Today@Sam Article

Alumni Spotlight: Twisted T Farms

March 19, 2024
SHSU Media Contact: Mikah Boyd

Turo-Family.jpegBearkats are changemakers. Many graduates from Sam Houston State University have an eye for details and know when the status quo just won’t do.

When Patrick (’13) and Rachel (’11) Turo settled down and had children, they noticed that basic food and household items seemed to have a lot more ingredients than they thought necessary. After digging a little deeper, the couple was shocked at all the additives that popped up in the most basic of food items. The Bearkat alums decided to act and establish Twisted T Farms in Willis, where they perform ethical, clean farming to provide food not just for themselves but their community.

“I got organically certified right when COVID shut down everything in 2020,” Patrick said. “That’s when we started deciding the jellies and jams and all this stuff shouldn’t have all sorts of heavy metals. There shouldn’t be a million ingredients in a jar of grape jelly.”

Since launching the farm, the couple has connected with others who share their passion for making foods and other items without any of the additives you may find in store-bought goods. Their collaboration has enabled them to open a farm store, which features the fruits, veggies, eggs and meats that the farm produces, as well as similar items created by their neighbors and friends.

The Turos both studied agricultural business at SHSU and say that the skills and practices they learned in the program have prepared them for the rigors of running an organic farm and operating their store. The store, which Rachel describes as an indoor farmer’s market, is open all week and puts her economics studies to the test when it comes to inventory and managing what items are coming and going out.

TwistedTGarden.jpegPatrick says that the farm has seen its fair share of challenges. In order to protect the plants and animals, the Turos get creative.

“With chemical free farming and using organic practices, we learned to just overplant so that the bugs have their portion and then we can get ours,” Rachel said.

On top of pests, Twisted T Farms has seen numerous predators such as coyotes, hawks, eagles and even a mountain lion. To keep the predators at bay, the Bearkat farmers decided to get their livestock a canine bodyguard. Through the combined efforts of the guard dog, electric fencing and a neighbor’s coyote patrols, the Turo’s have been able to keep their animals safe.  

After learning so much about homesteading over the years, Rachel and Patrick are now sharing their knowledge through classes and immersive experiences offered at Twisted T Farms. The lessons cover a variety of topics and aim to educate visitors of all ages on the importance of growing and eating seasonal vegetables that are picked and sold at the peak of freshness.

“A lot of the stuff that we get in the grocery stores are picked green or they’re picked completely wrong and then they’re shipped and when they get to the store, then they turned from green to red,” Patrick said. “That’s not when they’re nutrient dense and that’s why the flavor isn’t really there, because it is months old before it gets to the grocery store.”

Rachel shared that they are hoping to fully stock their store in the coming year, allowing people from Willis and the surrounding areas to have an alternative to traditional grocery stores. As the farm enters its peak spring season, she and Patrick are both excited to welcome visitors to the farm.

For more information on Twisted T Farms, visit their website.

- END -

This page maintained by SHSU's Communications Office:

Director of Content Communications: Emily Binetti

Communications Manager: Mikah Boyd
Telephone: 936.294.1837

Communications Specialist: Campbell Atkins
Telephone: 936.294.2638

Please send comments, corrections, news tips to