Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Chad Fasteson. I was born and raised by parents who loved to homestead. They farmed, gardened, raised animals, and canned and preserved their own food. I grew up eating homegrown food and spending a lot of time outside which is probably why I prefer to spend my time outdoors, whether I’m farming, ranching, hunting or fishing. I have a gorgeous and brilliantly talented wife who is teaching sixth grade here in Big Sandy and together we have a beautiful one-year-old daughter, Charlotte (Charlie). We also have two labradors, Sadie and Silas.
What is your position on the farm? What are your overall responsibilities?
I am working as the farm manager, Seth’s, assistant. I help with anything that needs to get done, which can range from plowing and seeding the fields to maintaining farm equipment.
You’ve been working with Bob on the farm for about a month, what’s your favorite part of your job so far?
So far, the best part of this job is not having to work with all the nasty chemicals used in conventional farming. But overall it’s a good mix of things I love to do and things that I am good at as well as things that I am still learning. It keeps things exciting. And I love working outdoors, especially in this beautiful country.
So how did you meet Bob Quinn?
I met Bob through some mutual friends at church. We have a small, tight-knit community here and it didn’t take long to decide I would rather be an organic farmer than the alternative. But my family and I originally decided to take this position so that I could continue building my farming knowledge and skills. So when Bob offered us the job, it was king of a no-brainer.
What sort of changes or additions would you like to make in your current position, and why?
Eventually I would like to add cows to the operation. My wife and I both have backgrounds in animal husbandry and would like to start producing meat, wool, and other animal by-products organically. Bob and I both agree that livestock are a great compliment to organic farming overall.
So where are you originally from?
I am originally from Foster. It’s a small town in the northwest corner of Rhode Island.
Did you grow up on a farm?
I grew up on a small hobby farm. We raised standard breed race horses for my uncle. We also had a family milk cow, chickens, pigs, and raised steers for beef. In addition to gardening, I also raised hay and worked with friends and neighbors on their farms.
What do you enjoy about working for Bob?
There are so many avenues for learning on the farm. Bob is really invested in his employees. I enjoy going to conferences and learning from Bob and the other employees here on the farm.
Were you familiar with organic farming before working for Bob?
Yes. I have studied organic agriculture a lot on my own through reading as well as practicing organic farming on our families’ farm. But I am excited to expand my knowledge and experience here in Big Sandy.
What are your thoughts on organic farming?
I think it is, quite simply, a better way of life. It’s a better way to produce food and I think it’s closer to how God intended agriculture to work.
In conclusion, has working on an organic farm changed your perceptions about farming and food supply?
Whether on a large scale or small, organic farming is a way of life for our family. We believe in growing wholesome food and we like to know what’s in our food and where it came from. Since I started working on the farm here, our desires to do this have only increased.