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, Gerald, run the farm. And, in the off-season, Chris is likely to be demoing our chips at stores near his farm. He'll also be visiting Athens County for his and his wife Kim's birthday week every March, when we all celebrate at their 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 and Mary Klein & Sons 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, which we grind into 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. Both served in the Peace Corps in Malaysia. They have three adult children.
Ed Andrews, Andrews Organics
Ed Andrews of Andrews Organics has been growing Shagbark black beans and pinto beans since 2015. Ed, a fourth generation farmer, grew up working with his Dad, Eugene, and Grandpa, Mills, both teaching him conventional grain farming on the family’s 1244 acre farm. In 2000, he started transitioning to organic, and by 2009, the entire farm was USDA 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.
Hershberger Family Farms
Father and three sons each have their own farms, where they farm exclusively with horse-drawn equipment. The Hershbergers have grown Shagbark’s Heirloom Popcorn, a mainstay at the Athena Cinema in Athens, without chemical inputs since 2011.