Early Years of Whitmore Farms

Wayne and Connie Whitmore started forming the foundations for Whitmore Farms, LLC in 1983. Wayne was managing the OSU Research Station at Ft. Cobb, OK. He became increasingly interested in progressive, researched farming techniques and convinced Connie to start a small garden. While there, Wayne worked with researcher, Dr. Jim Motes (Motes Farm), who encouraged Wayne to become involved in commercial gardening.

After Wayne accepted a position as agriculturalist in the OSU Wheat Breeding Program in Stillwater, Wayne and Connie approached Fred and Marie Schneider in collaborating with them to form Schneider Farms. The Schneider’s had land, equipment, and long standing knowledge of growing crops in southwest Payne County. The Whitmore’s had access to research and, as Connie decided to take a break from teaching to stay home with their growing family, time to work the garden and sell the produce.

The initial venture focused solely on growing asparagus with the majority of the produce sold to restaurants and larger vendors at wholesale, but also had customers stop by the farm to purchase asparagus. As more people came out to the farm, Schneider Farms ventured into additional crops such as strawberries, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and tomatoes.

As the garden grew, Wayne and Connie began looking for other ways to sell their produce. With the leadership of Dr. Motes, Wayne, Fred, and other local growers started the Stillwater Farmers' Market in 1986. Wayne then assisted with the start of the old Penn Square Farmers’ Market in 1987 that later transitioned into the OSU-OKC Farmers’ Market still going in Scissortail Park.

In 1995, the Schneider’s stepped back from gardening, and Wayne and Connie became the sole owners of the garden forming Whitmore Farms. Wayne and Connie continued to grow the garden, while working full time jobs, alongside their kids who would integrate the farm with their 4-H and FFA projects.

Meanwhile, Wayne and Connie were building their cow/calf operation and marketing the calf crop conventionally. In 2008, Wayne and Connie decided to start keeping some of the yearling calves that would be moved to a small Bermuda grass pasture to be grain finished. Wayne and Connie then started selling cuts of meat at the farmers market’s in addition to the produce they had become known for.

Wayne and Connie further expanded their market base in 2002 when they started going to the Edmond Farmer's Market. Throughout the years, they have added additional markets that have come and gone averaging 5-6 markets every week during the summer months around the OKC, Edmond, and Stillwater areas.

After 30-plus years, Wayne and Connie retired from their first careers to continue working and managing the farm alongside their kids and their spouses: Justin and Ciera Whitmore, Brandon and Carra (Whitmore) Crow. They are also teaching their grandchildren (Owen, Leo, Lillian, Milo) the joy and love of agriculture.