23544 McQueen Road
Malta, IL 60150
The Plapp family has been farming their land in Malta, Illinois for well over a century. The original 160-acre plot has been in the family since 1895 and has since expanded to 650 acres, of which 150 acres are rented from a neighbor.
Plapp Family Organics produces a range of meat and grain products. Brothers Adrian and Myron Plapp, along with their families, work together to keep the farm running smoothly. Adrian manages the crop work, while his wife Debbie keeps the books and Myron manages the livestock. Adrians children Emily (11) and Kendall (8), and Myrons son, Colton (8), share daily chores on the farm, including feeding the sheep and pigs, keeping an eye on chicken and duck eggs and weighing and bagging flour.
Organic transitioning began in 1995 and was completed on all acreage in 2000. In
mid-2004 the farm began milling its grains into organic flours and grain meals and pressing its oilseeds into organic oils. The Plapps also produce a range of meats including beef, pork, duck, and lamb. Poultry is raised for meat and egg sales.
Why is growing organic a priority for your family?
I have chosen to farm organically because I feel that I owe it to my family and the consumers of my products to produce the healthiest way possible. We need to treat our soils and animals with greater care if we wish to have a civilization worth carrying forward.
What is your favorite part of being an organic farmer?
The abundance and variety of life. The encouragement of multiplying health-building organisms from the smallest soil components to the largest farm animals. Conventional agriculture is about poisoning those things we dont want, instead of building up the good things.
What is your least favorite part of being an organic farmer?
The portion of the industry that sees organic as just another niche like low fat or sugar free and not as a revolution against poison and indentured servitude to corporate agribusiness. This mindset creates a situation where the making of money is more important than the organic philosophy.
Why should people buy organic products instead of other options?
People can consume our products knowing we can trace them back to their origins of healthy soils with a diverse crop environment. They can avoid GMO contamination, chemical manufacturing and use and soil depleting mono-cropping.
What makes your farm special?
We produce our flours, oils, etc. from crops we grow ourselves. We take in thousands of tons of landscape waste leaves, compost them with animal wastes and apply them to our fields. Our goal is to keep these farms in our family for another century.
Where would you like to see your business in the next five to ten years?
I would like to see our poultry operation grow into an enterprise that my daughters and their cousins can manage for their own income. I would like to process and sell all of our small grains as flour in the Chicago area within 5 years. I would like to process and help sell all of the locally-grown, organically-raised grains as flour in the Chicago area within ten years. I would like to host interested parties to visit our farm and see what we are doing and make connections that the food industry has spent a century severing.
Where can consumers get your products?
You can purchase our products at our farm, at restaurants and bakeries, and at Chicago Green City Market in the winter. Adrian will also be doing the GCM on Saturdays in the summer.
For more information about Plapp Family Organics, call 815-825-2589 or send Adrian an email.