About TC Farm
TC Farm is a group of sustainable family farms dedicated to raising the very best food.
We (Betsy and Jack) grew up in Eden Prairie with a love of cooking and good food. We were frustrated we couldn't find meat raised without some sort of shortcut. We wanted food without any shortcuts. So, we struck out on our own and founded a hobby farm to feed our family. That farm grew into TC Farm and the group of over 2000 member families who make it all possible.
Why TC Farm?
Like a lot of you, Betsy and I got more serious about what we were eating as we learned more.
We learned how:
- Grocery "grass fed" is often from feedlots being fed questionable items
- Even farmers' market eggs often use dyes to make the yolks darker
- Factory farms claim dirt feedlots are "pasture raised" - the USDA agrees
- Organic factory meats are often more problematic than conventional
We even volunteered at local farms and were discouraged that despite the idyllic views, the animals themselves weren't treated with the respect they deserved.
We didn't want to wonder what kind of shortcut was being taken with our food, so we started our own farm in 2010.
Raising food the right way means quality feed and wide open spaces. It takes a little longer and sometimes it costs a little more. Sometimes it even costs a little less!
As we added more members, we began to offer direct-to-home deliveries and partnered with other local farmers who wanted to raise animals and organic produce to our standards for our members.
"I feel good about serving my family food that has come from animals that have been raised in a healthy and humane way. "
What Sets TC Farm Apart?
"In addition to the added benefit of supporting local farming families, it is also better for the environment and it has allowed my family to explore new types of food and new ways of cooking. Everyone wins!"
Jack and Betsy McCann
Jack McCann came to farming as a result of his quest for the tastiest food possible. After learning more about sustainable, pasture-based farming and the nutritious, delicious food it produces, he was determined to raise food right and provide it to others. He also wanted to take true farming to a higher level, by using rare, slow-growing breeds for optimal taste, texture and nutrition. Jack transitioned out of his previous career as an entrepreneur and management consultant to build and lead TC Farm.
Betsy McCann has a passion for cooking, and she knows that the best ingredients make the most delicious meals. Now that Betsy and Jack head up TC Farm as a husband and wife team, she's happy to have the highest-quality food and appreciates the natural harmonies on the farm among animals, people, plants and land.
Besides TC Farm, Betsy is the Director of Marching and Athletic Bands at the University of Minnesota.
Becca raises produce for TC Farm. A first generation farmer who started farming 12 years ago, she began Seeds Farm as a small "glorified garden" with 5 CSA members. Each year it doubled until today it is up to 18 acres!
She has a masters degree from Green Mountain College in Sustainable Food Systems. Her final project was to create a curriculum in sustainable agriculture, which she now teaches as a spring semester course at St. Olaf College. She also serves as the advisor to their student farm, STOGROW.
Elizabeth O'Sullivan, Ian Rhoades
Auntie Annie's Fields
Ian and Elizabeth raise chickens and hens (and therefore eggs!) for TC Farm.
In the past, Elizabeth has worked as a writer, a childbirth educator and a group fitness instructor. In addition to farming, Elizabeth currently works at a group home and attends seminary. Ian has taught middle-school English at the St. Paul Public Schools for more than 20 years. (He commutes. Not a short drive.)
Their older children, Emily and David, now 20 and 17, moved with them from Minneapolis when they were little and helped build the farm, carrying feed to chickens in five-gallon buckets throughout many years of their growing up. David is finishing his senior year in high school. Their youngest child, Asher, is 9, and has always lived on the farm. He knows the farm in a very special way because it's always been his home and he's spent so much time outside playing.
Lake City, MN
Kristin raises produce for TC Farm.
Growing up in Rochester MN, she worked for amazing farmers around the country from California to Maine. After this, Kristin wanted to start her own farm. She started Pearson Organics in 2017. In 2021 Kristin and her husband Neal decided to start a family and needed to make some lifestyle choices, which included discontinuing her CSA program. It was an extremely difficult decision, as she loves farming and nourishing our community.
When a farming friend (who is also a farmer for TC Farm) suggested she consider continuing to farm as part of TC Farm, she saw it as a way to keep her hands in the dirt and continue doing what she loves: Farming.
Seven Songs Organic Farm
Melissa raises produce for TC Farm.
Before starting her farm, Melissa worked in the Scientific and Natural Area Program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. She helped the state buy land that harbored rare plants and animals.
Melissa farmed while working her off-farm job for 10 years before starting Seven Songs Organic Farm. When she quit to farm full time, she simply did more of what share had already been doing on the farm.
