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Do you know your farmer? Are you looking for a local, sustainable, pasture based, family farm to source your beef and poultry products? We want to be your farmers! We sell direct from our farm and are located in West Central Minnesota, 12 miles from Chokio and 20 miles from Morris. Think you live too far from the farm to be a customer? We already sell our products to loyal customers in the St. Cloud area, West Metro area, and the Twin Cities – please ask about making arrangements for delivery!

Your Farmers

Derek and Carrie Redden are high school sweethearts, neither of whom grew up on a farm. But for his entire life, Derek has had a passion for farming and always seized the opportunity to get himself involved through agriculture clubs and farm employment. Unfortunately, farming on his own seemed like a long shot. After getting married and realizing that neither of them were interested in pursuing the careers they sought education for after high school, Derek and Carrie moved to the country and worked with pigs for an employer. In 2009, they dipped their toes into the farming waters and purchased their first cow and some chickens. Things slowly progressed from there and in 2013, the opportunity presented itself for them to relocate to the Luikens family farm in Chokio, Minnesota. It was a lifelong dream come true for Derek, and of course Carrie was thrilled too. Derek is employed full-time off the farm and Carrie is home on the farm with their two children, Dorothy and Elvin.

History of the Farm

This farm has been in the Luikens family since 1904, when it was purchased by Dutch immigrants, Dedrick and Jerena Luikens (Derek’s great-great-grandparents). The couple had twelve children and passed the farm on to their son, Dedrick Jr. when they retired in 1918. Dedrick Jr. and his wife, Mable, raised four sons on the farm and passed it on to their eldest, Elvin, in 1949. Over many decades the farm supported the Luikens family through a variety of crop and livestock enterprises including, but not limited to, cattle, hogs, chickens, turkeys, corn, oats, wheat, millet, and flax. In the 1970s and 80s, Elvin and Ardath’s three daughters moved away to pursue education and their passions off the farm. Elvin farmed the land until he retired in the early 1980s. For about 30 years, the tillable acreage on the farm was rented out and used in a conventional row crop rotation of corn and soybeans. Elvin passed away in 2001 and Ardath remained on the farm until 2013 when their grandson, Derek Redden, moved into the farmhouse and the Luikens family was once again farming the family land. Derek and Carrie’s young children, Dorothy and Elvin, are the 6th generation in the Luikens family to live on the same farm.

The Farm Now

Twelve Tails Family Farm is located on 320 acres in El Dorado Township of Stevens County, in West Central Minnesota. It is 12 miles from the closest town, Chokio. We have a small herd of beef cattle, and in the summer we raise broiler chickens and turkeys on pasture. We also have a small flock of laying hens for eggs. Our products are marketed and sold directly from the farm to the consumer. In 2015, 100 tillable acres that had been used in a conventional row crop rotation of corn and soybeans for the past 30 years were planted to perennial grasses and legumes that will be harvested for hay and grazed for pasture.  We care for the land in accordance with certified organic standards, and 2017 marks the beginning of our third year (of three) in transition for the land being certified organic.  Also, in the spring of 2017 we brought 32 dairy heifers to the farm to transition for organic milk production.  We are making plans to begin selling milk to Organic Valley in June of 2018.


Why the name, Twelve Tails?

As we brainstormed ideas for a name for our farm we were initially drawn to use Twelve because the Twelve Mile Creek runs though the property. It also happens to be that the farm is located approximately 12 miles from each of five small towns: Chokio, Donnelly, Herman, Dumont, and Johnson. We solidified our decision to use Twelve in the farm name when we realized that as we first started to have serious discussions about making a business of farming, rather than just hobby farming, we had 12 head of cattle. The Tails in the name is representative of animals on the farm – from the swinging tails of our cattle, to the tail feathers of chickens and turkeys, to the striped tail of our partner, the friendly barn cat, – we’ve got all bases covered.