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On Site: Shady Lane Farms

By: Dave Brambert, publisher
Posted: January 5, 2009

page 3 of 3

After oil production at the receiving tank slows to almost nothing, the wagon is unhooked from the system with a burst of steam. The spent, moist hay is piled on an unused section of the farm and is brought back into the growth cycle as mulch to feed the next crop.

A.M. Todd and The Lebermuth Co. (Mishiwaka, IN) both buy from Shady Lane Farms. “Our families have known each other for generations,” says Irv Brown, chairman of The Lebermuth Company. (Stay tuned to the next edition of P&Fnow for more about The Lebermuth Co. as it celebrates its 100th anniversary.) Indeed, the mint industry still has a family business atmosphere, even though it is shrinking in the Midwest, with the bulk of mint production having moved to the northwest United States. Everyone in the business knows everyone else in the business, and competition is strong but friendly.

Matthys is dedicated to continuing the mint farming effort and tradition; in fact, his sons help plant and harvest the crop. This is good news for A.M. Todd and The Lebermuth Co., whose forecasts rely on an accurate count of acreage and yield—something you can’t get when farmers go into and out of the mint-growing business.

The ultimate product of Shady Lane Farms is further distilled and refined, and there is a chance that you have brushed your teeth or chewed gum courtesy of Randy Matthys and his muck farm in Indiana.