The PrairiErth Story


The Bishop Family has been farming our 300 acres for about 30 years. Located in the center of Illinois,  we operate a diversified farm and raise a bit of about everything.  Having farmed conventionally, we’ve seen first hand the detrimental effects on the soil and to the farm and rural communities. It’s our goal to play a part in limiting our ecological footprint  by caring for the earth, not just for us, but for future generations as well. Organic farming is very special to us, we enjoy working with the land and sharing our products with customers, with whom we develop a very special relationship with. Together, we believe organic is more than just a practice, it’s a way to influence a healthy life in our community and provide a sustainable way of producing food.

Dave, his sons Graham and Hans and Hans’ wife Katie share the work by helping with chores and production.

PrairiErth crops are very diversified and include corn, soybeans, oats, alfalfa and grass hay. As well as 20 acres of vegetables plus fruit and flowers. Our livestock operation includes 40 pasture-raised beef cattle and free-range chicken for eggs and heritage breed pigs.  We find the bond between the land and those who live and work on it to be very important. PrairiErth farm also has an acre of of restored native Illinois prairie!

In 2017 Dave, Hans and Katie were awarded the Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service Farmer of the Year Award! It was quite an honor!

Meet your farmers:

Farmer Dave: Dave has over 35 years of experience! His expertise is extensive and has his hands in about every area of the operation, however Dave primarily oversees the corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, meats and egg production. His wisdom and experience are the backbone of the entire farm, providing guidance for fertility, growing methods and other farm techniques. Dave is very active in the community sharing his knowledge on subjects such as the local food advocacy, successful diversified farming, using cover crops, and conservation practices.

Farmer Hans: Hans grew up on the farm, and with Dave’s guidance started the vegetable production. He brought the farm to the Downtown Bloomington Farmer’s market and implemented one of the few USDA Certified Organic CSA’s in central IL! Hans raises healthy and delicious vegetables year round in our hoop-houses and has been told he grows the best lettuce and carrots! Approachable, humble and full of resources and expertise Hans speaks on subjects such as season extension, seed starting and garden planning, and using mechanization on a diversified vegetable farm.  Hans was selected as one of the 2012 Slow Food Delegates to Terra Madre representing the United States. 

Farmer Katie: Katie is one of the many PrairiErth Farm successes. Due to the growth of the farm, Katie was able to leave her corporate job of 18 years to farm full time with her family. Together Hans and Katie run the vegetable operation. Katie loves to work in the starter house working with seedlings or washing veggies and getting them ready for the community. Katie also authored the PrairiErth Farm Cookbook and focuses on marketing the farm. She works hard with the community to make sure local and organic food is accessible by all. She speaks on topics such as eating seasonally, food preservation, creating and building your brand, and using social media on the farm.

Farmer Graham: Graham may not be able to legally vote or buy a beer but this kid can farm with the best of them. Graham raises heritage breed pigs each year, and is the resident berry picker (and eater!). Graham intelligently and articulately speaks to groups about raising livestock sustainably and loves to facilitate tours of the farm with Mollie the greatest farm dog in the world. Graham is also active in his chapter of Future Farmers of America and is headed to U of I to major in Engineering!