Your name and your farm

Mike and Jamie Kunz
Kunz Farms Joint Venture

Location of your farm

Davenport, WA. about thirty miles west of Spokane, WA.

History of your farm

I’m a fourth generation farmer. My grandfather purchased the farm and home where Jaime and I live in 1928. My parents, Charles and Irma Kunz took over the farm in the early 1940`s and retired in 1982 when I moved to the farm and took over the operation. In 1935 my grandfather bought the first tractor that was used on the farm. He was pressured by my Dad who threatened, "The horses go or I go".

Since that time the modernization of the farm has been an ongoing process. New equipment, technologies, and challenges have been the norm. The commitment to a direct seed operation is the most recent challenge. I have spent several years learning and experimenting with direct seed systems and a few years ago I was able purchase the equipment necessary for a direct seed system.

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

A direct seed farming system is a sustainable farming practice that minimizes soil erosion and builds soil organic matter. When I consider the future of the farm the most important issue is to ensure that the farmland is farmed in a sustainable system that will enable me to pass a productive, viable farm on to the next generation.

Why are you involved with Shepherd’s Grain?

Being a Shepherds Grain producer has been rewarding. Involvement with a group of some of the most progressive thinking producers in the Northwest has given me opportunities to enhance my farm management. I have become more innovative and have a renewed focus on sustainability.

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

The connection to the end user is something I have not experienced in my years producing a bulk commodity whose identity was lost as soon as it was delivered to the local elevator. The opportunity to meet local and regional bakers using the flour that was milled from wheat that I produced has been fulfilling. I always look forward to hosting Shepherds Grain customers and sharing with them the renewed energy that Shepherd Grain has added to our farming operation. It’s an opportunity to share the commitment that Shepherd Grain producers have to provide a quality product that is produced with sustainable farming practices.