MORRISTOWN, Ind. — Randy and Sherri Dugger may be newly established farmers, but they already have big plans for the future.
The duo recently moved from Indianapolis to rural Morristown, where they’ve restored a home, created a farm market and provided homes to dozens of animals. Goats, chickens, alpacas, cats and a dog make the farm feel like home.
Their goal is to make Indiana-grown foods more accessible.
“So often I see division in the farming world,” said Sherri, an author, magazine editor and farmer.
“There’s division in agriculture, in our political world and religious world. I’m trying to find ways to knock those walls down. Let’s stop yelling at each other. Let’s listen to each other. That’s part of our overall mission.”
They plan to bring the community together through their on-farm market, as well as a future mobile food truck.
“Randy restores old, vintage cars and trucks,” she said. “We’re going to apply for a grant to go into food deserts with a restored vehicle that will serve as a mobile food market.”
“Right now, you have to drive to Shelbyville or Greenfield (to get groceries), and for people who have limited mobility, that’s a long haul,” Randy said.
100 Percent Home
According to their website, Dugger Family Farm is part unofficial animal rescue, part farm store and 100 percent home.
Their farming philosophy is to treat the land and animals with care.
“We want to have as little environmental impact as possible,” Sherri said. “I have a heart for animals and taking care of them. Many of our animals are rescues. We want to be kind to them. And also provide good, healthy food to people who need it.”
In addition to the mobile pantry, Sherri and Randy have plans for a new building that will include a larger farm store, event space and a commercial kitchen. They also plan to build a high tunnel.
Although there’s a lot of work to be done, the couple is optimistic about the farm’s future.
“We’ve had a few mishaps and are still learning,” Randy said. “But I think our mission hasn’t changed.”
“It’s a learning process for sure,” Sherri added. “We’re learning and trying to network. We work with Purdue Extension all the time, as well as the Farm Service Agency … We have a plan in place and the state has a lot of resources available to us.”