I'm Andrew Texley, and I am a fourth generation farmer. I grew up on this farm, as did my father and grandfather. Growing up I had an amazing childhood here- filled with chickens, fixing fence with Grandpa, and tractor rides with my dad. I also remember the beautiful stories of what this rural community once was~ horses working in the fields, neighbors threshing oats together, taking eggs and cream into the local CO-OP on Saturday nights. There were a lot more farms in this area at that time, and community life was vibrant. Through the passing of the years and the introduction of the doctrine of Agri-Business and Agri-Industry, there was a push for less diversity of both crops and livestock on individual farms and encouragement for specialization and expansion. This led to high input costs, higher land prices, higher land taxes, higher financial risk, and ecological devastation. The mantra was "Get Big or Get Out". During this time the farming population plummeted and caused the displacement of millions of rural and agrarian people. This was seen as a necessary cost of progress.
Growing up I loved the lifestyle of the farm, I raised chickens and gardens, helped with cattle, helped with harvest, and moved a lot of hay bales. However, I really didn't like the economic uncertainty and the constant push for more that was so prevalent within the culture. (I'm thankful that my Father and Grandfather never slipped into this mindset) I went off to college never planning to be a farmer. After college I did a year of volunteer work in Hungary, where I experienced a lot of the rich cultural aspects of agrarian life that I had heard so many stories of growing up- local food markets, community hog killings, working with the limits of the land that you are on. I began to research and read, and finally came across a large network of amazing farmers who are trying to produce local food while healing the land and making a living for themselves as well as others. To me, that sounds like a worthwhile mission and vocation, so I figured that I would come back to the farm and get to work. I have been learning, working, and living as a full time farmer since the Fall of 2016.