Nelson says he’s seeing more interest among row-crop and livestock farmers like himself in expanding beyond commodity agriculture, especially now with the growing consumer demand for local foods.
Down the gravel road, a neighbor has planted grapevines along a fence row. Several local farmers are growing aronia berries, a native fruit. And Nelson’s uncle is growing barley and hops, potentially to tap into the local craft beer scene.
“I feel like there are a lot of commodity guys interested (in local foods),” Nelson says. “Whether it’s grass-fed beef, locally raised beef, we’ve got guys in the area who are doing that. I see people putting up high tunnels (greenhouses).
“They’re trying different things because they...