The Story of Prairie Cricket Farms
Hey! We are Ryan & Lesley Steppler and we created a cricket farm.
Yes, a cricket farm.
The first question everyone asks is “Where did you get such an idea?” Well, when Ryan heard from his dad that people in the world are eating crickets as a protein source, his naturally ambitious attitude led him to wonder if he could start a cricket farm in his basement. Lesley thought he was crazy but went along with it. Her involvement in the cricket farm was minimal for the first couple of years; mostly questioning Ryan’s end-game, waking him in the night to go find the noisy, escaped crickets AND refusing to actually eat a cricket.
Ryan’s farm soon outgrew the basement and he convinced his dad to let him build a room in the farm shop. In the beginning we were only able to produce enough cricket powder for our own use and a small waitlist of family and friends. We realized the only way to get these crickets onto the market was to expand again and we took a giant leap to build “the barn”, a 40×40 shed now operating at almost-full capacity. Those first 200 crickets purchased in January 2016 have turned into millions. Turns out, Ryan was onto something. We discovered that crickets are extremely nutrient dense, great for gut health and can easily be added to many of the recipes you’re already making. The “ick factor” disappears once you learn that crickets are truly a superfood AND taste great!
The two littlest farmers are extremely helpful in the barn and great promoters of the product. They love snacking on roasted crickets and use cricket powder in their morning cereal, and we feel confident that they’re getting the nutrients they need. Not only are these crickets super healthy for us, but they’re great for the environment as well. We were both raised on family farms and recognize the importance of growing and raising food, so this seemed like a natural fit to diversify our current farming practices. It also turns out to be a great fit with Lesley’s wellness business, where she coaches clients about the power of natural nutrition when managing mental health issues. We are now BOTH on board this exciting adventure and love telling you why you should eat crickets.