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Duration: 1 hr 57 min
Gary Zimmer, Madison , Wis. , is a farmer, author, agri-businessman and educator dedicated to biological agriculture. Recognized around the world for his commitment to improving farming through building healthy soils, he has spoken to farmers and agribusiness professionals all across the U.S. and in Canada , Europe, Australia , New Zealand , and South Africa .
He has never stopped learning or teaching throughout a lifetime in agriculture. Raised on a Wisconsin dairy farm, Gary studied dairy nutrition, earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree from the University of Hawaii , combined with years of hands-on farming experience. Teaching agriculture in southern Minnesota , he continued learning, studying and reading, always asking questions and looking at ways of farming with an open mind. He began asking questions about the soil and how it relates to healthy and productive plants, which lead him to read The Albrecht Papers.
Gary trained and worked as a Brookside Consultant for two years in southeastern Minnesota .
For over 35 years, Gary has been evaluating farming practices as a consultant, on his family’s farm, and as president of Midwestern Bio-Ag, a biological farming consulting company located in Blue Mounds, Wis. He operates the Bio-Ag Learning Center , where biological farming practices and agricultural products are field tested, and where the annual Field Day draws 800 -1,000 agriculture professionals from across the country.
The Zimmer family’s organic farming operation near Spring Green, WI utilizes the ideas Gary has gleaned over a lifetime spent studying agriculture. Otter Creek Organic Farm is a 150-cow organic dairy also producing pasture raised hogs, chickens and beef cattle, vegetables and farm crops on over 1,000 acres. The farm operates on the principles of ‘Mineralized Balanced Agriculture: ‘do everything you can to get the soils healthy and mineralized; do everything you can to get the livestock healthy and comfortable.’
The family was honored in 2008 as the MOSES Organic Farmer of The Year.
The Zimmers have also opened Local Choice Farm Market, selling locally produced organic and natural foods, including cheeses, beef , and chicken from Otter Creek Organic Farms, and Black Earth Meats.
Heavily in demand as a speaker, Gary Zimmer appears at dozens of agribusiness, organic and farmer meetings every year. He has spoken to diverse audiences including the Acres USA conference, Innovative Farmers of Ohio Conference; Heart of Maine Resource Conservation & Development, Upper Midwest Organic Conference, Pennsylvania Sustainable Ag Conference, Vermont Grass Farmer’s Association Grazing Conference, Wisconsin Grazing Conference, Michigan Governor’s Conference on Organic Ag, and has participated in farmer education programs in Australia, Holland, New Zealand and South Africa, and consulted on farms in those countries as well as Greece and China.
Gary is the author of the book, The Biological Farmer, A Complete Guide to the Sustainable & Profitable Biological System of Farming, published in 2000, and his second book is due out later this year.
His focus remains on the soil as the source of nutrients: how healthy soils produce healthy plants for healthy livestock and healthy humans.