About Us

Our story

Need More Acres Farm

Need More Acres isn’t your traditional family farm. The Howell family has been defying odds and breaking norms since 2002. Michelle and Nathan took their promising careers in Agriculture and did something totally radical: they gave it all up to actually farm the land. And so Need More Acres was born—two acres that was part farm, part community hub, all heart. Time has brought many changes, from the founding of Community Farmers Market in Bowling Green to more acres and an old farmhouse in Halfway, Kentucky. The thing that hasn’t changed is the Howell’s commitment to feeding people well, both with good food and with the simple act of being a good neighbor to friends near and far. 

About Nathan

Nathan was a born farmer, paying his way through a degree at Western Kentucky University with tobacco money. After graduating, he worked to help tobacco farmers transition to vegetable production, but the pull he felt to to the land kept calling him back to farming. He felt that the most important way he could help other farmers was to become one himself.  Education and mentorship is at the heart of Nathan’s day to day work.

About Michelle

Michelle was raised by a single mom with limited access to fresh foods, but was inspired by the experience she witnessed between people and food while working at a local orchard. That transformative experience led her to a degree at WKU in Agriculture and a lifetime spent building community around local food and the real change it can bring to families and beyond.  She believes that everyone deserves fresh food, and is committed to using the assets of her farm to make that possible for as many Kentuckians as possible.

About Carter

In the summer of 2020, at 17 years old, Carter made the decision to become a full-time farmer.  Building on the knowledge he has gained from his parents and homeschool tutors, he started a year-round CSA and sells every Tuesday at Community Farmers Market.  He is committed to providing fresh food accessibility to supplemental nutrition program benefits and consumers from the international center.  Carter also loves fishing, hunting, basketball, and spending time with his girlfriend, Christine.

About Elizabeth

Never say never.  While Elizabeth has always said that she can’t cook, it’s exactly where she’s found her strength—preparing medically tailored meals for clients at HOTEL INC.  A driven leader, she is excellent at organizing events and special projects, and puts those skills into action on staff at Barefoot Republic Camp in the summer months.

About Lilah

Lilah started practicing her cooking skills at 2 years old, making breakfast for the family.  At 9 years old, she started her first business, Lilah’s Lunch Box, at Community Farmers Market.  When not cooking or baking, Lilah is spending time with one of the many animals on the farm.

About Adaline

Adaline’s skills building relationships has helped our entire family value the emotional labor she invests on the farm.  While the rest of us are often tired after a morning harvesting or selling at market—Adaline is always ready to meet a new friend, and always remembers important things they have told her.

About Sterling

Sterling, aka Tractor Boy, loves tractor rides, Legos, spending time at his Granny’s, and YouTube videos.  He’s never met a stranger, and will talk your ear off about animals, nature, and food.


Nathan was born in Glasgow, KY to parents who were full-time farmers in Hart county.  Michelle was born the same year in Nashville, TN to parents who lived in Scranton, Pennsylvania.


Michelle and her mother move just outside of San Diego, California where she was surrounded by fruit and vegetable production, but experienced food insecurity due to a lack of transportation.


Michelle gets her first job at Jackson’s Orchard & Nursery in Bowling Green where she would work for the next 9 years.


Nathan and his father grew their first speciality crop, pumpkins, for Kentucky Kingdom, in Louisville, KY.

