25396 337th Avenue, Oacoma, SD 57365 Google Map 605-691-4359

Werner Family

Staff Members
Hal and LeAnn Werner (Irrigation Specialist and Canning Specialist)

Hal and LeAnn have four sons, and together they all make up Muddy Pumpkin Farms. Hal grew up just down the hill from the farm, and his parents raised Hereford Beef Cattle on the property after the Pick-Sloan dams inundated their land in what's now the Missouri River reservoir. Hal is a retired Extension Specialist in Irrigation, and LeAnn continues to teach math at South Dakota State University. Both Hal and LeAnn have been gardening as long as they can remember, and their inclusion of their sons in the family garden as children probably had something to do with their sons' pursuit of gardening as a family business.

Amanda (Market Manager)

Amanda has been running our sales and markets for the bulk of the 2013 season. 

Mark Werner (Farmer)

Mark returns to the farm after spending his last two years studying the cultural history of orca whales in Vancouver, BC. Before that, Mark studied environmental history and philosophy at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Mark's gardening roots run deep with a childhood spent in the gardens of his parents and visiting the farms of his grandparents. Even though his background is in the liberal arts, like his three older brothers, Mark is a 4-H kid at heart.

Gardening heroes: Rudolph Steiner, Richo Cech, Vandana Shiva, Harvey Washington Wiley, Johnny Appleseed

Favorite plants: heirloom tomatoes, wild raspberries, kale, angelica, holy basil, weeping willow

Favorite books: The Lost Language of Plants (Stephen Harrod Buhner), The Spell of the Sensuous (David Abrams), PrairyErth (William Least Heat Moon), Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (Annie Dillard), What are People For? (Wendell Berry), The New and Selected Poems of Stephen Dunn

Matt Werner (Farmer and Carpenter)

A carpenter and mason by day, a winemaker and herbalist by night, Matt has always had a passion for gardening and plants. His daughter Elizabeth named the farm, and his contruction skills made it a reality. Matt is also a skilled furniture maker and an avid agate hunter.

Gardening heroes: Eliot Coleman, Joel Salatin, Stephen Harrod Buhner, Bruce Lee

Favorite plants: damiana, skullcap, elderberry, sassafras, and melons of all shapes, sizes and colors

Favorite books: Tao Te Ching (Lao Tsu), Melons for the Passionate Grower (Amy Goldman), Sacred and Healing Herbal Brews (Stephen Harrod Buhner), Plants of the Black Hills (Gary Larson) and the Foxfire books

Brett Werner (Resident Ecologist)

Brett is an ecologist who studies trees, rivers, and wetlands, and a college professor who studies food, sustainability, and communication. A graduate from St. Olaf College, Brett recently finished his PhD from the University of Minnesota and has taught Environmental Studies at Centre College in Kentucky for the last two years while simultaneously conducting research on prairie wetland ecology under various climate change scenarios. Brett now returns to South Dakota for a postdoctoral research position in ecology, which also brings him closer to the farm.

Gardening heroes: Wes Jackson, Wendell Berry, N.E. Hansen, the bumble bee

Favorite plants: cottonwoods, heirloom tomatoes, prairie grasses

Favorite books: The Pine Island Paradox (Kathleen Dean Moore), Hunting for Hope (Scott Russell Sanders), Becoming Native to This Place (Wes Jackson), The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)


Apprenticeship Program 2013November 19th, 2016

Join the crew at one of the only organic vegetable farms in South Dakota. Located in the heart of the breadbasket yet still on the fringe of the organic food movement, Muddy Pumpkin Farms seeks creati

Apprenticeship ApplicationFebruary 15th, 2013

Weekly Newsletters for 2012September 9th, 2012


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