Matt and Jerica Cadman are “the young’ns” at Shady Grove Ranch, and it was their dream that the whole Cadman family decided to pursue. Married 6 years in 2012, they have two sons. The first is Shevi Charles, who is named for his Pap-Pap, Bailey Cadman. Shevi is pronounced “Chevy” and means “to restore.” Their second son is Axl Graff, named for a close friend and mentor of the Cadmans. His name means “father of peace.” Both boys love being around the animals at the ranch and enjoy laughing, eating, and exploring the world.
Matt grew up partly in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Houston, Texas. Jerica was born in Austin, Texas, but was raised on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. They met during college and have been best friends ever since. After marrying, they began to dream of ways to make a living at home using their technical innovation. Lots of ideas entered the picture, but none of them quite fit. Until they discovered the truth about food. There was a piece missing in the American Diet: Nutrient-Density. So they asked God to give them a farm.
Long story short, Matt and Jerica began farming with some friends under the name TrueFields LLC, in 2008, in order to supply East Texans with the most nourishing, natural, and delicious foods available. Their motivation was and still is immense–Matt was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis during college and had little hope of a full recovery without drastic surgery (if you can call removal of the colon a recovery). As they have learned more about the dark sides of the food, farm, and medical industries, they have tried to return to more natural diet-, land-, and health-management practices.
Now they love discussing farm management and thinking up new ideas for improving quality and cutting costs and labor. They were both trained in engineering at LeTourneau University prior to starting to farm. They use their learned skills daily! Whether it’s developing a multi-use tractor implement for cheap, or designing a structure, the challenges of running a farm and business and raising a family are ever new.
They enjoy showing off the farm to visitors and friends and teaching people about the freeing truth of food–that you can eat the things you love, like butter, bacon, gravy, etc–it’s the source of the ingredients that matters! They dream of becoming a model for quality and productivity among small, natural farms.
They don’t take much time off, but when they do, they enjoy meeting new people, seeing new places, and being outdoors. Leisure at home is spent playing with their sons or building them a new play-thing, or watching a movie or playing a boardgame. They also love spending time at coffee shops enjoying live music, though that’s hard to find in East Texas. Perhaps some day they will open an on-farm restaurant for socializing with their customers and friends. What a joy it is to work for both!