Oechsner Farms is a certified organic grain farm in Newfield, New York, and an established leader in the organic grain movement in the Northeast. We farm 1,200 acres of corn, spring wheat, winter wheat, buckwheat, rye, clover, hay and cover crops throughout Tompkins County. Soil health is our top priority. We work to reduce the environmental impacts of grain farming with dynamic cropping systems.
Thor Oechsner grew up in the suburbs of New York City. 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.
Thor, the grandson of a German born pastry chef, is one of Farmer Ground Flour’s three business partners.
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.
Oechsner Farms grows the majority of Farmer Ground Flour’s grain supply. Additionally, we are thankful to work with the following farmers in New York State:
Dan Gladstone, DG Farms, Enfield
Bob Munson, Running Creek Farms, Groton
Rodney Graham, Oxbow Farm, Hunt
Dan Conable, Eagle Bay
Dan Palladino, Palladino Farms, Jamesville
Larry Moore, Lansing
Peter and Hanna Martens' Farm, Penn Yan
Andrew Dygert, Trumansburg
John Myer, Myer Farm, Ovid