Your Farmers

Passionate - Grateful - Determined

The Bishop Family has been farming our 350 acres for about 35 years. Located in the center of Illinois,  we operate a diversified farm and raise a bit of about everything.  Having farmed conventionally, we’ve seen first hand the detrimental effects on the soil, to the farm and to rural communities. We work hard to regenerate the land because caring for the land is important not just for us, but for future generations as well.

Our farmers & our customers, believe organic is more than just a practice, it’s a way to influence a healthy life in our community and provide a sustainable way of producing healthy food. Organic production takes hard work but we feel the nutrient rich food, healthy communities, and thriving land make it worth it. Our fields are very diversified and include 60 acres of vegetables, herbs, and fruit as well as additional acreage in corn, soybeans, oats, alfalfa and grass hay. Our livestock operation includes  a mix of pasture raised chickens, pastured, heritage breed pigs and a new partnership with a neighbor to pasture beautiful dairy cows.  The bond between the land and those who live & work it is important to us.  Beyond our production fields, we have dedicated space to an acre of restored native Illinois prairie,  a young food forest, mushroom orchard, small honey bee apiary, and restored woodlot along our creek access. Everyone who works at PrairiErth is a Farmer and you will often see our farmers out enjoying the land they care for.

Farmer Hans

Hans grew up on the farm, left for the big city and then returned to start the vegetable operation. He brought the farm to the Downtown Bloomington Farmer’s market and implemented one of the few USDA Certified Organic CSA’s in central IL!  Growing quickly from just one acre to 60+, Hans is seen as a leader in organic farming nationwide. He raises healthy and delicious vegetables year round in our hoop-houses and has been told he grows the best lettuce and carrots! In the last few years he’s also started taking over the grain operations – growing nearly 200 acres of  organic soybeans, corn, wheat and oats in 2020!

Approachable, humble and full of resources and expertise, Hans speaks on subjects such as season extension, mechanical weed control,  and using mechanization on a diversified vegetable farm.   Hans was selected as one of the 2012 Slow Food Delegates to Terra Madre representing the United States.

A few fun facts about Hans.

  • Hans has a plan. It will change. 
  • Hans wears many hats – the clean ones are for going to town
  • Generally you can tell how Hans feels about the machine work he’s doing in the shop by the volume and type of music he’s playing! 

Farmer Hans

Hans grew up on the farm, left for the big city and then returned to start the vegetable operation. He brought the farm to the Downtown Bloomington Farmer’s market and implemented one of the few USDA Certified Organic CSA’s in central IL!  Growing quickly from just one acre to 60+, Hans is seen as a leader in organic farming nationwide. He raises healthy and delicious vegetables year round in our hoop-houses and has been told he grows the best lettuce and carrots! In the last few years he’s also started taking over the grain operations – growing nearly 200 acres of  organic soybeans, corn, wheat and oats in 2020!

Approachable, humble and full of resources and expertise, Hans speaks on subjects such as season extension, mechanical weed control,  and using mechanization on a diversified vegetable farm.   Hans was selected as one of the 2012 Slow Food Delegates to Terra Madre representing the United States.

A few fun facts about Hans.

  • Hans has a plan. It will change. 
  • Hans wears many hats – the clean ones are for going to town
  • Generally you can tell how Hans feels about the machine work he’s doing in the shop by the volume and type of music he’s playing! 

Farmer Katie

Katie is one of the many PrairiErth Farm successes. Due to the growth of the farm, Katie was able to leave her corporate job of 18 years to farm full time with her family. Together Hans and Katie run the vegetable and grain operations. Katie is responsible for marketing, administration, operations management,  post-harvest handling. She also manages the CSA programs, farmers market, wholesale accounts and community outreach programs.

In typical “farmer’s wife” fashion Katie even pulls weeds, cleans the bathroom and makes dinner. She works hard with the community to make sure local and organic food is accessible by all. She speaks on topics such as eating seasonally, food preservation, creating and building your brand, and using social media on the farm.

A few fun facts about Katie.

  • Katie enjoys surprising other farmers with impromtu facebook videos.
  • Katie finds homes for all the veggies/fruit/herbs to go to when they are ready to leave the farm
  • Katie’s office always smells magical (and she knows a lot of stuff about using those smells to feel better!) 

Farmer Dave

Dave’s expertise, wisdom and experience come from many years of farming and a passion for regenerative agriculture. Dave is very active in the community sharing his knowledge and has taken on several projects to guide new farmers towards responsible stewardship of the land.

Fun Facts about Dave

  • Dave LOVES people! He leads most of our on-farm tours.
  • Dave is very involved in state & countrywide ag policy

Farmer Crew

The farm wouldn’t function without our Farmer Crew! They dive into every task, work through rain or shine, and quickly adapt to the ever changing hard work that is farming. Its amazing to see each Farmer grow into their interests – a major part of the diversification of PrairiErth has been spurred by our Farmers. From our heritage pork operation to our food forest – its our farmer crew’s investment in the farm that creates our success.  In their free time, you can find them enjoying yoga (sometimes teaching it!), cooking up spectacular staff food parties, discussing philosophy, and jamming out on a variety of instruments. 

Fun Facts about Farmer Crew

  • Almost half the crew are former chefs, baristas or bartenders 
  • Several Farmers live and work right on the property 
  • Creativity runs rampant! Almost all of our Farmer Crew are artists of some sort
  • Our Farmers love to travel. We even have a group of Farmers that travel from their small mountain town in Mexico to work with us every year! 

Farmer Steph

Steph manages the Farm’s day to day. When Hans & Katie have a vision – Steph makes it happen. Steph can adapt to any situation with a laugh. Her tenacity & knowledge help lead her team through any challenges. From bees to chickens, weeding to seeding, Steph does it all!

Fun Facts about Steph

  • Steph often carries either has a french press or a mason jar of coffee 
  • Steph 

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