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Commitment to soil health remains priority for Grain Place Foods CEO

“How your food is produced does matter.” Dave Vetter, CEO of Grain Place Foods, firmly believes in his company’s slogan.

Every choice he has made as an organic farmer on his family farm, The Grain Place, in Hamilton County, Nebraska, emphasizes the principle that healthy soils naturally produce more nutritious food. He has invested his life to regenerating the soil on his family’s land through organic farming.

Now, the Grain Place Foundation is developing local and regional opportunities to improve organic farming as a whole.

It recently signed a contract to be an administrator of programs for the top National Organic Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a division that helps farmers in their transition to organic.

Grain Place Foundation was established in 2015 to continue the research and focus on soil health that originated with Dave’s parents, Don and Mary Alice Vetter, seven decades ago at The Grain Place.

Farm experiment begins at Grain Place

The Vetter family farm initially began in 1953. Don and his father George Vetter bought 280 acres together, the same land that Dave still cares for today. A World War II veteran, Don intended to use the farming practices he had learned at GI school. This included the conventional farming methods of applying herbicides, pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.

Don immediately observed signs of distress in his fields. Notably, wildlife populations decreased and physical properties of plants changed after being sprayed. As a result, Don adopted organic farming, which was unpopular at the time.

Don’s ability to farm was nearly stripped away in 1959. He suffered a recurrence of malaria, which he had first contracted during World War II while serving in southeastern Asia.

While recovering in the Veterans Affair hospital, Don studied accounting.

“They thought that would be better for his

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