Local Farmer in Need

"If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”
1 Corinthians 12:26 ESV

In Michigan's eastern upper peninsula, next to Hiawatha National Forest, is a secluded little farm that has been kept for over 30 years with care, kindness, and a lot of hard work. The well-being of the farm animals and native wildlife that live here, as well as land preservation, have been the priority over the years that Dale Rector has cared for this farm. There is a beauty and charm here that make Heritage Oaks Farm a uniquely special and remarkable place.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Dale hopes to be able to continue to preserve this land and protect what he has poured his life into. His main objectives are to operate and preserve this farm in a conscientious way, using biodynamic and organic practices. He has been farming since he was a young boy and is now seventy years old. Now in his retirement years, Dale faces a difficult task. Due to a recent divorce and an inflated appraisal, the farm is now in jeopardy of being sold after being owned free and clear since 1998.

"A true community is not just about being geographically close to someone or part of the same social web network. It is about feeling connected and responsible for what happens. Humanity is our ultimate community, and everyone plays a crucial role." - Yehuda Berg

Dale's future goals are to donate produce to a food bank, build rustic-style houses with wood harvested from his own land, plant more varieties of trees to add to the diversity, add bee hives, and continue expanding the flowers in different ways. His plan is to pass the farm on to his children and grandchildren, ensuring that it stays in the care of people who appreciate it for what it is. None of this could happen if the farm is sold to someone who will clear-cut the woods and build houses on the land.

"We have neglected the truth that a good farmer is a craftsman of the highest order, a kind of artist." - Wendel Berry

Dale lives a simple life. The majority of his time and resources have been poured into providing excellent care to the animals that live here and the conservation of the land. The dilapidated house he lives in and run-down buildings give evidence of that. Farming makes a wonderful living, but it doesn't make much money.

"The rich minerals of this farm are a foundation for animal health, but soil health is maintained only if the farm is managed properly. It must be chemical-free. No pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. This is how Dale has maintained the farm since he took ownership. Dale has maintained a free-range herd of cattle and used their manure for compost piles used in gardens and crop fields.

"Dale's farm differs from conventional farming in the methods used to grow crops. The farm is a recycling center. He wastes nothing. He and farmers like him build and maintain the soil's fertility, structure and nutrient cycles with the use of their knowledge and farm-sourced materials. This is what supports plant growth and development. This agricultural method works directly with nature's dynamic biological processes and cycles, as opposed to conventional agriculture, which forces just about every process involved.

"You will not find a farm like Dale's anywhere in the eastern U.P. (or probably anywhere else)... It is very unique, and should not be fractured or left in the wrong hands." - Paul Rossi, Health Consultant (For more of Paul's insights about the farm, please visit https://paulrossibirds.com/dales-farm)

"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little." - Edmund Burke

"Privileged — that is how I feel knowing Dale Rector. An old-fashioned farmer who finds joy in his way of life. He goes about his days in reverence for the land, his flock, his herd and nature. He is in-service to the circle of life. Yet, it’s simple to Dale. As he once said: 'It has never been about money for me. I simply want to care for what I have and feed people.' This feels sacred to me and worth preserving!" -Edith Huber, Founder, Authentic Provisions

There are many reasons to support this kind of thing. It is easy to throw around words like sustainability, community, organic, or biodiversity, but at the end of the day, a very simple concept made me want to help: Dale cares. He cares deeply about the food he grows and shares with others. He cares about the health and well-being of his animals. He cares about the land and soil he is the steward of. He cares deeply and profoundly about the farm, and he has dedicated his life to maintaining and preserving the purity of the land to serve goodness to others. In a world that can feel uncaring and harsh, I want more people like Dale. I want more caring, not less. I want to preserve and foster goodness in whatever way possible. Please consider giving to this project, and even if you cannot contribute monetarily, share it on your channels. The world needs more people who care like Dale Rector. Let's help foster his vision. Preserving things like this are essential. It starts with us. If we can't be bothered to care, how can we expect anyone else to?
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Fundraising team (4)

Ralph Pullins
Fibre, MI
Edith Stacey-Huber
Team member
Joanna Lane
Team member
Paul Rossi
Team member

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