Agriculture and pig farming are the driving forces in rural economies, but the people and farmers in those communities are the life blood.
Pig farmers know the importance of the community and take pride in supporting and participating in the events and organizations that make rural Minnesota a great place to live.
Pig farmers like Dave Mensink know being an active member in the community is the right thing to do both as a neighbor and a pig farmer.
“My wife and I started this farm in 1981 and we couldn’t have done it without the love, support and friendships that make up our community,” Dave says. “No one farms in isolation.”
Pig farms generate many opportunities in communities including careers that attract people to the community and philanthropy support which stimulates the rural economy by supporting local businesses.
“Maintaining relationships is as important as anything we do on the farm,” Dave states.
Pig farms look different than they did when Dave’s father started farming in rural Preston, Minnesota.
“Our farms look different and that means we have to work even harder to keep our connections to our communities strong.”
Dave explains, “Our community is viable and that is why we are committed to building and supporting our community.”
Farmers understand their communities are made up of a variety of different people, and strive to be good neighbors each and every day.
“I’m honored that I have new neighbors building a house across from us. That means I need to control truck traffic on the roads we share and keep odors responsibly controlled and minimized,” says Dave.
Dave farms with his family right on the edge of Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park. His farm is also located in an area of Minnesota referred to as the driftless area. This part of Minnesota is known for its trout streams, bike paths, and bluffs. This geography takes special care to farm in and pig farmers like Dave do not take that lightly.
Dave and his family have invested in protecting the neighboring state park and the natural resources where they live and farm. They have built buffer zones to protect vulnerable parts of the water supply and they plant and maintain areas of pollinator habitat.
Pig farmers know vibrant, rural communities are vital to their success as a pig farmer and that is why they are committed to caring for the people and environment in their community.