Your name and your farm:

Eric and Malia Odberg
Odberg Farms Inc.

Location of your farm:

Three and a half miles south of Genesee, ID

History of your farm:

I'm a fourth generation farmer and my greatest hope is to be able to hand down our farm to the fifth generation. We have three sons and hope that one or all will want to farm. My great grandfather started our farm at its present location in 1901. I started farming in 1993 and my Dad was pretty open minded to new ideas and technologies in farming. I witnessed a couple of erosion events early in my farming career and knew there had to be a better way. I started direct seeding in 1998, which is protecting and building back our land for the next generation.

Why do you think direct seeding is important to the future of agriculture?

Everyone wants clean air, water and an abundant, healthy food supply. Direct seeding contributes to all of those things. Civilizations haves disappeared because of the loss of topsoil. It builds back but at a very slow rate. I can honestly say it's building back on our farm because of direct seeding.

Why are you involved with Shepherd’s Grain?

Shepherd's Grain enables us to market our wheat by the way that we grow it. It would be very difficult for us to do this on our own. Shepherd's Grain allows us to diversify our marketing. It is very rewarding to be able to know who uses our wheat. Shepherd's Grain was and is on the cutting edge of the current food movement and it's very exciting to be apart of it.

Why do you think it is important to develop relationships between the grower and Shepherd’s Grain customers?

Our customers want a face on their flour. Shepherd's Grain invites them to our farms and we visit their stores and bakeries. I've actually become friends with a local baker who uses our wheat flour and I take our boys to his bakery.