Jeff and Leah Schilling
Jeff and Leah of Fort Ripley farmed for over 20 year on the family dairy farm until an eye disease forced them to stop. At the end of their farming career, they bought 40 acres from the original farm and went to work in town. After working in town, Jeff and Leah still had farming in their blood. They work at an elementary school and saw the need to show the students to eat better. They then got into the USDA High Tunnel Project after taking the Farm Beginnings Class through the Land Stewardship Program. Today, they own two high tunnels. They bring groups of students in the 4th and 7th grades out in the spring and fall to see vegetables grow and harvest. The kids then are invited to bring some of the vegetables back to school with them for lunch. Jeff and Leah are excited about exposing the kids to such healthy food and get enjoyment when kids ask to try new vegetables! The Schillings also grow vegetables for the Farm to School program, for a local restaurant, and for the farmer’s market. In addition, Jeff and Leah have a small flock of laying hens in a moveable pen.
Jeff and Leah work mainly with Mary of Lourdes School in Little Falls, where they are employed.