Ruffs named Cooperators of the Year

FLETCHER — Lee and Jennifer Ruff were married in 2010. Just seven years and four children later, their 21 acres at the very west edge of Fletcher — End of the Road Farm — has become an idyllic concoction of gardens, high tunnels, pasture, chickens, cattle, pigs, piles of reclaimed wood, brick and stone, antique equipment, perfect little play areas, and an evolving home and outbuildings.

The Ruff family was chosen as Cooperators of the Year for their participation in practices and programs encouraged by this office that include EQIP for a seasonal high tunnel and irrigation management practices and CSP to help reduce invasive species, improve grazing utilization and improve cropland acres on their farm.

The Ruff Family are true stewards of the land, dedicated to having as little impact on the land as possible. End of the Road Farm has achieved Certified Naturally Grown status, relying on cover crops, a six-year crop rotation plan, companion plantings, intensive grazing, and old fashioned hand weeding and hoeing. They forego any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, or GMOs, and grow the feed for their heritage breed livestock. They specialize in squeezing and cooking down the sorghum and grinding the spelt grown right on End of the Road Farm.

You may have seen Lee and Jennifer if you’ve attended Piqua’s Farmers Market on Thursday evenings. The Ruffs will be honored during our 13th annual All Ag Meeting and Banquet on Aug. 24. At the banquet, they will receive a plaque and sign relaying their achievement as well as clothing relaying their accomplishment in embroidery.