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Misfits Homegrown – farming with a purpose

The Manitowoc area farm has 93 head of Angus beef cattle, 75 laying hens, 50 broasters and a few pigs on 65 acres of land

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April 5, 2023

MANITOWOC – Both growing up working in the farming industry, Amy Johnson and Bryce Fischer – co-owners of Misfits Homegrown, LLC – said it was a natural move to continue the work in their adult lives.

“We both have been in the agriculture industry for most of our lives,” Johnson said.

Johnson said she grew up on a 50-cow dairy farm in the Maribel area.

She has also worked as a herdsman for a 600-cow farm as well as on a robotic farm (with an automatic milking system) that cared for 240 cows.

Her partner, Bryce Fischer, is currently a manager at Blue Royal Dairy in Manitowoc which has approximately 2,100 cows.
The duo came together in 2018 to start Misfits Homegrown, LLC. 

“Our little family farm began five years ago with three calves,” Johnson said.

Between the pair, they have seven children – all of which have a part in Misfits Homegrown, which Johnson said was the inspiration behind the farm’s name.

“Our name was established by having a modern day ‘Brady Bunch’ family,’” she said.

More than a farm
Spanning 65 acres, Johnson said the farm has seen significant growth since its trio of calves.

“Today, we now have 93 head of beautiful Angus beef cattle, 75 laying hens, 50 broasters and a few pigs,” she said. “We are (looking at) raising ducks and goats, (too).”

Johnson said the family-owned business, which is located on the outskirts of Manitowoc (8623 County Rd. JJ), offers a variety of fresh, homegrown beef, chicken, pork and eggs.

Johnson said Misfits Homegrown focuses on more than just farming – as it strives to serve the community with a purpose.

“We also take in calves that are left back due to a physical challenge,” she said. “So, a part of our name does include the ‘misfit’ black calves nobody wanted.”

Amy Johnson and Bryce Fischer

Johnson said the adopted calves include those who were smaller or what is known as “knuckled calves” – referring to a flexing impairment of the Fetlock joint.

She said it is often caused by damage to the nerves, tendons, muscles or spinal cord.

“We take the extra time to strengthen them and give them a healthy, prosperous life,” she said.

On the farm, Johnson and Fischer said they are focused on sustainability and ensuring the well-being of their herd.

“We receive feed from a local source, which is made up of corn silage and haylage,” she said. “We harvest our own grassy hay to feed our animals.”

Local sourcing, Johnson said, is a priority at Misfits.

She said the farm receives brewers grain from Sabbatical Brewing – a nearby brewery – to top-dress their feed.

“The animals love this,” she said.

Calves at Misfits, Johnson said, are raised on calf grain and nutrient-rich waste milk from other farms as well.

“We do not use GMOs and only use antibiotics if necessary and follow the labels accordingly,” she said.

Johnson said the farm employs other eco-friendly endeavors to efficiently support the business, especially when it comes to recycling waste.

“The manure goes right back into our land to grow a healthy crop for our cattle,” she said. “As for sustainability, we are trying to raise animals on low margins to benefit our customers and their needs – whether it be a quarter steer or individual cuts, we try to accommodate our clientele.”

Community partnerships
Johnson said Misfits’ beef, pork, chicken and eggs are available for purchase at various places within the community.

“This past year, we signed a contract with Cool City Brewing, located in Two Rivers for our beef and eggs,” she said. “We have also begun selling our products at our local farmers market.”

According to Johnson, Misfits customers appreciate knowing where their food comes from and embrace the true “farm to table” concept.
“As the pandemic hit in 2020, buying local and knowing where your food comes from became more of a value in everyday life,” she said.

Johnson said they also believe giving back is as crucial as educating consumers – frequently donating her time and Misfits products to local nonprofit organizations.

Misfits Homegrown, a family-owned business in the Manitowoc area, offers a variety of fresh, homegrown beef, chicken, pork and eggs. Submitted Photo

“This year, we are hoping to give back to our community by building a store to not only promote our product but other small businesses surrounding us,” she said. “In our community, we as small businesses support each other.”

What the future holds
Johnson said Misfits has even more plans on the horizon.

“Along with the store, we are hoping to create a ‘day on the farm’ experience for families to enjoy,” she said.

The experience, Johnson said, will include a small petting zoo and opportunities for the public to visit baby calves and feed goats, ducks and chickens.

Through the coldest days in the winter, the muddy days in spring and the hottest parts of summer, Johnson said she cherishes her connection to the farm.

“Farming isn’t a luxury lifestyle by any means – our animals depend on us every day,” she said, “But we wake up every morning to hear the roosters crow and to take in the sunrise – this lifestyle is truly a blessing.”

More information on Misfits Homegrown is available on its website at

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