Before there was a Mill, There was JANIE'S FARM

  The Janie's Farm Team!   Harold Wilken, Sandy Wilken, Ross Wilken, Gerry Lunt, Colton Henrichs, Ryan Wolfe, Lucas Haut, Leslie Vaske, Tim Vaske

The Janie's Farm Team!  Harold Wilken, Sandy Wilken, Ross Wilken, Gerry Lunt, Colton Henrichs, Ryan Wolfe, Lucas Haut, Leslie Vaske, Tim Vaske

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The farm’s name honors Harold and Sandy Wilken’s daughter Janie, who passed away in a car accident in 2001 at the age of 15. She remains near and dear.

  


When Harold Wilken was about two years old, his father put him in a wooden box he'd made to fit next to him so he could take his son on the tractor as he cultivated his fields. For this and many other reasons, farming was Harold's destiny -- although it wasn't until many years later that Harold, together with his wife Sandy and son Ross, became the proprietors of Janie’s Farm Organics.

From the first 33-acre field that Harold farmed organically, Janie’s Farm Organics has grown to include over 2,400 acres of USDA Certified Organic grains.

“One of the things I’m proud of on my farm is that we’re feeding people,” says Harold. “My goal is that everything we raise feeds people.”

At last count, Janie’s Farm Organics was growing wheat, oats, rye, emmer, einkorn, buckwheat, corn, soybeans (for soy milk and tofu), black turtle beans, alfalfa, popcorn, and seed corn. Harold is also growing Kernza, a perennial grain developed by The Land Institute.  

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Ross Wilken, Harold and Sandy’s son, grew up farming alongside his father, and began farming for himself when he was 15. After graduating from the University of Illinois in 2013, Ross returned to Janie’s Farm to work full-time. The father/son duo and several employees, including Harold’s nephew, work together to orchestrate the complex rotations and timely field work demanded by organic farming.

Harold and Ross are continually looking to the future, and The Mill at Janie’s Farm is bridging the gap between commodity production and the local food movement.

Together, Janie's Farm Organics and The Mill at Janie's Farm are providing the community with good food grown and processed in a good way, from soil to supper table. We are dedicated to improving the health of people and the land, and growing a better future for all.  

 Harold is happiest on the seat of a tractor. 

Harold is happiest on the seat of a tractor. 

 
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   “Coming from a conventional background, I have found my home in being a diverse, organic farmer,” says Harold. “I am energized by participating in research and breeding new varieties of corn, beans, and small grains for direct human consumption.”

“Coming from a conventional background, I have found my home in being a diverse, organic farmer,” says Harold. “I am energized by participating in research and breeding new varieties of corn, beans, and small grains for direct human consumption.”

 Harold on a field day in June as the wheat ripens for harvest.

Harold on a field day in June as the wheat ripens for harvest.

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