During the hot Missouri summers, Dustin Ostmann carefully nurtures the plants on his farm. He checks their conditions, watches the weather, and battles pests, using only natural growing methods to raise his plants. After harvesting their produce, Dustin provides it directly to his customers through his community-supported-agriculture program. His dedication to his plants and customers has made his program a growing success.
Dustin’s grandparents own Lakeview Farm, the place where Dustin grows much of his produce. As a child, Dustin worked there frequently, learning to farm by helping his grandfather John and his father, Mark. When Dustin graduated from Lindenwood University, however, he started working at a manufacturer, farming only in his spare time. Eventually, working and farming conflicted. He had to choose between his job and his plants. It was not a difficult choice.
Dustin decided to continue planting at Lakeview. He leased some other land from his family in the bottomlands of the nearby Missouri River. Rather than raising corn or soybeans, though, Dustin wanted to try selling produce to local buyers. He started by selling his "all natural" produce to a local store in Wentzville.
In 2014, Dustin chose to market his produce directly to his customers and started a CSA program. Because of the quality of his produce and his dedication to his customers, Dustin’s program has experienced strong growth in his first three years. The first year, he had 15 customers buying from him. Now, his customer base has grown to 65.
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