small, independent farming

New Article – Exploring Small-Scale Multi-Generational Farming for Homegrown Stories

My interview with the Nash family took me out on the farm and into one of my favorite fields: independent agriculture.

The family farm used to be the backbone of America. Since the 1980s Farm Crisis, family farms have been gobbled up by corporate farms, and now fewer than half of the farm-acres in production are still considered small, family-run operations. There is a small, but growing push from consumers for fresh, local food, however–the kind that factory farms are incapable of delivering. And, to fill that niche, there are farms like Nash Farms outside of Billings, selling as much directly to consumers as they can. For them, keeping their farm independent and in the family is as much a part of the calling as providing fresh, nutritious, and affordable food. Here’s a story I wrote and photographed for Homegrown Stories about Nash Farms.

Building a Farm for the Next Generation

Rusty, but functioning, antique tractors and a modern solar array frame Tom Tschida as he describes the unlikely way he became a rancher. “I’d been away working for a long time when [my parents] bought this place and started building it up. A few years ago I decided to quit my job and move back home,” Tom says of moving back to Montana to help his parents, Jerry and Carol Nash, run Nash Farms. After years of building a career as a photographer in Southern California, Tom found himself missing Montana. “I wanted to be around family. I wanted to be working with animals. I wanted to be playing in the dirt. So I came back to do all of that. It’s been great.” Continue reading…