Oechsner Farms is really about the people who work, live and sweat here. They give us joy most days and it's our privilege to get to spend our long days farming with them. 

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Thor Oechsner

Founder and owner of Oechsner Farms, Thor grew up in the suburbs of New York City in Croton-On-Hudson. Through summer trips to his uncle’s dairy farm in Pennsylvania, he became completely fascinated with agriculture. Eventually, he plowed his parents’ lawn and planted corn. Since he wasn’t born into farming, Thor built his farm bit by bit, scouting for abandoned fields to rent and restore to cropping. In 1991, Thor purchased his 15-acre home farm. In 1998, he started Oechsner Farms on 44 acres of rented ground. As Thor gained experience and equipment, he steadily added acreage until he could support himself exclusively by farming. In the meantime, he ran a Volkswagen shop and taught diesel mechanics at BOCES. By 2005, he had 400 acres in production, primarily for the organic dairy feed industry. Today, Oechsner Farms manages 1,200 acres, primarily for organic food-grade and craft beverage markets. The grandson of a German-born pastry chef, he is also one of Farmer Ground Flour’s three business partners.

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Dan Gladstone

Dan Gladstone, Production Manager at Oechsner Farms, is another New York native who grew up near Canandaigua. After raising a few replacement heifers as 4-H projects, Dan worked on several conventional dairies through high school and college. Other than a brief moonlight as a welder, he has been wrenching on and operating farm equipment for the last 12 years. He started at Thor's farm in 2010, working part time while wrapping up his senior year of Ag Science at Cornell. Dan has become a vital part of the team, and key to keeping the farm growing and grain flowing. In 2012, he started his own certified organic operation and farms 50 rented acres in Enfield. In his spare time, he dotes over a pair of milk goats and defends his title as world's worst fly fisherman.

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Rachel Lodder

Last but not least, Rachel does like to stay in the background. She grew up in Trumansburg, NY, traveled a lot, and lived overseas for 15 years, and returned to the area, where she has lived for almost the past 20 years (how did that happen?). She believes in the environmental benefits of organic farming, believes in producing and eating good food and the positive impacts this has on individuals and the community. She is a passionate endurance rider, and competes in 50-100 mile events with her horses. Like Thor, she laughs a lot, and pretty loudly, too!

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Chris Tomlinson

Chris is the newest member of the Oechsner Farms crew. He joined us this spring, and we welcome him to the farm! Most recently, Chris earned his Masters of Environmental Studies at the SUNY School of Environmental Studies and Forestry and Syracuse University, and he has multiple years of experience working on organic vegetable farms. He is looking forward to getting out on some tractors and help grow some grain.