Turning your unique agricultural story into business success
Elm Grove Enterprises is a specialized Minnesota-based firm that supports agricultural producers throughout the United States.
We can turn your unique agricultural story into real business success. Learn more about us, and let us learn more about you.
About Bob Olson
Bob Olson is the founder and owner of Elm Grove Enterprises. He grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm as the fourth generation on the Elm Grove Farm. Bob attended college, earning Agronomy and Soils degrees while interning for one of the Midwest’s first crop consulting companies. Upon graduation in 1979, he joined the University of Minnesota Extension Service, where he served as a County and Regional Agent during the mid-80’s Farm Crisis. With that experience imprinted on his mind, Bob earned a master's degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Minnesota that serves him well to this day.
In 2004 Bob retired from Federal Service with Extension as an Emeritus Professor after 25 yearsand immediately began a new career with an exciting organization that utilizes his talents to conduct market assessments, feasibility studies and business plans. To further assist his clients he gained a great understanding of and proficiency with federal and state grant programs, with particular focus on USDA’s Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program.
Bob founded Elm Grove Enterprises to pursue independent projects outside his regular work regimen, and is now transitioning to full-time consulting as a grant writer, business developer and educator. While he maintains a network of affiliated agricultural specialists to aid his work, Bob provides all project oversight and 100% of the core grant writing for his select clients.
Bob resides in Stillwater, Minnesota with his wife of 35 years. They have three grown children and spoil their grandchildren whenever the opportunity arises.
About Elm Grove (the place)
Elm Grove Enterprises is named for the family farm and cheese factory that carried the same name. The Elm Grove farm, established in 1888 by Bob’s great-grandparents, was carved from the thick forests near Osceola, Wisconsin.
The farm fields were cleared for crop production, but a towering grove of the finest American Elm trees was maintained in its native state. The grove provided cover for game animals, shade for the farm animals, timber and firewood, and even emergency feed during the multi-year droughts of the 1930’s.
Like the majority of Wisconsin’s farms of that day, Elm Grove included a herd of dairy cows. To add value (and store the nutrients in milk without the aid of refrigeration), the family established the Elm Grove Cheese Factory in 1896 to serve the needs of farmers within a 1 hour radius by horse and buggy.
As luck would have it, after fighting in the trenches of World War I a young man apprenticed as a cheese-maker for Elm Grove. He gained great proficiency with his trade, earning Grand Prize at the first American Cheesemakers' Association annual convention in 1926. More importantly, he married the farmer’s daughter and they had a son, John, who became Bob’s father.
Elm Grove farm and the original buildings still exist, now under the watchful eye of Bob’s brother, Dan, and his family.