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Fortunate family farmer
The parched soil of the High Plains can be a challenge, says Bryce Hediger, a 22-year-old farmer at Golden Prairie Inc., located in Nunn, Colorado. “We raise organic wheat and millet on all dry land,” he says. “We're on the border of where dry and irrigated land meet.”
The Hediger family farm tradition is steeped in history. It began when Hediger's grandfather, Fred, moved to the U.S. from Switzerland in the 1940s to become a commodity trader. Fred eventually started buying farmland toward the end of his career.
“My father and grandfather bought a farm in Montana, then they moved the operation to Nunn,” Hediger says.
Hediger grew up on the Nunn farm and received some quality learning experience.
“Fifty acres came out of CRP and Dad let me run it,” he says. “I'm glad we did it with 50 acres and not 5,000. It was an awesome lesson for me to learn.”
Hediger recently received a finance degree from the University of Denver, but he made it a priority to work on the family farm throughout his education.
“I'd always recommend an education, but absence makes the heart grow fonder,” he says. “My college was 45 minutes from home, so I would stack my classes to allow me to spend every weekend out on the farm.”
Looking forward, Hediger admits he's in a very fortunate position. “Some CRP land was left to me by my grandfather, and the CRP runs out next year,” he says.
He prefers the organic style of farming his family has put into place and plans to continue it going forward. It's not an easy practice, he says, given the lack of irrigation and other traditional components, but he's up for the challenge.