BETTING ON BISON: Young farmer Ashleigh Lerg has brought bison production to her family’s farm in northeast Clinton County, Mich. She is the owner of Humble Beginnings Ranch LLC and works in cooperation with her parents, Kim and Roger Lerg.
HOG FORAGERS: Ashleigh Lerg, with her mother, Kim, is incorporating regenerative agriculture into the once all-conventional farm. Tamworth hogs, which are a heritage breed known for their foraging, are part of the animal diversity of the farm.
CLEANUP: Pictured are just a portion of the 450-plus chickens on the farm that join the bison during the day, helping to spread manure and eat larvae, which helps with fly control. At night, they are put away in the trailer or the barn.
DUCK PATROL: Muscovy ducks help control bugs on the farm and are later slaughtered and made into duck jerky.
GROWING BUSINESS: Ashleigh Lerg has grown her bison herd to 80 in the past six years and would like to have a couple hundred, or whatever the land will allow.
FROM DIRT TO SOIL: The goal of regenerative agriculture is to improve soil rather than just sustain it in a degraded state.
PUMPKINS FEAST: After Halloween and fall pass, pumpkins are donated to farm as a food source, which also keeps them out of landfills. Bison and chickens enjoy them, but the hogs on the farm especially like them. They also serve as a natural dewormer.