Farming and agriculture are an important part of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University. Read more about how our alumni are putting a modern spin on their traditional roots with fun and relevant business opportunities through Need More Acres Farm and Beet Box Produce. #WKUSPIRIT
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Nathan and Michelle met at Western Kentucky University where they both pursued degrees in agriculture. After college they were hired by the University of Kentucky to help tobacco farmers transition to fruit and vegetable production. They were given the hard task of helping families stay on their farms. Nathan grew up on a farm in Hart county Kentucky where he and his family grew corn, wheat, cattle and tobacco. Tobacco payed his way off the farm and into college so he could pursue a career. Michelle's great-great grandmother, Bertha Ellen Earls grew up in Metcalfe county growing most of her own food. A lot has changed in the last 100 years on Kentucky farms (and in our kitchens) and we often wonder how and why things have come this far. Rather than complaining or criticizing we try to focus on what can be done and partner with those who are motivated to do the same. Nathan is a doer, he keeps things simple and gets things done. Michelle is passionate about overcoming the obstacles she's faced in life in order to have better birth experiences, create healthier habits and find authentic connection to her present community. It's important to both of them that they are able to help others along the way.
In April 2013 Nathan and Michelle along with their four children began farming full time and they are currently growing fruits and vegetables, combining them with meat, milk, cheese, eggs and bread from other farms to provide a multi-farm Community Supported Agriculture program for 35 families. After several false starts they learned that relationships, gender roles, addictions to unhealthy foods, lack of faith and everyday distractions are the real obstacles to pursuing a life of purpose. In addition, they will offer opportunities to beginning farmers, local food entrepreneurs and consumers looking for a stronger connection to local food.
Nathan and Michelle want to combine their love for Kentucky farms with the realization that our food system didn't get this way over night. With grace and patience they are working towards a healthier lifestyle for their own family and hope to do the same for others. Community organizing, public speaking, policy change and story telling is now weaved through their every day life on the farm as they work to create opportunities for new farmers, expand options for financial sustainability, collaborate with leaders and ensure that those who have suffered the most from our current food system find the support they need. We hope that our story will inspire you to find out where your history meets your calling and how you can follow the path that leads to more hope, peace and love.