Chris Clinehens, Clinehens Organics
The Clinehens’ Organic Farm is where all the corn that’s used in our fresh masa, tortillas, tortilla chips, and crackers is grown. Chris was the first farmer to take an interest in what we were doing, and after he tasted some of the black beans we had grown out in market test plots in 2009, he decided to "give them a try," and, and in three years, went from a seven acre experiment to more than 60 acres. The father of two, Chris is a third generation farmer, who started transitioning his 250 acre farm in 1994. Today, Chris, his daughter Ginger, and his Dad, Garland, run the farm. And, in the off-season, Chris is likely to be demoing our chips at stores and visiting us for his and his wife Kim's birthday week in March where we all celebrate at his favorite restaurant, Casa Nueva, the worker owned restaurant that sets the bar for local and the first to serve our beans, chips, and tortillas.
Tom & Mary Klein, Klein Organic Farm
Tom and Mary make the distinction that organic farming is a cause. And that’s why they are among a few farmers out there who are devoted to growing landrace (heirloom) crops, like Wapsie Valley Corn, ground fresh in our Grits, Polenta, and Corn Meal; the Red Fife Wheat ground into our Flour and Cereal, as well as Einkorn, Spelt, and Emmer. The Klein family has been growing grains and beans on their family farm for 20+ years. Tom's a former industrial arts teacher. Mary was a business teacher and school treasurer. Both served in the Peace Corps in Malaysia. They have three children.
Ed Andrews, Andrews Organics
Andrews Organics has been growing Shagbark black beans and pinto beans since 2015. Ed is a fourth generation farmer, who grew up working with his Dad, Eugene, and Grandpa, Mills, who taught him conventional grain farming on the family’s 1244 acre farm. In 2000, he he started transitioning to organic, and by 2009, the entire farm was certified organic. His two youngest sons still work on the farm when they aren’t in school, along with Nathan and Joshua Jones, whose family has been integral to all farm operations since 2000.
Mark & Marilyn Beaver, Mark Beaver Organic Farm
Mark and Marilyn Beaver are both sixth generation farmers, and they have taken over both family farms where they grow organic grain--his a grain farm and hers a dairy--while living on the farm where Marilyn grew up. They started farming full time after Mark retired from work as an electrical engineer. Their two children and four grandchildren live nearby and their son-in-law also works on the farm. All but 15 acres of the 300 acre farms were certified organic in 2009. The Beavers grow all Shagbark’s heirloom Oberkülmer Spelt, from which we make Flour, Cereal and Pasta. They sometimes also grow our buckwheat.
Ura & Joseph Hershberger, Hershberger Amish Farms
Father and son each have their own farms, where they farm only with horse drawn equipment. They grow without chemicals but are not certified organic, being Amish, and not wanting to participate in government programs. The Hershbergers have grown Shagbark’s Heirloom Popcorn since 2011, which is a mainstay at the Athena Cinema in Athens.