2019 Local Hero Awardee: Diemand Farm
Each year, CISA presents Local Hero Awards to farms, businesses, or individuals who exemplify our mission of strengthening farms and engaging the community to build the local food economy. We applaud their hard work, social responsibility, and many contributions to sustaining local agriculture.
Diemand Farm is in Wendell, where they raise poultry, meat, and eggs, have a sawmill, and turn out all sorts of delicious foods in their farm kitchen. So, they are a very busy group!
The varied nature of their business speaks to their specific history: this is a farm that has adapted to changing circumstances with a lot of tenacity and creativity over the decades. The farm was established in 1930, and by the 2000s they were best known for their eggs, which you could find in stores all around the region, and for their Thanksgiving turkeys. In 2011, when new FDA regulations loomed that would have been crushingly expensive to implement, they downsized their egg production to a fifth of what it had been. Today, they are undergoing another transition in the wake of new state regulations about housing for poultry.
In 2011, when they were making this decision to completely shift their business model, each family member did independent brainstorming and they asked themselves, “what have I ever dreamed of doing on the farm?”. The outcome was that they decided to expand their focus on the farm kitchen and store and their catering business. That might make that transition sound easy, but of course it wasn’t. This process speaks to the resilient approach the Diemand family has brought to their business over the years, and it’s an example of the persistence that is required of farmers. Tessa, the next generation, recently returned to the farm, bringing her own energy and creative thinking to the future of the business.
So for building a vibrant and diverse farm business, and their tenacity in the face of significant change, CISA is honored to present the Diemand Farm family with a 2019 Local Hero Award.