Shared Legacy Farms: Our Story
Shared Legacy Farms is a small, 20 acre vegetable farm located in Elmore, Ohio. Owners Kurt and Corinna Bench started the farm in 2008 with the premise that “every vegetable tells a story.” With the advent of Big Agriculture and the growing dependence on processed food, many Americans have lost touch with the local farmer. Shared Legacy Farm’s vision is to help people rediscover this lost story and reconnect people to a real working family farm. Kurt and Corinna are passionate about tending the soil, educating consumers about the world of agriculture, and reviving a spirit of community through their farm. They have two young sons, Jed (age 8) and Josiah (age 5), who love to farm and play tractors, and are an integral part of the farm operation.
A Vocation -- Our farm's mission is deeply personal for us. As stewards of the soil, we see our role as vital to the survival of our planet, and therefore a deeply noble one. We see more and more of our local community unaware of the links between food and field, health and well-being, integrity and environmental stewardship, community and social justice. Being farmers isn't just our livelihood. It's a vocation and a calling.
Organic-- As farmers, we see our job first and foremost as stewards of the soil. We see soil as one of our Earth's greatest natural resources, and the crucible of all life. It only follows that we carefully consider what we put into it. Following organic principles is one way we can be responsible caretakers for our planet and our community. As we move into the future, we feel it vital to share and support the message and mission behind the organic movement. Our farm became certified organic in August, 2016.
Telling the Story -- In today's day and age, when more and more consumers are disconnected from their food source, we feel it isn't enough to for us to just grow the food. We must tell its story. This narrative, once taken for granted, is becoming lost amidst the clutter of easy, fast, and "manufactured" food. As farmers, we feel deeply responsible for reviving this story and instilling it back into our community's conscience.
Investing in Our Community -- We were created to be relational beings, to each contribute our God-given talents and strengths to add value to the greater community. We are passionate about always looking for ways we can develop those around us -- be it through education, leadership, or acts of social justice. As small business owners, our voice matters, and we take that reality very seriously.
Relationships -- It used to be that everyone knew their farmer. As our country expanded and agriculture got "big," this connection has all but disappeared. As a result, we see scores of Americans who have lost the story behind their food, and they don't even realize it. The long-term consequences of this reality for our nation have yet to be fully seen. We feel that relationships and farming go hand in hand. We grow better food when we know the faces of those who will receive it. And our customers appreciate their food more when they can shake the hand that grew it.
Excellence -- Our farm wants to create a culture where our customers and our staff can thrive. This means being committed to a high bar of excellence. Striving for perfection, adding value to people, removing barriers to progress -- these are daily goals of ours as we seek to live out our farm's vision and values.