"Vollborn Farms and Vollborn Cattle Co. is a multifamily operation. We work together as a team. Family is the heart of our operation." - Vollborn Family
Sustaining a Legacy
Vollborn Farms is a multifamily operation consisting of brothers Ed, Fred and Ray Vollborn. Fred and his wife Linda operate Vollborn Cattle Company with their son Luke, his wife, Courtney, and their three boys Bryceton, Colton, and Hudson (and are expecting a baby girl, Emmalee, in November). Vollborn Cattle Company raises purebred Angus and Charolais cattle, with an interest from Luke and Courtney in show cattle. They have sold cattle in Florida, Missouri, Tennessee, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, with cattle winning at several county and state shows. They host two online sales in the spring and fall. Lisa Jo and Michael Blakeman, Fred and Linda's daughter, are also actively involved in the operation with their two sons, Joshua, and Caleb. Ed is retired from OSU extension, Ray works full time on the farm and Fred Vollborn was the manager of Bob Evan's Hidden Valley Ranch for 35 years. Off the farm, Luke works for Ohio Valley Electric Company, Courtney is a Registered Nurse working in public health, Lisa Jo is a middle school Principal, and Michael is in the local Iron Workers union. Michael and Lisa Jo also have their own beef cattle and crop farming operation in Jackson County, Ohio. Luke and Lisa Jo were raised to be beef cattle producers. From an early age their dad Fred involved them in the day to day operations of the farm just like we are now involving the grandchildren. At just 8 and 9-years-old, Bryceton and Joshua complete farm chores and want to be involved on the farm daily.
Head of cattle between the operations
The year the farm was started
Generations involved in the family farm
Meet the Vollborn Family
Q: Tell us about the family history on your farm.
All: The home farm also known as Vollborn Farms was started in 1890 by Ed, Fred and Rays grandfather. Their father, Harland, took over the farm in 1920 and farmed until his passing. In the 1970s Ed, Fred and Ray took over the farming operation. Between the two operations, the Vollborn family runs around 600 head of cattle.
Q: What is the importance of family ties, past and present, to your farm?
Luke: I wouldn't be farming today if it wasn't for family past. I can remember the days as a little kid waiting for my dad to offer to take me to the farm. I would be in the truck with my seatbelt on before he even finished asking if I wanted to go. Farming is my family's past, present and our future. The farm has been in our family for 4 generations, and my children make the 5th generation. With the hard work my dad has put into the farm, and the hard work I put into the farm today, I know the farm will be here for my children to grow up on and that is one of my main goals.
Courtney: As a mother and a farmer’s wife, I know how important family is. We depend on our family not only in the operation on the farm, but in day to day life. I married into the Vollborn family. I love hearing Luke's dad and mom tell old farming stories about what it was like back when, or how it all got started. I love watching my sons and nephews learn new things together on the farm or play their pretend farm on their knees with toy tractors, cows and barns. I know I have Fred and the Vollborns before him to thank for this life.
Lisa: Family is everything to our farm. Without family we would not have anything. I spend time daily looking at everything my dad, brother, husband and uncles do for out farm and I can't begin to imagine where our family would be without their contributions. I am raising my sons to appreciate the farm and what all it has provided our family in the past and what it will continue to provide.
Q: How are you working to carry on your farm's legacy?
Luke: Every morning when I get up to go to the farm, I want to make my dad proud. I am thankful for the values my dad and mom have instilled in me, to work hard, never give up and reach for my goals. I have big shoes to fill with what my dad and uncles have done with the farm, but I plan to carry on that legacy that my grandpa started and includes my children and nephews in the future.
Courtney: I am thankful to be a part of a family farm to raise our children. Our boys look up to their grandpa, great uncles and their dad, and I couldn't be prouder. We know how important family is and the importance of carrying on the traditions and legacy that was set on the farm.
Lisa: Farming is our life, whether it is working our "real jobs" off the farm to support the farm or working on the farm to support our cattle, it is a very big part of our lives to maintain the legacy of the farm. I am raising my sons to know the true happiness of living off the land and that continues to be a huge part of being a Vollborn and our legacy.
Q: What does sustainability mean to you?
Fred: We are caretakers of the land God provided for us. We must continue to look after the land and the cattle to be sustainable for generations to come.
Luke: Sustainability means to take care of the farm, the cattle, and to never take anything for granted. As a beef producer, I must stay on top of my game to make sure we are still producing cattle for future generations and that we will continue to strive in every aspect to be better and do better.
Q: How does the consumer marketplace influence your decisions about how you'll care for your livestock?
All: The consumer marketplace influences every decision we make. In the end, we are raising our product for the consumers. We want the consumers to know we take pride in our cattle. We want to produce a product that is safe, healthy and something the consumer wants to purchase. We want the consumer to know that our name is behind it and we care just as much as they do. Between Luke and Lisa Jo's families, we have 5 children with a 6th on the way. We as parents only want to feed our children safe, nutritious food. We know beef is that product we can feed our children that is high in protein and safe because the producer cares.