Justin and his wife, Molly, have been married five years and have a daughter, Emily. They live in Grafton and farm near Lawton, ND, which is between Devils Lake and Grand Forks and approximately 20 miles north of Highway 2. 

In 2009 as a freshman in high school, Justin purchased a bred heifer through a FFA grant program. At that time, his family had a hobby herd of about 25 cows. He enjoyed being outdoors with the animals and wanted to learn more so he retained calves and slowly increased herd size.

Currently, they have a cow/calf operation. Their goal is to decrease cow size and minimize inputs. The cows calf in May and June and Justin says, "I haven’t had to pull any calves for the past two years." The cows spend the summer grazing pasture and he plant cover crops on tillable acres after cash crops or after failed crops for fall grazing. Rye has been seeded in the fall for spring grazing as well. Recently he has been experimenting with apple cider vinegar, sea salt, baking soda, and conditioner for the past year. The health of the herd is at an all-time high. We farm 800 tillable acres growing wheat, soybeans, pinto beans, and corn.

A few years ago, Justin took a three-day holistic management course and a follow up course on financial holistic management.  These courses have had great impact in his decision-making processes for the operation.

Justin incorporates no-till, cover crops, temporary fencing, rotational grazing, mob grazing and modified bale grazing.


Areas of expertise are:

  • Goal setting/decision making
  • Fencing
  • Economics of grazing management
  • Cropland Aftermath Grazing
  • Grazing management for expired CRP
  • Cover Crops
  • Winter Grazing Strategies


Contact Information:

Phone: 701-331-2246
Email: Justin.L.Zahradka@gmail.com