Second Harvest Farms was established in 1927 when LeRoy Johnson received three pigs from his father-in-law as a wedding gift. LeRoy did not have funds to purchase feed for the pigs, so he visited neighboring groceries and collected the waste produce for the hogs to eat. This concept is still being used today through three Johnson farms; Second Harvest Farm Central, Inc., Second Harvest Farm North, Inc., Second Harvest Farm South, Inc. and Barthold Recycling. Each day 13 trucks leave the farms to pick up 140 tons of food waste from restaurants, schools, nursing homes, and other facilities. The food wastes are brought to the farm, cooked to 212 degree Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, and fed to livestock. The farms together produce 6,000 hogs annually. Cattle are also raised on one of the farms. Manure generated by the farm is sold to local farmers for fertilizer. The management team consists of Daniel Johnson (son of LeRoy), Curtis and David (Daniel’s sons), Aaron and Lee (Curtis’s sons), Drew (David’s son), owner of Barthold Recycling, Pete Barthold (Daniel’s nephew), Luke, Josh, Nathan, and Shane (Pete’s children), and niece Jane.
In the community, the family is members of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Oak Grove. They also donate pigs to organizations for charity events featuring pig roasts. The farm also supports Scouts and the Anoka County Food Shelf Golf Classic. The farm has been featured on TV specials, in the Star Tribune, and can be seen on YouTube “Reuters Food Waste and Anoka County’s website under “Pigs aren’t Picky.”