Meet The TC Farmers

Jack and Betsy McCann

TC Farm - Founders

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 Carlson

Seeds Farm - Northfield, MN

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 - Dundas, MN

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.

Melissa Driscoll

Seven Songs Organic Farm - Kenyon, MN

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 grows several specialty crops that are not found widely in Minnesota including several types of garlic and ginger. She also is an expert in growing heirloom tomatoes for TC Farm members. 

Joel Talsma

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

Kalliroe Orchard - Montevideo, MN 

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

Red River Farms - Marshall, MN

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.

Kerry Skelton

JPR Acres - Montrose, MN

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!)

Craig Kohrs

Craig raises beef for TC Farm in Southeast, Minnesota. He's grown up around farming and started focusing in on rotational grazing methods in the mid-90's. 

For Craig, one of the most rewarding aspects of rotational grazing is how healthy pastures are able to soak up excess rainwater and hold onto it through a dry season. 

Craig’s commitment to rotational grazing means his expenses are much higher than most beef farmers. Rotational grazing requires more fencing and hands-on management to move the cows through pasture. As with other areas of the economy, Craig's expenses have increased drastically in recent years. Calf prices have increased dramatically, diesel prices have nearly doubled, and mineral and salt prices are also up. He is able to grow his own feed right on the farm where his cows graze, which helps him avoid having to buy expensive hay during a drought and helps him break even on expenses.

While many other farms use shortcuts to save money, Craig remains committed to farming sustainably and rotationally grazing his cows.