Many people ask us, “Why farming?” To us, it makes perfect sense. Farming is a way of life, and for us, it has brought us full-circle. Our 60-acre farm is located in our hometown of Fruitland, Idaho. We met in the Fruitland school system where we were both active in athletics and FFA (Future Farmers of America). I mean, with a hometown with a name like Fruitland, how could we not go into agriculture? But honestly, our farming roots grow deeper than that. (Pun much intended.) Jordan’s great-grandfather was one of the early International Harvester Company dealers in our area. Dana’s father’s side of the family has been farmers since their immigration to the area 3 generations ago. Have you ever heard the Craig Morgan song, “International Harvester”? Well, that pretty much sums us up. You have to listen to the chorus to truly appreciate this Little Buddy anthem! Hahaha!
Jordan made a name for himself in the National Football League as an offensive lineman from 2003 to 2013. Football took us to North Carolina for almost 15 years. Each summer we were lucky to be able to spend a good part of the football offseason in Fruitland with our family and friends, but we ultimately missed the mountains of Idaho, the four distinct seasons, and we longed to spend more time on our farm and expand what started as a stand of alfalfa hay and a large family garden to the vegetable production we have today. When Jordan’s football chapter closed, and after a stint in Carolina Panther TV and radio, we said goodbye to NC and returned home to Little Buddy Farm in 2017.
Most people continue to recognize Jordan primarily as a football player. But thanks to his healthy post-football retirement daily regimen of consuming a healthy Little Buddy Farm veggie-laden diet, weightlifting, soaking up the sun’s nourishing rays in the field, and chasing after three active kids, many of his old football fans actually wouldn’t “recognize” him at all. Since his playing days, Jordan has lost over 70 pounds! Nutrition has always been at the forefront of our minds. Fueling Jordan’s offensive lineman body has been a concern of ours for our entire adult lives. For years Jordan worked hard to keep his playing weight up, but as soon as his football career ended he was so excited to start a new journey of health and self-fulfillment. These days we believe that locally grown, organic food is the best way to fuel our bodies, and with 5 active bodies to fuel, it just made economic sense for us to start growing our own organic food, and we are happy to share it with others. We also believe in taking care of our planet. We are committed to doing our part to keep our air and water as clean as possible, and we are using sustainable and regenerative farming practice to keep our soil as happy and healthy as those it abundantly provides for.
Little Buddy is a family farm. At certain special times four generations can be seen working in the garden or in the kitchen together. This is the heart and soul of our operation, and the biggest reason we moved home and started LBF. Dana has special memories of her father farming alongside her grandparents, and even fonder memories of watching her grandmother and mother work side by side to can, pickle, and preserve, every fall. Those special memories and gifts have been passed on to her, and it is a priority of hers to make sure that we are passing these special skills down to our children and future generations.
People often ask us how we came up with the name, Little Buddy Farm. In a way, it is a tribute to Dana’s father, Joey. Jordan has been using the moniker as a term of endearment for his father-in-law for over 20 years now. We are fairly sure that the name has grown on him over the years; he seems to embrace it. Joey (and Dana’s mom, Brenda as well) has been instrumental in keeping the farm going while we were in North Carolina. He has served as both a mentor and a sounding board as our farm mission statement has continually evolved over the years. He has even fully bought into and adopted our organic mindset and practices even though he has been a conventional farmer his entire life. We believe he is doing it for his little buddies… his grandkids.
We believe a family farm is the model of sustainability. Within it, family members work hand-in-hand. Everyone has a role to play. We look forward to working alongside our parents, turning to them for their advice and learning from their experience, all the while teaching our three kids the value of hard work and teamwork, two things we truly value.