Q&A with Gail Donkers

We sat down with CGMN volunteer, Gail Donkers, to learn more about her, her farm, and even got one of her favorite fall recipes for you to enjoy this harvest season!

Where is your farm located?

We’re located halfway between Kenyon and Faribault, with a Faribault address.

What is something you would like to share with those outside the agriculture and farming community?

One thing I always want to express to consumers and those outside of the agriculture industry is how much we really have in common. This is a unique job, but the challenges and rewards of most professions differ widely and often misunderstood by others too. We are trying to raise a family by doing something we love. We still have to go grocery shopping, run kids to sporting events and other activities, be involved in our communities, find time to spend together or take vacation, and countless other things just like any other family! How that looks can be a little different than families living in a more urban area, but our family is more like any other family than different. 

What do you grow/raise on your farm?

I used to say kids, corn, and cows, but our kids are young adults now! We raise corn, soybeans, alfalfa, dairy steers, finishing hogs, and sheep. 

How long have you been farming / how long have you or your family owned the farm?

I’ve been farming my whole life, I grew up on a dairy farm, and married my best friend who happened to be a farmer. We currently farm with my husband’s family, 3 generations farming together. My father-in-law, my husband and his brother, and now our children are involved in the day-to-day operations on the farm. 

What is something you wish more people knew about farming?

We genuinely care about our animals. We go to great lengths to make sure they are well cared for; at our farm, we don’t eat until everything is fed and cared for every morning and evening. The circle of life never gets old. When we have baby lambs being born, I am in constant awe of how they just know to get up and nurse right away!

If you have kids, what is important for you to pass on to them about eating farm-to-fork?

We are the first step in the farm-to-table process, the production end. We make an effort to buy locally too, from our equipment to our crop inputs, the dollars spent locally help support the community we live in.

Is there anything else you think we should know about you and your farm?

The sheep are my main project, I love starting my day off with morning chores. 

Any fall favorite recipes?

I LOVE all things pumpkin!

My favorite breakfast or snack:


1/2 cup oatmeal, heaping

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or to taste

2 tablespoons Chia seeds

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup milk (I use whole)

1/4 cup pumpkin (freshly baked or canned)

1 egg

splash of vanilla extract

splash of pure maple syrup or honey – optional


Separately, combine the wet ingredients and dry ingredients, and then pour wet into dry until combined. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until set. Top with your favorite ingredients, I like things like banana slices, maple syrup, a little extra pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin seeds, pecans, or whatever I’m feeling.  

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