Sand Lily Farms

History and Biography

The Story of Sand Lily Farms

Kim and Mark Ludwig formed Sand Lily Farms in 2005 after purchasing a small parcel of land in Allegan County, Michigan.  The name comes from the description of our sandy soils and a play on Kim’s maiden name, Lillibridge.  We take as a mascot the wild prickly pear cactus  that grows on the property.  These “sandlilys” give us 2 inch yellow blooms in July and fruits in the fall.  We hope to be as persistent as these plants.  The farm has four buildings which formerly supported several vegetable farms working the muck fields to the north and east of the farm.   All that space has allowed us to dedicate buildings to be a shop, animal barn, storage and an open sided shed is used for social events.  We have hosted several block parties with the help of our neighbors and hope for many more to come.  Our “learning curve” has been rough at times as we experimented with vegetable production, meat chickens, sheep and beef.  We have settled in to a model of beef and lamb production we are happy with.  We rent six acres across the road from our main  farm and would consider expanding if good terms could be had.  Our county is a hot bed of agriculture with world class fruit farming as well as big livestock operations, so there is a lot of competition for land.  We have been pleased to find there are many folks literally a few blocks away interested in sustainable agriculture and a welcoming attitude from the neighbors.  The farm has steadily improved in many ways as fences have been built, the trees have grown and the grass gotten thicker.  We still have some challenges with our old buildings and dry soils and we know agriculture always has some surprises.   Sand Lily Farms is at the corner of 115th Avenue and 59th Street and we're thankful to have it.  We are a customer inspected facility open for visits by appointment.

Mark Ludwig is a graduate of Michigan State where he discovered soil science and got interested in agriculture.  He spent many years in Wisconsin where he learned about rotational grazing. In 1997 he completed the University of Wisconsin's Short Course for Beginning Dairy Farmers, which has a grass based curriculum.   He enjoys at long last building up his own farm.  Mark is the current chair of the Allegan County Conservation District and a full time maintenance manager (ahem, department) for a small manufacturer in Holland.

Kim Lillibridge Ludwig  Is a graduate of Michigan State University and a practicing Quality Engineer making automobile components.  She convinced Mark to return to Michigan by agreeing to buy him a farm during an extended romantic comedy.

Nebiyat Ludwig joined team Sand Lily during the summer of 2010 from her native Ethiopia.  She is a fan of swimming, cake, purple stuff and sometimes her parents.   She likes the brown cows.

Looking East at a Winter's daybreak February 2011.

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