Scott and Melanie Hall met in 1999 in western North Carolina and become life-long friends. They apprenticed together at a spiritual training center learning how to teach a meditation technique. That is where they developed a deep desire to be close to the land. While apprenticing, they dreamed of a sustainable farm and producing good food as close to nature’s intended way as possible.
The mother and daughter team of Christina and Hailey operate two farm businesses in Minnesota.
“We named our farm Rolling Hills Cattle Company,” Christina said. “And we call our meat business Grillin Meats. The beautiful rolling hills of our property made our name easy. Everyone loves to grill, so Grillin Meats fit really well!”
At the ripe age of 2, Christina’s family made the move to her great-grandparent’s house to live. Part of the privilege of being next door to grandpa’s farm was being able to go with her dad to the farm to help feed the calves.
Seth is a 8th generational farmer, but we recently got hitched, and bought a farm together. Being our second marriage, and wanting to do something new and special with this small farm, we decided to specialize in rare and endangered heritage livestock breeds, of which Seth has some experience. So in several ways, this farm is a second chance, or a chance for Redemption.
Jason & Lexi Feyerherd are the dynamic duo living their farm dream at Virginia’s Longbottom Farm. But not long ago they were living a different dream…the typical “suburban dream.” As Lexi describes on their beautiful website, “We had a growing family in a wonderful neighborhood, with good schools, nearby amenities and all the Netflix our wi-fi could handle. It was a wonderful life, but something was missing. Little did we know that a seed had been planted in both of our hearts. And what started as a spark of desire to move to the country, grew into a full fledged passion for farming. There were many factors at play, but ultimately the desire to responsibly raise safe, nutritious food was the reason we started our small family farm, Longbottom Farm.”
Rachel and Matthew Palma are the can-do farmers behind Virginia’s Restoration Acres, a farm with the tagline “Food that Restores.” Their passion through our regenerative farming practices is to see restoration happen to our earth and ecology, to the health and well being of those who consume their products, to the animals they raise, and ultimately in our community and their food and farming systems.
Cassie and Asaf are the farmers behind Eden Creamery, just outside of Boise, Idaho. “We’re a couple of scientists turned cheese makers,” Cassie says. “I guess you could call us “Curd Nerds.” Asaf is Israeli and settled on Eden Creamery as the farm’s name, after the Garden of Eden. There, he and Cassie raise a rare breed of goats, the beautiful Oberhasli.
Michael and Christy Rose are the husband and wife team behind Southwest Gamebirds, a family farm that focuses on research and propagation of game birds. Whether it’s hatching eggs, live birds or even frozen quail, they have a passion for game birds, such as Coturnix quail. So, how did these guys find their way into the world of gamebirds?
Some people grow up on a farm, so it’s natural they farm as adults. Not Jackie Cleary, who took a rather long and winding road to the farm. “Yep, it was a long, convoluted way, through food and animal welfare interests,” Jackie says. “It seemed a bit random, as I was working on real estate at the time, but I was raised showing and training horses, and worked in the horse industry for years before my real estate career, so I was used to the work and large animals, and really missed them.”
Joel, his wife Amy and daughter Sadie are the farmers near Lake Havasu, Arizona. Several years ago, Joel’s family began an adventure in search of wholesome food. That led them to form Fort Rock Farms as a way to produce and distribute nutritious, naturally grown food to their Lake Havasu City friends and family. The same food we set out in search of so long ago. Joel’s path to farming began with being lured by, as he says, “Joel Salatin’s silver tongue.”
Kimmie and her husband, Phil do pretty much everything on their Raleigh, NC area farm..with the “help” of their three children. Originally from Mattawamkeag, Maine, Phil moved to North Carolina nearly twenty years ago. Though trained as a master automotive technician he became interested in regenerative farming after becoming friends with several Polyface Farm associates. Phil’s desire to farm grew as he researched and studied more about our food and farming systems in America.
Ryan Hamby farms in Maryland with his mom, dad, and three younger brothers. Ryan says they chose the name Freedom Valley Farm because their farm is in a big valley and farming in it has given his family freedom from the “rat race.” Like many modern farmers, Ryan’s path to farming started not outside…but inside, watching documentaries such as Food, Inc. But rather than doing what most people do (such as just supporting a local farmers market), Ryan’s family went in whole-hog, so to speak, and started farming themselves!
“Even at that young age, I was serious about developing a top-tier production herd of Jersey cattle,” Ben says. “I set for myself the goal of having the highest-producing Jersey herd in the state of Nebraska. I bred my cows to high-production bulls and purchased cows and heifers from high-producing herds in the Midwest, and by 1997, as a senior in high school, I had the top herd in the state for milk.”