Farmer Feature: Glen Benjamin

"My wife made me sign a prenup before we moved back to the farm 5 years ago," Glen laughed. "A part of the agreement was that I had to agree to live in town."

Glen.BenjaminGlen's parents had farmed near Shelby for many years. They had come to the decision that it was time to pass the farm along to one of the kids or sell it. Glen could not bear the thought of selling the farm. So in 2015, 15 years after leaving, he brought his kids, wife, and the prenup back with him to take over where his mom and dad had started.

In 2018 Glen purchased the land from his parents, took over all the leases, and 406 Farms LLC was officially in business. Glen farmed using organic farming practices right out the gate.

"I just didn't like being around the chemicals," he said. "Plus, I saw the unique opportunity to use sustainable practices like rotational inter-cropping to build soil health and prevent disease. Additionally, my background was in business, so the numbers made more sense to me than farming conventionally."

Glen grows our blonde Chickpeas along with some of our Green Lentils. Most people don't know that chickpeas are an especially tricky crop to grow. Chickpeas are prone to disease and conventional growers douse fungicide on them at multiple times during the growing cycle to prevent onset. Organic farmers do not have that option. Glen's hypothesis is that his success growing them organically has to do with his micro-climate. "I call it the 'Dunkirk Desert.' We do not have the moisture here where I farm that they may have two hours away. The organic chickpeas thrive with the lack of moisture."

"One day, I hope 406 Farms will become a no-till organic farm incorporating cover crops. We are not there yet, but that is what I am aiming for. My goal is to create a profitable, sustainable operation that my kids – 12 and 14 – will one day look at and decide that they want to be a part of too." Glen says.

Thank you, Glen and family, for all you do!