Farm Credit Affiliation
Tony and Katrina's Perspective
Katrina Becker and Tony Schultz of Stoney Acres Farm share a vision of agriculture that would connect farmers and consumers, foster mutual support, and promote a better understanding among producers and urban residents.
In pursuit of their vision, the couple manages a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program with 220 families as members. They sell their organic produce at a local farmers’ market, provide food to lunch programs at urban and rural school districts, and have their farm products featured on menus of several local restaurants.
“Educating others on the agricultural systems and bringing people together around the most fundamental human experience of eating is the most important work I can do in this world,” says Tony. “I am inspired by my relationship to the natural world and am trying to deepen the historical care of and stewardship of the land.”
Katrina and Tony also host on-farm events that help educate consumers while also marketing their farm products and increasing farm profits. Their most significant event is a weekly Pizza Night, held May through October and welcoming more than 700 rural and urban consumers each week. Using their own products as well as locally sourced cheeses, visitors learn first-hand where the ingredients for one of their favorite meals are produced.
Stoney Acres Farm also donates vegetables to the local food bank and offers free programs about food production for local students. In cooperation with the University of Wisconsin Madison, Katrina and Troy support a variety trials and provide tours to local groups interested in learning more about farmers and food production.
“My most basic goal is to create a farm that sustains our family, creates opportunities for our children, and feeds our rural and urban communities high-quality food with a greater understanding of agriculture,” says Tony. “On a community level I am working to create spaces for growth for young and non-traditional farmers, spaces to feed and educate our communities, and to serve as a model and support system for all local farmers as they navigate, and in some cases reinvent, their farming systems.”
Stoney Acres Farm is more than just a 150-acre farm operation producing vegetables, beef, organic chickens, pork and maple syrup. The farm is a demonstration of how farmers and consumers can work together to foster respect for each other and for the land while also strengthening their community.
“In the future, agriculture will have to wrestle with huge challenges in the environment, changes in population and demographics, and continued economic consolidation,” says Tony. “I see great hope in the innovation of young farmers, both those from traditional farming communities and new first generation farmers, in addressing these problems - creating a system with more equality, higher quality food, and farming systems that enrich rather than degrade our collective resources.”
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