Prairie Oaks Beginnings: Mike Forti
retired from UPS management and has since been living his dream as a General Contractor. Now Mike, being Mike, is always looking
for new projects to keep him working and playing with his "toys" aka tractors and power tools. Mike purchased the
first 10 acres with the run down dairy barn in 2000 not knowing if it would turn back into a dairy barn, horse barn or
into a landscaping company. Luckily the previous owners had put a new metal roof on the barn so even though it was run down
it was bone dry. He just went to work repairing the damaged wood and adding new supports to fortify the building. We then
finished the lower level and rehabbed the original stalls and added more to create a total of 15 stalls, a tack and feed room,
a finished office upstairs and turned the original milk room into a club room.
In the years we were working to get the dairy barn back on it's feet,
Mike also purchased 6 more acres adjacent to the original 10. In 2005 he built an indoor arena with 17 additional stalls.
Today we now have 32 stalls in the two different barns, a round pen, two outdoor arenas, one indoor arena and 10 grass turnout
paddocks all with 4 rail wood fencing including one that has all-weather footing. Three of those paddocks have run in sheds.
of August 2012, the Forti family is also in the hay business! We made the decision to ensure cost effectiveness, quality hay
and consistancy for our horses. We grow all of our grass hay locally in Prairie Grove for the sole purpose to benefit our
customers and extended family at Prairie Oaks Farm. We do not sell our hay to outside buyers.
daughter's delight (one of the few horse people in the family) the years of the families blood sweat and tears turned the
barn into what it is today, a premier horse boarding facility.
On July 21, 2017, our dairy barn was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Krista and her husband Filip were
in the arena barn when the lightning hit and were able to get all the horses out and to safety before the barn was fully involved
with fire. There were only minor smoke inhallation injuries and all horses have made a 100% recovery. The Prairie Oaks Farm
fire is one of the few
fires where all horses and people survived.
is one thing quite clear, young man," he said, "your horses know who they can trust; it is one of the hardest things
in the world to get horses out of a stable when there is either fire of flood. I don't know why they won't come out, but they
won't - not one in twenty."
-Taken from Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
We will be rebuilding.
Please stay tuned for the planning!
Northwest Herald's July 25th, 2017 Article
Northwest Herald's July 26th, 2017 Article
Photo Album: Prairie Grove Barn Destroyed ©AVucha 2017
Twitter photos from Captured News