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Duncansin Family Farm

Rooted in Regenerative Agriculture

Our curiosity runs as deep as our roots.


The story of Highland Family Farms began in Scotland when members of the Duncanson family emigrated to Canada and then continued south to Minnesota in pursuit of land in the early 1860s. Brothers, Dale and Harold Duncanson, expanded the Blue Earth County farm in the 1940s when Dale returned from World War II. They named the business Duncanson Brothers and focused on raising sheep, corn, soybeans to start, eventually transitioning to include cattle.


Dale and his wife, Mary Maruer Duncanson, were curious and experimental from the start – always interested in trying new practices to increase crop productivity and profitability. This rubbed off on Pat and his brother Karl, their sons, who became the fifth generation to continue the Duncanson legacy near Mapleton. Pat and Karl transitioned the farm from raising cattle to pigs and revisiting with small grains and their role in conservation practices.

After Karl passed away in 2015, Pat and Kristin established Highland Family Farms and dug further into regenerative agriculture practices, reduced tillage, organic crops, cover crops and growing food-grade soybeans. Almost a decade later we run a diversified farm that includes everything from traditionally to organically grown crops. We’ve added rye to the mix to encourage soil health. We’ve transitioned nearly all their acres to strip-tillage or no-till, which is all helping build their soil for longevity. We ensure our pigs are cared for in comfortable barns and with plenty of water and feed to support their health and growth.


While not all members of the sixth generation actively farm, the Duncanson children – Ben, Claire, Sam and Gabe - and grandchildren remain connected to it. We understand that taking care of the soil and water also takes care of us. The seeds planted by our ancestors developed deep roots to create a thriving business that grows strong thanks to curiosity, economic innovation and environmental stewardship in the fields of southern Minnesota.

Meet Our Family & Crew

Get to know the people who contribute to our family farm operation.

Kristin Duncanson Bio

Kristin Weeks-Duncanson

Owner & Partner

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Pat Duncanson

Pat Duncanson

Owner, Partner & Chief Financial Officer

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Gabe Duncanson

Gabe Duncanson

Operations Manager

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Ben Duncanson

Ben Duncanson

Business Manager

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While not all of our children are involved in the daily activities, they are still part of our farm and future.


Claire & Nate

Claire, Nate and their kids live in North Mankato. Claire is a mental health therapist and Nate is an ophthalmologist. The three little boys and a middle school daughter love visiting the farm whenever they can. They already know that tractors really should be green.



Sam is currently at Iowa State University pursuing a PhD in Geology. He conducts research in geochemistry and sediment geology to understand modern and ancient environments. We rely on him for his soil expertise and helping us evaluate soil health practices.

The Crew

We could not operate without our hardworking and loyal crew. Most of the team has other jobs and help us out after hours or during their vacation time.

Tom Duncanson is our main guy who works year-round to help us keep everything running, growing and weed-free. He's had a long career in ag and spent time as tax accountant before joining the farm decades ago.


Denise is our office manager, Chris, Joel, Dan, Eric, Marv help with harvest. Larry, Matt, Sean, Steve and Laurie, Brian, and Clinton manage our hog barns. Mike is our longest employee having helped Pat’s dad and then stayed with Highland Farms. He is our head odd-job, year-round, part time man.

Duncanson Family

Growing Generational Ties

Welsh Heritage Farms

We aren’t the only farm family using innovative practices to grow better crops and our business. Meet our longtime friends the Harbo and Peterson families who operate Welsh Heritage Apple Farm and the Cheese and Pie Monger shop.


Located just outside Lake Crystal, this progressive apple farm grows our favorite fruits using trellises and conservation practices. We’ve worked together and shared ideas since the early 1990s. We know we can always count on them to have the best apples, cheese, pies and more…right up the road.


Stop by on your next drive through Mankato or Lake Crystal to learn more about trellis farming and grab your favorite treat.


Collaborating For The Future

Collaboration, community and education are key to our success. We work with a variety of businesses, institutions and nonprofits to host events, conduct research trials and connect with people who want to learn more about what we’re doing on our farm.

Here are just a few of the organizations we volunteer and work with.

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