Brett Nix grew up farming and ranching with his parents in west central South Dakota; joining them fulltime in 1979. Initially they ran a mixed farming and ranching operation with a wheat/summer fallow rotation, with oats and feed grown for their livestock. During the 90s they transitioned to no-till and added grain sorghum and sunflowers to the rotation.
In the mid-2000s with commodity prices and input costs skyrocketing, the Nixs found themselves on the edge of a financial crisis. What followed put them on more than a decade long journey, transitioning their business into an all grass operation. This transition included regenerating over 2500 acres of depleted farm ground with cover crops and cattle impact before seeding to grasses, putting in water lines and tank systems, and installing perimeter fences. They lined up their livestock cycles and grazing management to the natural systems around them. While pursuing this transition they were relentless in paying off their short term and intermediate bank debt.
Brett and his wife Lori have restructured their business. Before this transition could take place they had some heartfelt family meetings with Brett’s parents. His parents agreed to give up the reins to Brett and Lori and stayed involved by moving to an advisory role, his parents later voicing that it was one of the best decisions they have made. Brett and Lori separated the land business from the livestock business and abandoned many of the conventional ways of viewing and running their operation.
Brett is active in their community, having served on their local school board, FSA board, Township board, and Livestock Improvement Board. Brett currently serves on his church board and is a director on the SD Grasslands Coalition. Brett is a life-long learner and stays engaged in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding.See All Speakers