The Bahrenfuse Family

Owner: Robert “Barney” Bahrenfuse and Suzanne Castello

What year did you start farming?
I started farming in 1983, our family has been farming in the Grinnell area for 5 generations.

How big is your farm?
500 acres approximately with half a pasture

What does your farm consist of?
Cattle, hogs, sheep, chickens, corn, soybeans, oats, cover hay, alfalfa hay, occasionally wheat, triticale – we are certifying some of our crop land organic this year.

What is something notable about your farm?
We have been selling beef, pork, lamb and chicken to local customers for over 25 years. We have been mob grazing our cowherd for the last 7 years.

What is your favorite Berkwood Farms product?

What is your favorite activity besides farming?
Hiking, canoeing, and reading to elementary students.

The Bahrenfuse name has been around Grinnell since the 1860’s, and continues to be a well-known family name. The 450 acre farm has been in the family since the early 1950’s, officially purchased in the late 1960’s.

Barney Bahrenfuse’s independence is the main reason he is a farmer.  He also enjoys the variety within each day’s work.  As for farming practices, Barney raises grass fed beef and free range Berkshire pigs.  They are not certified organic, but they don’t use any GMO grains in their feed.  You can also find sheep, chickens, and some other animal varieties from time to time.  Barney has been selling meat locally for about 25 years, as well as raising Berkshire’s for Berkwood Farms.

His favorite meaty meal is goat stew. He says it is the best thing to ever come out of a crock pot.  He is also a fan of smoked ham steaks, but the whole family is wild about their ground pork.  Most importantly, he loves sitting down at the table with his family to enjoy any and all meals.