Change is the word that defines the Double G&L Farms, owned by Wayne and Carrie Grimm.
One of six couples named to the 2021 class of Kansas Farm Master Farmers and Master Homemakers, they actively involve their five young daughters in their farm operation near Morrill, Kansas, in Brown County. In addition to their extensive livestock and crop operation, the family’s entrepreneurial spirit is evident in a host of other businesses.
Wayne and Carrie both grew up on a farm, participating in 4-H and FFA. This early and active involvement in agriculture is what fueled their desire to go back to basics.
After the wedding, they purchased the Grimm family farm, in partnership with Wayne’s father and brother. In 2019, Wayne, Carrie and their daughters started farming on their own. “Pproduction and financial management decisions are made by a team made up of the whole family,” said Wayne.
Elsie, their eldest, is the cow herd manager and farm accountant. Sadie, who graduated from high school in 2021, is the farm’s marketing manager; she manages farm equipment, helps with livestock, and oversees the family’s website. Emmie, ninth grade, is a videographer and editor of the farm’s YouTube channel, which now has nearly 4,000 subscribers. Estie, 10, and Nellie, 7, join their sisters in managing their own small herd of 20 show club cows, as well as helping out with other family businesses. An on-site farm shop is their latest venture; it features the fruits of their labor – goat’s milk soap, lotion, candles and car air fresheners, farm and ranch paints, and baked goods.
Another nod to girls’ entrepreneurial spirit is evident in the Grimm Girls Farm sign hanging from the building that houses their licensed dog grooming and dog breeding businesses.
It doesn’t end there, however. More recently, the family purchased a food trailer called Grimm Girls Chuckwagon.
“My parents were ready to support and help us. Now we want to do the same for our daughters,” says Wayne.
There’s always something going on at Grimm Farm, and education is high on the list. As agriculture advocates, they organize and present a biannual Farm Safety Day for first and second graders, their teachers and parents in local and neighboring communities. Topics range from ATV, livestock and tractor safety to how to call 911.
Many children of primary school age take advantage of free tours of the farm.
“They have the opportunity to milk a goat, bottle-feed calves, collect eggs, learn the functions of sheep and their wool, ride in a tractor, and learn the process by which wheat becomes flour for bread,” explains Carrie.
People from Spain, Hungary, Belgium, Mexico, Canada and all over the United States have visited the farm. It was a stopping point on the 2021 Big Kansas Road Trip.
Farm and Ranch
Originally, the Grimms raised and fed Holstein heifers for a large dairy in Indiana, but eventually Wayne and Carrie switched from dairy farming to beef cattle production. Running a calving-to-finish operation, they fatten 800 calves a year, calve 550 in the spring and 100 in the fall, and buy a few cattle to finish the paddocks. A goal for the future is for the Grimms to tag cows with electronic ID tags, allowing them to better track productivity data.
The cattle are certified Beef Quality Assurance and not treated with hormones. They graze on cropland after harvest and are fed with grain produced on the farm.
“We only buy wet cake, wet distillers grains and corn by-product from ethanol plants,” says Wayne.
They farm 1,100 crop acres and 2,000 grass acres using no-till methods on all acres except where manure is used to fertilize the soil; minimal tillage is used on these acres. As soon as the maize fields have been cleared, oats, rye and turnips are sown. These cover crops improve the soil, limit soil erosion, provide nutritious pasture for livestock during the fall and winter, and provide excellent spring feed. Other crops include soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, bromegrass and sudangrass.
Using new technology and proven methods, the Grimms use pivot irrigation on 40% of their crops. A system of filter strips is used for manure management. Composting of dead livestock follows Kansas Department of Health and Environment standards. GPS technology allows the family to better manage variable rate fertilizer and seed distribution. A residential wind turbine is used to help save energy.
Through all of their ventures and various farming ventures, Wayne and Carrie’s love for farming and farming continues to shine. It’s important to them to keep striving to preserve the earth as they add new technologies and businesses. In the process, they continually bridge the gap between producer and consumer and let people know what it takes to put food on the table and better understand the origins of the food they eat.
The Grimm Girls website, grimmgirlsfarm.com shares links to their YouTube videos which aim to educate the public about farming and ranching. The family feels they have an obligation to share their farm’s story with the non-farm public, citing this Bible verse on their website, 1 Peter 4:10: “As each has received the gift, so do you serve one another as good stewards of God’s manifold grace.
Wayne and Carrie share a birthday. On the same day, 47 years ago, at two different hospitals – her at Sabetha Hospital (Kan.) and he at Hiawatha Hospital, Kan. – the two took their first breath. “He’s 37 minutes older than me,” Carrie said. The two would both grow up and attend Sabetha High School, participating in the FFA and judging livestock in particular.
Newell West lives in Abilene, Kansas but grew up on a farm in Stafford County, Kansas. A career educator, she has taught home economics and family and consumer science at the secondary and adult levels. She continues to pursue educational endeavors as a freelance writer.