Willow Lake Farm, Windom, Minn., Oct. 8, 2012: Owned and operated by Tony Thompson, Willow Lake Farm is a 3000-acre sustainable corn and soybean farm on the border of Fish Lake, the deepest lake in southern Minnesota. The farmland is home to many unique plants and animals living in prairie, wetland, and forest areas. Thompson has been living on the farm his whole life and seeks to maintain and preserve its natural surroundings by merging agriculture with nature.
Tony was nice enough to welcome my friends and I to his 1800’s farmhouse for a couple of nights during our cross-country road trip. After talking with him for just a few minutes, it was clear that he’s really passionate about what he does and has put his entire life into learning about and teaching others how to give back to the land. He holds an Agro-Ecology Summit there every year. I later learned that he spent 16 winters earning a degree in agronomy from the University of Montana at Bozeman so that he wouldn’t have to leave the farm during harvesting months. He was an interesting guy, to say the least.