Anna and Alissa have a combined farming experience of fifteen years and between the two of them have worked on or managed eight different highly diversified farms. They approach their business partnership cooperatively and collaboratively: distributing the workload equally, listening to each other’s ideas, and allowing one another’s skills to shine.
Access to land and access to capital are two of the largest barriers faced by young farmers looking to start their own farms. By working with their friends Paul and Linda Thomas, Alissa and Anna are able to lease the land, infrastructure, and equipment necessary to overcome these barriers and start Wild Ridge Farm.
This unique business partnership offers an ideal opportunity to strengthen local food and community. Wild Ridge Farm aspires to be a social cultural hub for their fellow farmers, their customers, and all who are interested in the local food movement.
2015 will mark Alissa’s ninth farming season. From her first week at her first farming job, she knew she’d found the thing that would make her happy for the rest of her able-bodied life. Organic farming resonated with her like nothing had before. After internships in Connecticut, Oregon and the Driftless Area of Wisconsin, Alissa took a job managing Wellspring Farm and Retreat Center in Newburg, WI. At Wellspring, she met the wonderful folks who own the land at Wild Ridge Farm. Alissa loves to grow beautiful, delicious, nutrient dense produce for the Greater Milwaukee Area. When not farming Alissa pursues, with mixed success, a mindful life. Her passions include: cooking, yoga, energy medicine, reading, visiting friends and family, travel and delicious food and drink. Things she was good at before farming became her life, and desires to return to someday, include: writing, singing, sewing and attempting to learn to play the guitar.
A true Badger, Anna still can’t believe she gets to spend her life doing what she loves, getting dirty and enjoying great food. Upon graduating with a degree in soil science from the University of Wisconsin, she apprenticed on farms from the Snoqualmie Valley to the Hudson Valley. In 2013, Anna found herself back in the Midwest with an incubator project hosted on the Rusty Bend property that now is home to Wild Ridge Farm. Through the experiences of starting an incubator and again through Wild Ridge she got to practice the skills she learned in the classroom and the field, and was able to continue learning how to grow good food, manage soil health, run a business, and share amazing meals with friends. In her free time, Anna loves to explore Milwaukee and the countryside of Ozaukee County on her bike, go fishing, and hopes to one day become an accomplished harmonica player.