She offers some wisdom for people considering starting a farm: "Finding land to farm initially can be very challenging. We looked for two and a half years to find our farm, and it is not the perfect farm. We often feel politically and socially isolated because we are pretty liberal, and a number of our neighbors are not."
Sin Fronteras Farm & Food
Eduardo raises produce for TC Farm. He started farming because he wanted to own land and wanted to change the statistics and stereotypes of what land ownership looks like in this country.
Sin Fronteras means “without borders or barriers” - like the Monarch butterfly which serves as the farm’s logo. There be a lot of barriers for small scale, organic, producers - which Eduardo knows all about, growing up as the grandson of two farmers.
When we asked Eduardo what his favorite thing about farming was he said “too many to list but being outside working with the land is the best feeling ever! I can truly say I love what I do.”
Old School Farm
Lake Wilson, MN
Joel raises beef for TC Farm.
Growing up on a farm, he always knew he wanted to maintain some connection to agriculture and, if possible, the family farm where he grew up. When the opportunity presented itself to move back to his home area, he did and began growing his farming operation shortly thereafter, turning an old, one-room schoolhouse that stood on the property into his home. (His dad continues to help Joel on the farm nearly every day.)
Before farming, Joel served in the Armed Forces. He was also a welder, landscaper, commodity broker and did grain procurement for a local cooperative.
Paul Wymar and Amy Bacigalupo
Paul and Amy raise apples and pears for TC Farm.
In the late 90s, Paul and Amy spent a year living and working in Montevideo and the surrounding farming community. They were inspired by farmers they met, creating business and lives that aligned with their values of stewardship and justice. They also lived and worked in Paraguay for two years as Agroforestry volunteers with the Peace Corps.
"We learned so much about community, farming, sustainability, and fruit production from the Paraguayan farmers that we decided to come back to the US and pursue fruit production. Starting a farm was a very direct way for us to steward land and water so that we can sustain these resources for generations to come."
Besides farming, Amy is the Program Co-Director for the Land Stewardship Project and Paul is an Environmental Specialist within the Watershed Division of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
Allen and Kathleen Deutz
Redwood River Farms
Allen and Kathleen raises beef and pigs for TC Farm. Allen and his father, Paul, take care of most of the cropping and livestock care on the farm, while Kathleen, keeps their four children on track with school, sports, and their daily chores on the farm. Tim Maertens, a family friend and co-owner of the beef herd, manages the summer grazing of the herd.
Allen has been farming his whole life, growing up on the century farm where his now lives. He raised his first litter of pigs as a sophomore. "I've continued to farm since then because I feel that raising food is one of the most noble occupations one can have. Agriculture was the first industry and will be the last because everyone needs to eat. I continue to farm because I think it is important to have more traditional farms leading the way to a more sustainable farming system for future generations."
The farm is proudly a Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality certified farm, helping clean up Minnesota's waterways.
Kathleen and Allen are both educators as well. Allen teaches at South Dakota State University as an Agricultural Economics Instructor and Kathleen teaches at Marshall Public Schools as a Special Education Teacher.
Wayne and his family raise dairy cows for the TC Farm milk that will be starting in summer of 2022.
They have a small family farm where the cows graze on actual pasture.
Before farming, Wayne was also a logger and a trucker.
Jordan and Rachelle Meyer
Wholesome Family Farms
Jordan and Rachelle raise goats for TC Farm.
Their farm focuses on adaptive regenerative farming. Jordan farms full time. Rachelle was a nurse but now farms full time - this allows them to have their kids stay home and help. Still in their late 20s, they farm with their 5 small kids right by their sides.
"We knew farming with 5 small kids would be tough. We didn't know how much they would enjoy it. We want to leave our land in better shape than what we found it in. Our animals never see any chemicals in their life nor do our soils."
Kerry and his family raise and rotationally graze lamb, hogs and chickens for TC Farm on 76 acres. The animals are raised on pastures and wooded lots.
In the early 2000s, Kerry went to culinary school in California. He started to learn more about rotational grazing, raising sheep and breed conservancy while in Sonoma County and this “lit his fire” for becoming a farmer. He valued how the heritage breeds he saw were not bred for the commodity farming lifestyle and he, too, wanted to farm in a way that would support the health plus the wellbeing of the animals and the environment.
In 2007 he and his wife moved back to MN where she worked full time as he got the farm up and running as a stay-at-home dad. The name of their farm comes from using the first initial letter in each of their three sons' first names. Over time, Kerry has worked to replace almost all of the buildings on the farm (the original barn is still there but has been updated!)