Hey. I’m Jill.
I’ve never been good at following prescribed paths. I ask too many questions for that. And as young newlyweds, my husband Christian and I asked one question that changed our lives forever:
“Why do we have to do it like everyone else?”
Our quest for the answer has led us down some wild paths, including impulse-buying a neglected farmstead 40 miles away from the nearest grocery store.
Little did we know that old homestead would change everything. We learned to make compost, tend chickens, milk goats, and plant vegetable gardens.
Day by day our confidence grew in tandem with the callouses on our hands. But a deeper transformation was happening as well. As we restored the farmstead, we experienced our own restoration. For the first time in my life, I possessed a deep sense of belonging, both to myself and to this land. I finally felt fully alive.
But this old-fashioned, unorthodox way of living didn’t just stay in the barnyard for us. What started with a passion for growing our own food eventually translated to Christian and I becoming serial entrepreneurs, homeschooling our three children, raising grass-finished beef, owning a small-town soda fountain, and ultimately creating a life we only could have dreamed of before.
The modern homesteading movement begins as a way to slow down and create a healthier, more wholesome lifestyle. But what starts as a reconnection to the external world culminates in humans who are more centered, balanced, and whole on the inside, too. The fresh bread and the colorful eggs hook us, but the deep sense of meaning keeps us coming back for more.
It’s about the satisfaction of work worth doing, the gratification of cultivating your own food, the pleasure of relishing in a home-cooked meal, and the joy that comes from watching children learn life lessons in a barnyard. If the modern consumer life has left you feeling empty, or you’ve felt stirrings that there has to be more, you’re in the right place, my friend.
Peace, Love, and Mason Jars,
The Prairie Homestead Team
Jill Winger, Founder & CEO
Jill is the founder of The Prairie Homestead, an online space with over one million monthly visits dedicated to helping people learn how to grow their own food and opt-out of the rat race, regardless of where they live. In 2019, she published her best-selling cookbook The Prairie Homestead Cookbook which was an Amazon Editor’s pick and won Best Cookbook in the 30th Annual Reading the West Book Awards given by the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association
Her practical and authentic style of teaching and storytelling has won the hearts of hundreds of thousands of homesteaders across social media and through the Old Fashioned on Purpose podcast, which has amassed over 5 million downloads since its inception.
Jill and her family also run Genuine Beef Company which ships grass finished beef nationwide, as well as the Chugwater Soda Fountain. She has been featured in Urban Farm, Farm & Ranch Living, COWGIRL magazine, Woman’s Day, HuffPost, the Wall Street Journal, Wyoming PBS, People, and Buzzfeed. She resides on the Wyoming prairie with her husband, three children, and more farm animals than she can count.
Cris Daining, Executive Assistant
Cris is Jill’s “right hand gal” who is responsible for managing the day-to-day functions of The Prairie Homestead business. She handles a variety of activities here, including email communications, social media activity, organizing and updating the online courses, researching and managing new projects, coordinating meetings, editing, and more.
In her spare time, Cris is happily obsessed with year-round gardening in her mild South Carolina climate and manages her own website (www.thehomesteadgarden.com), where she writes about: gardening tips, her philosophical musings about finding joy in nature, herbal remedies, and she also shares her favorite food recipes that use bold flavors and fresh garden produce (as well as sharing her newest passion for creating tasty hot sauce recipes).
Michelle Visser, Marketing & Project Manager
Michelle ensures that projects keep rolling around here, and she keeps The Prairie Homestead brand connected with the finest companies and products, so we can constantly offer our tribe insights into which ones are truly the best.
A homesteader, author, and podcaster herself, in a different corner of the country (rural New England), Michelle has been featured in Whole Foods Magazine, Capper’s Farmer, Hobby Farms, Where Women Create Work, and Mother Earth News.
Here at The Prairie Homestead, as well as on her own site (SoulyRested.com), and in her book, Sweet Maple , Michelle encourages folks in the sometimes-difficult parts of simple living, no matter where they may be on the journey.
Kayla Visser, Communications
Kayla, as a Community Manager, keeps many aspects of our social media, website, and inboxes moving smoothly.
Kayla was managing her own business at 9 (seriously) and many aspects of her family’s homestead at 13. Dairy cows are her favorite animals, and sourdough breads her favorite kitchen creations. Kayla is a natural fit for all the homemade, farm-raised, home-grown goodness around here.
Katie Holmes, Writer
As a writer/researcher Katie is responsible for a few different tasks on The Prairie Homestead. She conducts research, keeps posts updated, takes photos, and helps with content creation.
When Katie isn’t working, she can usually be found living life on her busy Northern Michigan homestead. She enjoys growing her garden (when the seasons permit it), caring for her Nigerian Dwarf Goat herd, raising all kinds of poultry, and managing her own website (katiesuescountrylife.com); where she shares her experiences with barnyard animal care, gardening, old farmhouse living, and other aspects of homesteading life.