Greg & I are no strangers to working in the agriculture industry. Our love for agriculture and business led us to pursue college degrees and careers in the agriculture industry. Greg hails from a small town in northern Illinois and I am from a small town in deep southern Illinois, as I like to say. Being from opposite ends of the state, we decided to put our roots down in some black central Illinois soil in 2005. That year we purchased an old four-square farmhouse with 5 acres just east of the small community of Clinton. For several years, we both progressed in our careers, but longed to have a farming business of our own. In 2009, we pulled the trigger on an idea and a leap of faith to grow our first crop of 300 hardy garden mums. Fast forward several years later, an additional 10 acres, 14,700 more mums, and here we are.
We have expanded our season beyond fall to provide our customers, their families, and our community with a local source of fresh vegetables, strawberries and herbs. We are also the very first farm in DeWitt County to offer a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), a seasonal subscription of farm fresh vegetables from June to late September. We now employ seasonal employees and Greg has been able to transition full-time to working on our little farm, which was never in the plan.
Community is an integral part of our farm. We often say if we want the community to support our farm, then we must actively support our community. We bank, we shop, we dine, and we do business in our community. Community groups and organizations that we're involved with include Agriculture in the Classroom, Dewitt County Farm Bureau, Relay for Life, Clinton FFA, Dewitt County 4-H and Extension, and Ducks Unlimited. Youth organizations are dear to our hearts. We are passionate about employing and mentoring young people with an interest in agriculture or entrepreneurship. It all comes full circle for us when we watch that extremely shy sixteen-year-old farm employee blossom into a knowledgeable, customer-focused, and confident employee by their freshman year of college. That's when we know we're doing more than just growing flowers and vegetables at our farm. We're growing future leaders for our community.
And that's how our little farming business came to fruition. We know we wouldn't be where we are if it wasn't for our customers. Thank you for taking time to read about our story and learning about our farm. We love connecting with customers and we hope you might come out for a visit in the summer or fall so you can see firsthand the labor of love that goes into every plant we grow. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or comments at email@example.com.
Mariah & Greg Anderson
MEET THE FARMERS
Marketing & Customer Experience Lead & Owner
Mariah grew up in the hills of deep southern Illinois and was very active in 4-H and FFA as a youth. That involvement sparked a passion to work in the agriculture industry and also introduced her to a young man from northern Illinois. Even though her full time job involves wearing suits and high heels daily, she appreciates putting on her ball cap and spending hard-working hours on the farm. Mariah takes the lead on all marketing for the farm and often speaks to groups and organizations about the farm and her specialties - branding, social media, and marketing. She graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in Agriculture Communications but took a different path to working in agriculture research right out of college. It was her passion for serving and empowering others that allowed her to do a complete 360 early in her career. For the last fifteen years, Mariah has worked in both nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Her professional experiences have been in branding, program and event management, marketing, and process improvement. Even though she has a diverse resume, working on the farm has been her most challenging and rewarding job of all. Her professional experiences have influenced how Mariah approaches the business operations and marketing for the farm. Because Mariah has a talent for event management, she has expanded the type of events conducted on the farm as the farm has grown. Her goal is to complement their quality plants and produce with experiences that allow others to enjoy and appreciate the labor and love of farm life and local businesses. Often identified as a passionate and hustling workaholic, Mariah appreciates the peaceful moments at the end of a long hard day on the farm when her and Greg sit in their lawn chairs, talk about their dreams for the future, while gazing into the starry central Illinois sky.
Farming Production & Operations Lead & Owner
Greg grew up on a fresh produce and pumpkin farm near Leland, and like Mariah, was very active in 4-H and FFA as a youth. His blue and gold FFA jacket allowed him to broaden his experiences and perspectives outside his small community and eventually led him to meet a brown eyed girl from southern Illinois. It was growing up visiting and working alongside his uncle and grandpa at his grandparent's farm where Greg became a true farmer at heart. Even though Greg has a degree in Agriculture Business Management, he has always preferred working the ground than going to an office every day. This passion led him to thirteen years of hands on working experience in the agriculture research sector. An entrepreneur by nature, Greg operated his own specialty crop operation and landscaping businesses while in high school. In addition to working full time on our farm, his passion for helping farmers maximize their field performance led him to start Triple M Seed, a certified Becks Hybrids seed business. With his friendly and caring nature, Greg often turns a first-time customer of our farm into a farm ambassador. Greg manages the day-to-day operations and production side of our farm. He often jokes that Mariah is the boss while he's the grunt labor of the operation. He leads our farm team and has a natural ability to motivate them with his pep talks and "farm challenges" during the hottest of summer days. His leadership and motivational skills on the farm allow us to have the most dedicated and hard-working employees we could ever ask for. Greg is passionate about mentoring youth and paying it forward. Working on the farm for our young employees is more often a learning and growing experience than a summer job and that's how Greg likes it. Even though farming has its ups and downs, what Greg enjoys the most is working side by side with Mariah and watching their passions intertwine for complimenting each other and their farm business.
MEET THE FARM DOG
Lucy Lulu Anderson
Farm Boss Dog & Welcome Committee
Lucy joined the farm in October of 2017 after a short stay at the DeWitt County Animal Shelter/Second Chance for Pets in Clinton. After her adoption, she quickly learned that she had some big paw prints to fill, left by her predecessors Levi & Laney Lu, our original furry farm hands. We don't know much about her past before joining the farm, but we're blessed to have adopted a shelter dog that loves our farm and visitors as much as we do. We often joke that she thinks every farm visitor is here to see her. Despite her big stature and bellowing bark, this goofy girl lives for greeting visitors with her smiling face and wagging tail. Don't fret when you meet her. She'll be eager to escort you to a two-legged, farm staff member or show you around the farm. If you’re kind to oblige, she’d love a good pet on the head or scratch behind the ears. Just be prepared that she loves giving slobbery dog kisses in return, especially to those her own height.