Farming couple grows shared blessings
Hometown native, Brad Whiston, may have planted his roots on the other side of the Mississippi River, but that doesn’t change where his linage of farming sprouted from. Whiston, born and raised in Monroe City operates Terripin Farms in the countryside of Quincy, Illinois. Whiston is a fourth-generation farmer, continuing his families green thumb ability with his own touch to the agriculture world.
Although Brad was raised around row crop and livestock farming, he operates a produce and gardening farm, selling his crop at his farm stand with his wife Jessica. Jessica is a third-generation farm girl of a family who owned and operated a farm stand. Jessica explained, stating, “My grandparents had a farmer’s market where they grew mostly sweet corn. Together, Brad and I started the business back up and expanded.”
Terripin Farms operates the farm stand at 3729 N 36th St. in Quincy. The location includes 8.5 acres with green houses and fields to plant. The farm belongs to a cooperative, which allows them to provide 100 percent locally grown vegetables, fruits, pies, jams, eggs, plants and flowers, along with other items making it a one stop local shop. The farm also services several restaurants with produce throughout the area, traveling as far as St. Louis each week to provide orders.
Together they have one son and three girls, who are learning what farming and hard work is all about passing down their heritage of farming. Preston, the oldest is 20 years old, followed by Meadow, 12, Willow, 11 and Magnolia, 7. Jessica shared, “The kids enjoy helping in the greenhouses and farm stands.”
Brad’s favorite part of farm life is planting and field work with the tractor, and Jessica’s favorite time comes each fall during pumpkin and mum season. From seed to finished product, the Whiston’s oversee the entire production. Jessica shared, “We are always crazy busy planting, working, arranging or delivering.” Customers who shop the farms produce can expect to get fresh home-grown food that is handled with the best of care. Whiston and his wife may be planting one day and arranging plant baskets the next, but each task is done with care to satisfy their customers.
Not only are they committed to provide the best products, but show their generosity to help others in need as well. Each year, the farm donates approximately 10,000 pounds of produce to local food pantries. The business also offers a Link Match program for low income families who received EBT benefits. The program allows the customer to receive double the produce for the amount spent. This gives a customer more produce for their cost to feed their family. Jessica shared their passion to give, stating, “We give back to our community as much as we can and try to help teach families about planting and farming.”
Each year in October, Terripin Farms hosts a Fall Festival fundraiser for the Link Match Program. The festival includes blue grass bands and family activities for all ages. This year the farm will have a sunflower maze in late August. As for the future of the business, the Whiston’s explained, “We would like to see more agri-tourism and social events.” Brad and Jessica have operated the business since 2006. The farm currently employs 10 employees and continues to grow each year.