In the Southern Kentucky city of Glasgow, Trigg Enterprise brings fresh food to the community while revitalizing a family farming way of life.
“Between Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, Glasgow, we all have food deserts,” says Joe Trigg, one of five brothers who own and operate Trigg Enterprise. “In those food deserts, there are a lot of folks who don’t have the food or the kind of food that they need. I believe as a nation, we moved away from the fresh produce and I think the only potential savior for small farmers is if somewhere a model could be established nationally, statewide, where those small farms generate an income.”
The Triggs’ farming background comes from summer jobs in the rural areas of Barren County surrounding Glasgow.
“We grew up in a family of eight…in the middle of Glasgow,” says Joe. “The town is surrounded by rural farms and we had to go and work to generate income. We didn’t live on a farm, we didn’t grow up on a farm, but they needed workers and so a lot of our summer was spent going out and doing the work that folks needed on their farm.”
Joe enlisted in the Air Force and spent more than 28 years in active duty service. He brought his agricultural experience with him.
“The attitude and the culture around most of the military was to eat a little bit better,” Joe says. “Any produce that I grew either in my backyard or at my home off base, there was a ready market, so I made the assumption that market would be here when I returned to Glasgow.
“I’m one-fifth owner of Trigg Enterprise,” he continues. “Erron, Rodney, Cedric, Chris, and myself, our plot of land up there beside my mother’s house. It kind of fits a model I saw in Holland. What they have is a family farm and each family has a lot. They have their home and then they had greenhouses and garden plots. Holland exports a lot of bulbs, flowers, and produce and that’s how those families do it.”
“When we first started, we bought some small cows and raised them,” says Erron Trigg. “We ran into some people in Bowling Green who kind of got us started with the registered Angus and ever since then we’ve been raising Black Angus.”
Erron says that it became necessary to diversify the business, and that’s where the now-booming produce component of Trigg Enterprise got started.
“We purchased the greenhouse which is located behind the house while Joe was in the service,” says Erron. “We filled the whole greenhouse full of tomatoes. As time progressed, we kind of ventured out into different other vegetables.”
In addition to the cattle and produce, Trigg Enterprise raises and sells tilapia.
“This was part of the KSU grant, the aquaponic nursery,” says Joe. “The project provided this set up for every small farmer.”
Joe says that the nursery is designed to have eight tanks, and each tank provides around 100 fish each month.
Much of the produce is sold at the Triggs’ roadside stand.
“The food we grow is good and everybody knows it good because they keep coming back,” says Rodney Trigg. “It’s fresh and you know what you’re getting when you buy from us because we’re right here in the middle of town. You see it growing. Every day we set up here on the corner on the stand from 10 to 5:00. Older folks come up who know how to can. They buy in bulk. We’ll go out there and we’ll pick them 20-30 pounds of tomatoes or whatever they want. Sometimes they’ll bring us a jar or two back!”
This segment is part of Kentucky Life episode #2003, which originally aired on October 18, 2014. Watch the full episode.