Family, Agriculture and Education have always been the foundation of the Witten Farm. The third generation of farmers, Julie, Tom and Scott, spent their youth farming alongside their parents. They were raised to know the value of time around the dinner table, where they learned the in’s and out’s of the family business and began to cultivate their ideals for the farm’s future. All three attended Fort Frye High School where they were members of the FFA and then went on to The Ohio State University to pursue degrees in agriculture. After graduating, each returned to the farm to bring their own talents to the table, helping them to share their farm and family with communities throughout Ohio and West Virginia.
Julie Witten graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Agriculture Education. Inspired by her grandmother’s love of flowers, she returned home in 1996 and expanded the farm to include a greenhouse and flower markets. In her current role at the farm, she manages the design of our hanging baskets and specialty containers and assists with the greenhouse growing. With a passion for people, Julie uses her education degree every day in supervising our team of 14 managers and 175 seasonal staff members. With the majority of our employees being high school and college age, Julie works to grow our people into skilled, educated, leaders with the values and work ethic she was raised with.
Tom Witten graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Crop Science. He and his wife Lora, owner of Amy’s Flower Shop, have 4 children: Reagan, Grant, Jack, and Eloise. Tom is the farm’s main greenhouse grower. He spends the spring making sure all the flowers are growing as they should and coordinating the deliveries to our flower markets . During the summer, he manages the sweet corn harvest, which means he’s in the fields every single night to make sure enough sweet corn is picked to supply our 21 locations. Tom also works with his brother Scott to coordinate the growing of all our other crops.
Scott Witten graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Horticulture. He and his wife Melinda, Director of Programming at Ohio Farm Bureau, have 2 children: Audrey and Nick. Scott supervises the farm’s Migrant Labor Crew, who has been an essential part of the farm for many years. He manages our wholesale department and is responsible for getting the fresh produce deliveries on the road bright and early each morning. Scott also oversees the growing of our 5 acres of high tunnel tomatoes and works with Tom to coordinate the growing of all our other crops.
As with most family businesses, keeping the farm running smoothly is truly an effort of the ENTIRE family working together. Whether it’s help running errands, babysitting the kids or preparing a home-cooked meal during all the in-season craziness, every bit of support is important, especially from their parents. Jerry and Bonnie Witten are the 2nd generation of farmers on The Witten Farm.
They retired from vegetable farming in 2008, but continued to raise and sell black angus beef for the next 10 years. They officially retired in the Spring of 2018. But as we all know, once a farmer, always a farmer. Jerry continues to help with the daily produce deliveries and general farm maintenance. Bonnie is the farm’s biggest cheerleader. She can be found adding personality to all of our events and taking the grandchildren to sell our produce at local farm markets.
The Fourth Generation
The fourth generation of farmers are the most fun and lively group of kids you will ever meet. Ranging in age from 10 years old to 10 months old, these six youngsters are present on the farm daily. They are already learning the family business. You can often find them scouting the fields with their dad’s, visiting the markets with their Aunt Julie, or spending the day with their Grandma Bonnie at the farm market. We can’t wait to see where this next generation will take us.