WHO WE ARE
We Started in 1980.
That's when my grandparents, Linda and Bill Dietel, bought Over Jordan Farm on Bean Hollow Lane in Flint Hill, Virginia. Nestled into the foothills of the bucolic Blue Ridge Mountains, my grandparents built a home and my grandmother "Nini" started started a Polypay sheep operation. In the 80's Rappahannock County was dominated by Angus cattle operations run by burly men. So our Nini, with her Polypay sheep, was somewhat of an oddity. It took some adjusting on everyone's part, but Nini stuck it out and for more than 20 years Nini ran a successful meat and wool operation. My parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all helped out on the farm during vacation visits. My grandfather, "Papa" Bill gave a hand when he was home from a business trip. But most of the time it was just Linda and her farmhand Roy doing chores and managing the flock.
Lind Dietel caring for a lamb.
In 2000 Nini retired and the fields were leased to a neighboring farmer. He grazed some of his Angus cattle on Over Jordan Farm and mowed the fields for hay production.
In 2012 my parents, Betsy Dietel and Michael Sands, moved to the farm. My grandparents were getting older and my mother wanted to be closer to home. My dad wanted to restart operations on the farm.
After giving the fields 3 years to rest and recover we bought our first livestock. My dad spent all of his adult life in agriculture, and most of that time was focused on organic agriculture and community supported agriculture. He'd done a lot of research, and had been a trusted consultant on a variety of projects, but he had never run his own commercial operation. Bean Hollow Grassfed was born out of that a desire to put in practice a lifetime of experience.
Shortly after my second daughter was born I convinced my wife, Giada Bertonelli, to spend six months in the United States. We had been living in Barcelona, Spain, for more than a decade and I wanted my kids to get to know their grandparents and the US. So we spent 3 months helping out on the farm. And I instantly fell in love with the landscape and the work.
In the summer of 2018 Giada and I moved with our daughters Lola and Uma to Virginia. It was time to help Bean Hollow Grassfed take the next step. Giada and I joined the family business and we're excited about the future!
For more information about each team member, check out the links below.
3rd Generation Over Jordan Farmer
Mike Sands caring for a lamb.