This month’s Leader of the Land ® is a celebration of the love and passion farmers share for their land and animals.  

As February is the month of love, it is fitting to share the story of two high school sweethearts whose passion for agriculture inspired them to get started and keeps Deer Creek Angus Farms running successfully.   

Karen Kerner and her husband, Greg, are the third generation to farm their land in Phillips, Wis. A neighbor and friend named Charlie recognized the passion in Karen and Greg early on and told the young couple while they were still in high school that he wanted them to take over his farm. 

Karen and Greg started with just seven cattle in the mid-90s. They have since grown to 100 cow-calf pairs. 

Deer Creek Angus Farm is named for Deer Creek which runs through the land. The family partnered with experts to put fences and buffers around the creek to keep the cattle out of it.  

Deer Creek Farm uses several conservation practices on their farm including crop rotation, no-till, cover crops and moving cattle into the woods to graze. Cover crops help to provide more feed for their cattle throughout the year.  

The couple is always learning new things about manure and soil management to protect those resources and be more efficient.  

“We have children that will be the fourth generation here on this farm. It is important to protect these resources and do what we can to sustainably to manage soil and water resources properly,” shared Karen. 

Karen markets beef from their farm at a storefront on their farm and at local farmers markets. She enjoys teaching people about beef at the farmers market and considers it a successful day to share her story and help her customers learn more. She also works with youth in the community to help with 4-H projects.  

“It is the life we choose, yes, but like we tell our kids – we have the most important job in the world because we feed the world,” added Karen. 

Karen is passionate about caring for the animals and loves sharing the high-quality products that they produce. She is proud to share her passion with her community and pass her legacy to her children someday.