Kirschenmann Family Farms Inc.was one of the first cereal grain and livestock farms to transition to organic and biodynamic production. We began our transition in 1976 and became certified organic in 1980 and certified biodynamic in 1982.During our 30 plus years of operation we have developed markets for our differentiated crops and livestock which has provided our farm with significant value-added premiums in both the US and Europe.
These markets have enabled our farm to operate without having to borrow any operating capital since 1980.We have had some losses due to the introduction of transgenic crops (notably canola) since we had to take canola out of our rotation since we could no longer find any seed that was guaranteed free of transgenic presence and there was no way to protect our canola (an insect pollinated crop) from contamination. The loss of that crop in our rotation represented an annual $50,000 loss in income. We joined the lawsuit against Monsanto for three reasons: 1. The current transgenic crops and the threat of introduction of many new varieties in the near future threatens the future of all organic production.
2. If transgenic varieties of wheat and alfalfa are introduced in North Dakota, where our farm exists, it will essentially shut down our farm since those two crops are critical to our crop rotation system.
3. Monsanto’s history of suing farmers for contamination of Monsanto’s patented transgenic materials, despite the farmers’ best efforts to protect themselves from such contamination, is an egregious violation of the farmers’ personal property rights to use their property as they wish without interference from a corporation like Monsanto. The protection of the farmers’ personal property rights has to be addressed.