39358 Pin Oak Church Road
Truxton, MO 63381
Lee Farms is a Missouri farm located 70 miles west of St. Louis and owned and worked by the Lee family—Rusty and Teresa, their son, Will, and their daughter, Dora Lynn. They grow a wide variety of crops as well as raise livestock. Rusty was born and raised on a farm and holds a B.S. degree in Agriculture and Agricultural Engineering from the University of Georgia and an M.S. degree in Agriculture from the University of Missouri.
Would you describe your farm as a family farm?
Yes. Our children are the fourth generation to live and work on this farm. Every family member contributes on a daily basis.
Who works on your farm?
We have four family members working the farm along with one hired man, Lawrence. We also have various high-school kids and migrant workers who help us harvest
How long have you been farming?
We’ve been farming since 2000.
What do you grow on your farm?
Ours is a diversified crop and livestock farm. Our primary crops are vegetables, including tomatoes, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, winter squash, eggplants, cantaloupes, and cucumbers. To assist in proper crop rotation, we utilize conventional crops of corn, wheat, and soybeans. The livestock we raise are meat goats.
How did you get into farming?
I was born into it. I learned the practical, hands-on application in my youth, and carried the study further in college. It is my purpose in life, and where I receive satisfaction and contentment. The challenge has always been how to cultivate a decent income.
What do you enjoy the most about farming?
The list is long:
- The continuous educational process. On a daily basis, my respect for Mother Nature increases as I learn something new.
- The renewal of life that Spring brings. Planting the seed and witnessing growth. Newborn animals and watching their development.
- The satisfaction of the rewards from hard work.
What makes your farm special?
We are passionate about what we grow, how we grow it, and making it available to your family. We are concerned with the sustainable production of food, eaten locally within hours of picking, not spending days on a truck.
What do you envision for the future of your farm?
I envision an increase in the involvement of the daily life of people who purchase and enjoy the produce from our harvests. As relationships evolve between farmers and consumers, I see the consumer becoming more aware of where their food comes from. In addition, expansion—the controlled growth of production capacity—will be necessary to optimize economies of scale, and to make room for the next generation to carry on the farming tradition.
Are you an organic grower?