire, and ultimately a need, to produce local, nutritious food in rural communities of northeast Minnesota. With the help and drive of local farmers 10 years ago, Wolf Ridge ELC committed to building the infrastructure necessary to support both vegetable production and farm-based education for the learners who visit the center.

Wolf Ridge Farm is designed to model a resilient and just food system that supplies 10,000 pounds of nutrient-dense food for the ELC’s meals and for the surrounding community, including food shelves and K-12 schools. The farm also provides experiential training and research opportunities within the context of a sustainable farm and food service. Developing healthy children with the capacity to make healthy choices sets the stage for an informed and empowered community of eaters.

The farm completed its first growing season in 2013, and since then has developed a facility that includes three high tunnels, a processing building with a pack shed, cooler, freezer, a certified kitchen, and a three-season classroom. The farm consists of 6.5 acres with 1 acre in production and is visited by about 2,000 students of all ages annually. Only organically certified and Organic Materials Review Institute inputs are used on the farm and sustainable farming practices including low-till, crop rotations, no-turn compost, buffers and wildlife corridors are used. Wolf Ridge Farm is proud to be recognized as a Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certified Farm. 

Farm Manager Sarah Mayer took over the farm from David Abazs in 2019. Hunter Burke is the 2023 Farm Apprentice. Three WWOOFers (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) will be joining the farm crew this summer. With a dual focus on education and production, Wolf Ridge Farm continues to support farmer training that will retain farmers in northeast Minnesota and inspire future farmers across the country. This natural community hub brings together volunteers, service-learning groups, and Wolf Ridge ELC staff and naturalists, all graciously lending a hand to nourish one another through good food and good fellowship.

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