Your name and your farm

Clint & Alecia Zenner
Zenner Family Farm

Location of your farm

Genesee, Idaho

History of your farm

Zenner Family Farm is a fourth generation family business that is firmly rooted in the rich soils of the Palouse. To this day we are still farming the ground that was purchased in 1935 by my great grandfather J. Peter Zenner. We will be the fourth generation to have the opportunity to carry on the Zenner Family’s passion for sustainable food production. We take pride in preserving one of our greatest natural resources, our soil, while producing top quality food products in a sustainable, direct seed cropping system. Russ and Kathy Zenner joined the family business in 1970 and took over the farm in 1993. In January of 2012, Russ and Kathy blessed us with the opportunity to continue farming the ground that has been in the family for 77 years.

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

By direct seeding we are improving our soil structure and its ability to retain water. By doing this we increase the organic matter and improve soil quality and soil structure, which in turn helps reduce erosion and improves our soils capabilities of utilizing the available moisture.

Because of the very steep terrain on our farm, limiting soil erosion is a very important factor for long term sustainability. We are continuously trying to find ways to incorporate different practices such as cover cropping, grazing livestock, and a diverse crop rotation to reduce erosion and our reliance on man-made chemistry. By implementing these practices we are hoping to produce a more nutrient dense food product that is safe for our worldwide consumers.

Why are you involved with Shepherd’s Grain?

I really like the story behind Shepherd’s Grain. I had met some of the members of Shepherd’s grain and found that we had similar goals for our products. I felt that by having similar goals and the same vision, we could accomplish more together than by trying to market our grain alone.

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

The education of consumers has always been a goal of mine. In Shepherd’s Grain we have the ability to closely interact with businesses that utilize products from our farm. Getting to visit the businesses and meet people who depend upon our product is a very rewarding feeling. They want a great product for their costumers, with a story they can share about their supplier. As farmers it is our job to let people see, feel, and understand what it is we do. Shepherd’s Grain has put us in that position. I want our consumers to understand the love and passion we have for our land and the end product. Producing safe, wholesome, nutrient rich products in a sustainable manner is our goal. These principles is what will keep a strong relationship between Shepherd’s Grain growers and their customers.