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Once upon a time

A health crisis shook the life of founder Crystal Manuel which led her and husband Jody, on an exciting educational agrarian adventure.  

As they researched, they began to make the correlation between organic practices and wellness, which ultimately resulted in the transitional journey of their farm & ranch.

The vitality of their landscape began its reawakening through the introduction of regenerative organic practices and holistic herd management. While on the hunt for good help that understood the importance of maintaining organic practices, the serendipitous day came when the Manuel family would meet their new family friend, Brei Larmoyeux.

Jody_and_Crystal_Manuel_inspecting grain

Good Times

Brei and her family moved 1700 miles to live and work at Prairie Grass ranch for over 3 years. During this time their friendship grew through the mutual love of experimenting with delicious family meals, desire to teach the importance of understanding that food is medicine, and creating time and space for their families to adventure together. All of their notes and ideas were kept in a sacred ideas notebook. 

Two women hold up the Gruff Logo with the Bear Paw Mountains in the backdrop.
Brei_Larmoyeux_and_Crystal_Manuel_holding_Gruff_Logo

A significant life shift separated the friends. Brei and her family moved across the nation far away from the slower agrarian lifestyle. For two years the friends stayed connected. Despite time and distance they continued to find ways to be a part of each other's lives. 

Two young girls in long sleeve swimsuits  spooning out Ancient Grain Grits onto their plates.
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A Crazy World

During the pandemic of 2020, the friends reunited  at the ranch to wait and see what would happen while the world seemed so unsure. Due to the complicated circumstances of the pandemic, the two families were having to feed 9 children collectively without the convenience of running to the grocery store at whim. It was during this time that another idea was added to the notebook… Maybe, just maybe, they could take their love of healthy food, education and adventure and bring others along to discover all the delicious ways that ancient grains can add value to mealtime.

Children sit around the table enjoying breakfast out of parfait bowls
Aeriel View of the green fields and coulies of Prarie Grass Ranch
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The Making of a Movement

Life returned to business as usual and the friends went to work on their dream. In 2021 Prairie Grass Ranch transitioned to Regenerative Organic practices. It wasn't long after that our first boxes of ancient grain grits were filled and Gruff was born! 

Today, Gruff is a Regenerative Organic Grit Company focused on supporting the regeneration of soil health and full farm ecosystems. We are committed to providing a profitable platform for ROC farmers who prioritize soil integrity and take measures to improve the nutrient density of their drops. As a company, we have a vested interest in agricultural education and strive to help consumers actualize the integral connections between farming practices, nutritious food and personal wellness.

A woman throws grain in the back of a classic truck while a man playing ukulele and a woman ringing a dinner bell gaze at each other.
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Brei and Crystal pose with the Bear Paw Mountains in the backdrop.

VISION 

AND

MISSION

Woman and daughter pose for a picture with pack goats and a sign that reads "Welcome to Prairie Grass Ranch"
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“Like you, we’ve been on a journey. Thankfully we’ve come to realize that some of life’s richest blessings are birthed through difficult circumstances. Gruff was created to celebrate all that we’ve learned about wellness, regenerative organic farming, and whole foods.”

Meet GRUFF

The Bears Paw Mountains in late summer.
Creekside at Sunset with trees in the background.

JODY MANUEL 

REGENERATIVE ORGANIC FARMER

Farmer closely inspects grain in a field full of ripe Emmer.

Jody has been farming organically since 2007. In Jody’s office hangs a plaque that reads, “Why the Hell not?”. This is a great picture of this renegade farmers perspective on pioneering farming in a the current era with Regenerative Agricultural Practices.

CRYSTAL MANUEL

FOUNDER

Woman in carharts grinding grain in a homemade mill.

Crystal has spent 20 years passionately educating her community and beyond about the benefits of introducing real, organic food into delicious every day meals. Her greatest joy is leading others through a wellness journey that leads to positive life change.

BREI LARMOYEUX

PROJECT MANAGER

Brei Larmoyeux sitting in the creek enjoying grits eaten from a canteen

Brei has been an advocate of organic food for 15 years.  It started at Whole Foods in Little Rock and led her to the fields of Montana where she was introduced to the robust organic growing community. She has spent the past five years marketing for purpose driven Montana brands.

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