Nathan and Michelle were both president of their Future Farmers of America chapters.  Nathan at a rural high school (Hart County) and Michelle at a diverse urban high school (Warren Central).
Nathan and Michelle graduate from Western Kentucky University with bachelor degrees in Agriculture.  In the fall, they are hired by the University of Kentucky with tobacco settlement funds to assist tobacco farmers transitioning to fruit and vegetable production.
A year after Carter was born, Michelle transitions from her public job to become a work-at-home mother.  She earns extra income as a wedding flower contractor.
After Elizabeth and Lilah were born, Nathan begins raising heirloom tomatoes for a local farmers market in order to help make ends meet.
After three traumatic hospital birth experiences, Michelle becomes an advocate for evidenced-based, mother-baby friendly practices, partnering with the local health department and hospital staff.
The same year Adaline is born at home, Lilah is diagnosed with severe food intolerances.  Nathan and Michelle begin connecting to the local farmers in the region to purchase most of their food.  As WIC participants and farmers market vendors, they begin asking questions about the lack of local food resources available in the area, and discover that there is resistance to farmers market supplemental nutrition programs.  The same year they visit Honduras with an interest in using their skills to help others.  They witness the injustices farmers, women, and children in Honduras face—but are led to invest in similar efforts back at home.
While Michelle continued her efforts of partnership with public health agencies, Nathan found himself providing mentorship to area farmers who were looking to expand their businesses and/or become full-time farmers.  The demand for locally grown foods is also increasing.  Together with Martin & Jolene Stone, and a small handful of other farmers and small businesses, they start Community Farmers Market in Bowling Green. 
With support from community partners, Community Farmers Market begins accepting WIC/Senior farmers market vouchers, SNAP benefits, and Big Red Dollars and launches a grassroots organizing effort to start a double dollars program. CFM becomes the first year-round, indoor farmers market in Kentucky.  Nathan’s mother is diagnosed with liver disease and inspired them to remain committed to access to fresh and healthy foods. 
Michelle launches the EAT: Local Food for Everyone campaign that begins with a honeymoon phase, but is quickly met with resistance.  She recognizes how complicated equity and class is for the local food system she is so passionate about.  In response, Nathan feels called into action, and in April they become full-time farmers with their first project—a multi-farm CSA.  They begin farming on two acres in Warren county while looking for more land.
It takes two years to find land they can afford.  Between Warren and Allen County, the Howells find 20 acres and a historic home built in 1829.  They quickly learn how the complicated history people experienced so many years ago is in someways similar to the struggles of today.  They become invested in the intersection of history, art, agriculture, and education.  A partnership with the Bowling Green City and Allen County Scottsville schools is developed.  They receive a Value Added Producer Grant from the USDA’s rural development office to expand these efforts.
Michelle’s father passed away, and she embraces a call to Monastic spirituality.  They invest in a life of work and prayer—domestic church.  Their equity work increases with local and state leadership in food equity.
Nathan and Michelle welcome their 5th child, Sterling, as their work takes on more depth, both in developing rhythms and rituals at home, and in increasing their efforts for food access in their community.  This work expands with weekly deliveries to HOTEL INC and the launch of a fruit & vegetable RX program at Community Farmers Market.
The fruit & vegetable RX program at CFM is expanded into the FRESH RX for MOMS program.  Michelle publishes the NMA Farm Food Planner, raising over $6,000 for fresh food access.
NMA partners with the Allen County Health Department, Extension Service, Library, Schools, and Community Action team to create CHAT:  Allen County Community Health Action Team.  CHAT is awarded funding that allows NMA to increase fresh food access alongside community partners.
NMA partners with HOTEL INC to create a “pay what you can” multi-income fresh food co-op.  NMA welcomes over 4,000 students, farmers, and community leaders to tour the farm.  NMA partners with Western Kentucky University to mentor refugee and minority farmers.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the farm pivots slightly to ensure that their commitment to food access is sustained.  While many farmers transition to online and delivery, NMA remains committed to weekly deliveries to HOTEL INC, schools, and sales to supplemental nutrition program participants at CFM.  The Farming, Culinary Arts, & Community Organizing co-op for High Schoolers is launched.  Michelle receives a grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women to create a community storytelling event with other women artists in Kentucky.


NMA continues its Farm to School efforts with every elementary student in the Bowling Green City Elementary schools visiting the farm.  NMA receives two grants: USDA Farm To School grant to expand the high school co-op program and a VAPG grant to launch a meal kit delivery service.  Together with the University of Kentucky and Black Soils, Michelle receives a Southern SARE grant to provide an interactive curriculum and professional development program for University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University on diversity and inclusion in the food system.