Charlie and Casey Ellington from Stark County are the editors of the October 2022 Growing our Generation enewsletter, featuring insights and ideas directly from Ohio’s young farmers and food and agricultural professionals.Read More
Tyrone and Megan Brannon of Tuscarawas County are editors of the December 2021 Growing our Generation enewsletter, featuring insights and ideas directly from Ohio’s young farmers and food and agricultural professionals.
Tyrone and Megan Brannon are the current chaircouple of Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals State Committee. Tyrone grew up on a dairy farm and was involved in both 4-H and FFA, even earning his American Degree in 2003. Megan grew up raising beef cattle and was a member of 4-H as well. Together they now own Olde Tyme Farms, a small 20-acre farm in Tuscarawas County, raising meat chickens, laying hens, produce, herbs and more.
Give a short description of your pathway into Farm Bureau involvement.
We began involvement together in Farm Bureau when we started dating. Tyrone had previously worked membership, and our former Organization Director Michele Specht thought it would be something for us to do together. We eventually married and Farm Bureau felt like family to us; it was a big part of our lives and still is. Megan is active on the Tuscarawas County Farm Bureau Board, serving as the secretary currently. We are also ending our term on the YAP State Committee. In addition to Farm Bureau, Tyrone is a Tuscarawas County Agricultural Society board member.
How have your leadership skills developed?
We both feel that we have grown in leadership abilities since being chosen for the YAP state committee. Tyrone always joked that he wasn’t able to speak well in public, but now he runs committee meetings and speaks in front of hundreds of people as one of the state chairs.
Are you implementing any new technology in your life?
We are looking into all solar power for our farm store. We are in an excellent location to attempt an off-grid power source for our small shop. Our farm’s mission has always included efforts toward environmental sustainability. We are also hoping to open an online store next year as well to improve our farm’s market reach, including a subscription for our tea mixes.
Our farm began as a small microgreen operation supplemented with a few varieties of garden produce in 2018. Since then, we have added on to our produce garden, including unique and speciality varieties of garden vegetables (think Japanese Bitter Melons and albino beets) as well as adding laying chickens, meat chickens and honey bees to the farm. This year was our biggest year for growth yet, adding a 100 foot high tunnel with medicinal and culinary herbs, a pumpkin patch, as well as a small orchard of fruit trees and bushes. A pollinator plot added this year also increased the yield from our honey bees. Our farm will continue to grow in 2022 with a farm store being added on our property to sell herbs, tea mixes (blended from the herbs in the high tunnel), infused honeys, and beeswax products. We want to keep growing so that we have something to leave our kids one day.
Do you have any challenges that are affecting your success right now?
Megan is in school full time earning her PhD in curriculum and instruction. She will graduate in May 2022. This is on top of use both running a business, raising two toddlers and working full-time jobs off the farm. Tyrone is in sales for TMK Bakersville, and Megan is director of curriculum for Quaker Digital Academy. Because of that, time is always something that is in short supply around here. We are trying to grow our business without creating too much debt, so we end up doing a lot of our farm projects ourselves, which takes up even more of our time.
What inspires you when life gets hard?
Our boys! Our two sons came to us as foster kiddos. They endured so much strife and abuse at such an early age but still manage to live life happy and joyful. If they can get past that, we can make it through a few bad days.
Do you have a go-to website, publication, media source and what does it provide that is helpful to you?
We use Facebook a lot to network and find ideas. There are plenty of operations like ours all over the world, so we love finding new ideas that we can bring back to our little corner of Ohio. One thing that Megan found recently was a “Tea Around the World” workshop that we are currently planning to bring to our shop next year. Find Old Tyme Farms on Facebook and Instagram.
If you have an interesting hobby, tell us about it.
We like to forage for ingredients in the woods. Since we grow some herbs in the high tunnel, it is fun to add other ingredients to those teas. We find some great things in the woods and fields that are edible, nutritious and add so much flavor. For example, stinging nettle is a staple in our tea. We both love to cook with foraged ingredients, like fiddlehead ferns and morels. We aim to forage sustainably and always ensure that we don’t over-harvest.
Share a favorite recipe
Since we always have eggs on hand from our chickens, this is my very favorite dessert. I love to cook farm-to-table! This chocolate torte is easy, relatively cheap and always a hit at parties.
Chocolate Flourless Torte
- 9 ounces good-quality dark chocolate 65% or higher, finely chopped
- 9 ounces unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 7 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
- If you are feeling dangerous: a few tablespoons rum, bourbon or whiskey
- Optional for serving: powdered sugar, berries, and/or sweetened whipped cream
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Grease and line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Grease again.
- Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler or in a microwave-safe bowl, until the chocolate is almost completely melted.
- Remove from heat and stir until smooth and totally melted.
- Stir in the sugar, then let cool for a few minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, fully combining between each addition.
- After all the eggs are added, continue to stir until the batter becomes thick, glossy, and utterly gorgeous.
- Stir in the vanilla extract, almond extract and any optional boozy addition you desire.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake 30-35 minutes, until the torte jiggles slightly in the middle but is not completely set.
- Begin checking at the 30-minute mark to ensure the torte does not overbake.
- Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then unmold.
- Dust with powdered sugar.
- Cut into wedges and serve alone or with whipped cream, berries, or anything else your heart desires.
- NOTE: Leftovers can be frozen and will thaw to almost-perfect condition!
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Having opportunities to attend leadership institutes, advocate for rural Ohioans on the state and national level, facilitate young ag professionals events, and serve in a variety of leadership positions have helped my skills grow exponentially.Growing our Generation
Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.Business Solutions
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
I was gifted the great opportunity through an Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation Youth Pathways grant to run a series of summer camps here. That really expanded my vision of what ‘grow, maintain, sustain and explain’ could actually be.Farming for Good
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.Leadership development
Application deadline is Oct. 6 at noon. Selected chapters will be announced on or before Nov. 1, 2022.Read More
Greg and Andrew joined a multitude of Ohio Farm Bureau representatives at the nation’s capital Sept. 13-15.Read More
The Outstanding Young Farmer contest is designed to recognize successful young farmers, age 35 or younger, for achievements in the business of farming and leadership in the agricultural community.Read More
If you work primarily off the farm and are a leader in Farm Bureau and the community, then this contest is for you.Read More
Coverage from the annual county leaders trip to Washington, D.C.Read More
Jonanthan and Alyssa Zucker farm in Marion and Wyandot counties. They are in their last term on the State Young Agricultural Professionals Committee and serve as co-chairs.Read More
The 10 individuals selected to earn an expense-paid trip to this experience will be announced at the 2023 Winter Leadership Experience Jan. 27-28, 2023. Apply by Jan. 13.Read More
Eight $500 grants will go to local YAP groups and two $500 grants will go to Collegiate Farm Bureau groups. Apply by Jan. 13.Read More