Our Story

 
 

When Mark's grandparents first decided to start farming this land they did so because they wanted to become biodynamic farmers.

This farm has been in the Zinniker family since 1943 and is the longest-running biodynamic farm in the United States. It has been organic from the very beginning and was certified organic in 2000 through Oregon Tilth. Throughout the farm’s history, we have been striving to improve soil health and fertility through the use of manure, compost, a balanced animal/land ratio, and the use of biodynamic methods. Over the years we incorporated other ideas and methods that support this idea, such as Korean Natural Farming methods of incorporating indigenous microorganisms, biochar, and recipes from the Sanskrit in India.

Our Operation

In 2011, we started transitioning the farm from a dairy focus to a beef operation. With this transition, we started using grazing principles that are in line with the Holistic grazing management approach taught by Alan Savory with the goal to increase fertility, the soil's water holding capacity in drought and other extreme weather pattern and to eliminate erosion.

All our animals are fed 100% organic feed grown in our certified organic fields and are raised without hormones, antibiotics, genetic engineering or other chemicals. We strongly believe in disease prevention over treatment and use homeopathic and natural remedies if treatment is required.

Most of our land is used to grow pasture and hay, but a few acres are planted in corn, oats, barley, peas, and wheat to sustain the poultry and pigs. Our land enjoys wide biodiversity through the maintenance of tree lines, waterways, creeks and forestland.

Since Zinniker Farm is located in SE Wisconsin, our growing and grazing season is limited and therefore some of our products are only available seasonally.

The Farmers

Today, the Zinniker Farm is worked by Mark and Petra Zinniker. In 2017, we were able to bring Tonya on board to round out our team. She is now working full-time on the farm.

Mark grew up on the farm and is the third generation to carry on its biodynamic legacy. Caring for the earth in a clean, healthy, and sustainable way has always been part of his life. His love for nature and the environment is visible everywhere on the farm.

Petra was born and raised in Germany and always had an interest in the environment and growing her own healthy food. She came to the Zinniker farm as an apprentice in 1991 where she met Mark and moved here in 1994 after finishing her education in Germany.