Small MN Organic Dairy Needs Help

The barn is the heart of any family dairy.   Rebuilding will help us to develop our small sustainable dairy after our fire.

Welcome to Prairies Edge Farm

Carol milking Ada

We are Rich & Carol Radtke & our daughter's name is Madison. We have another daughter that we care for, who is mentally and physically challenged.  Her name is Chastiti.

Rich, Madison & Carol

We have two milk cows and a couple of dairy goats. Carol milks the dairy animals by hand. That’s the way we’ve always done it. Our small Certified Organic farm is located near the small rural town of Kerkhoven, Minnesota. We farm approx 70 acres of hay and forage. We do not raise corn and soybeans like most - our farm consists of pasture and hay/forage only.

We believe in the power of healthy milk and have been providing it for several years to our family, friends and others who enjoy raw milk for drinking and making delicious foods like butter, cheese and kefir.

Our fundraiser is to finish building a new barn. The barn we were going to milk in burned to the ground March 4th of this year. Along with the old barn and milk-room, we lost all of the dairy/milking equipment (milk cooling tank, milking units, compressor, vacuum pump, water heater, furnace, ... everything). The tools and supplies that were using to fix the old barn went up in flames as well.

With the building of this new dairy barn we will have a facility in which to milk our growing herd.  Ooops... did we forget to mention that in addition to our 2 cows, we also have 19 heifers that we purchased from a local dairy? The previous owner didn’t have enough feed this spring so instead of selling them at an auction barn, he allowed us to purchase them at below market value. He didn’t want them to be sold as meat and neither did we.

Building our barn will allow us to earn a modest living and still provide others with fresh raw grass-fed milk. We will sell our Grade-A milk to Organic Valley while continuing to serve our community.

Carol loves her house cow.

In addition to being unable to finish our barn, which could be overcome with time, time is not on our side. The problem being, we have calves coming soon!  You see, 10-11 of our the heifers are pregnant. The first of them due in October of this year. And, well, Carol says she doesn't want to milk more then 2 cows by hand.

Finishing the barn is the only financial help we need. Last year, we secured an USDA loan to purchase an additional tractor, milking equipment (bulk tank & compressor, vacuum pump, milk pipeline, claw units, etc...), manure handing, forage wagons - nearly all that we needed to run a dairy. What we didn’t plan on was the March fire.

This was taken the day of our fire.

What about insurance on the old barn? We were declined, due to the fact we were rehabbing it. It needed to be finished before it could be covered on our current policy.

With your participation, making this campaign successful, you will allow us to get our dairy started. With our strides forward, we will have the ability to contribute to our community. Our first year goal, aside from making our loan payments, we are pledging $1000 to our local FFA chapter so that they pursue organic projects. Our second year, we would like to donate up to 2 acres for free community garden space. We would also like to pursue the organization of a free summer farmers market, here on the farm. Our long range goal is to start making yogurt commercially, with our organic cow milk. We enjoy helping others.

Barns are expensive.  This is what $30,000 looks like

We have set our fundraiser goal at $19,800. We believe that will allow us to provide payment to the contractors that have already done work for us as well as to finish the interior of our milking facility. Our carpenter/contractor said he is willing to take an IOU for his labor, but will need something for materials.

The list below shows who we will we owe and the estimated amounts.

~ Electrician: $5700 (running 200amps from the pole and running interior building conduit and wire, lighting)
~ Excavator: $2000 (leveling building site, digging in drain line and bringing water)
~ Carpenter: $7000 (building interior walls, installing wall coverings)
~ Welder: $3100 (purchase for steel and building/welding of milking parlor)
~ Miscellaneous: $2000

TOTAL: $19800 If we can surpass our goal amount, it’ll go to pay the labor of our carpenter.

We thank everyone!
Rich, Carol & Madison

You can learn more about us here:  Praire's Edge Farms

Please feel free to join our Facebook page:

  • Chad MALM 
    • $20 
    • 71 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 83 mos
  • Kjell o Bibbi Wärme 
    • $200 
    • 86 mos
  • Kjell and Bibbi Wärme 
    • $20 
    • 86 mos
  • Tracy Petitjean 
    • $20 
    • 86 mos
See all


Carol Radtke 
Kerkhoven, MN
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