In 1878, after immigrating across the Atlantic Ocean, the Hubmer family settled in the vast Minnesota prairie to begin farming. Ever since, the family has worked the land, stewards for each generation of children who would farm after them. Roger and Dawn started farming together in 1982, after their marriage. In 1998, they started Prairie Pride Farm. “Prairie Pride came about because of a passion for providing good, clean, healthy food for people who are looking for this,” states Dawn Hubmer.
Prairie Pride produces pork and chicken that focuses on flavor, quality, nutrition, and sustainability. “My inspiration [for Prairie Pride] came from my concern about today’s lack of healthy food choices. Many children have no idea what good healthy food tastes like,” states Dawn. “We have always been farmers, but we put a name to it: Prairie Pride Farm.”
Ferndale carries a wide range of Prairie Pride pork products, focusing on their line of delicious sausages. Whether a brat for the grill or blueberry sausage for breakfast, each product is gluten, antibiotic, hormone, and MSG free. The meat comes from heritage Berkshire Duroc crossbreeds, a pig with superior flavor and fat content. Their rugged frames and hardiness are perfect for Minnesota weather.
“We did not trust the way the hog industry was going and wanted to remain independent and small…. The hog industry wanted lean lean lean hogs (that is what the consumer wanted, we were told) and we did not agree with that, we thought the customer wanted flavor!”
By staying small, farmers Roger and Dawn get to retain control on breed, feed, farming practices, and farm size. “That way we can continue to grow our animals in small batches and remain dedicated to making premium quality products,” said Dawn. During the warmer months Prairie Pride processes 20-30 hogs a month and reduces that number to 10-15 during the winter. “We are a multi-generational family farm that is small and will remain small.”
All of Prairie Pride’s animals’ supplemental feed corn is non-GMO corn that the Humber’s grow themselves. Being able to control the feed is a large benefit of being a small, family owned farm. When asked what her favorite part of owning Prairie Pride Farm was, Dawn responded, “Owning your own farm business and being directly responsible for caring for the land and animals we own. Customers really appreciate the hard work that we do.”
Farming is as risky as it is rewarding. “Managing risk is the biggest challenge,” admits Dawn. Weather, drought, hail, too much rain, high winds, coyotes, and neighborhood dogs are just some of the elements that farmers like Dawn and Roger must try to account for. Thankfully, six generations of Hubmer farmers have been dedicated to navigating these bumps in the road so they can provide this area quality meat with sustainable practices.
“The more families hear that there are choices available for healthy eating; this impacts the local food culture in a very positive way. They no longer have to settle for highly processed food. The local food movement is here to stay this time.”
– Dawn Hubmer, MS, Prairie Pride farmer and Home Economist