Donald Hunsader and his brothers on their dairy farm in Manitowoc, WI.
Donald Hunsader and his brothers sit behind their sons on their farm in Bradenton, FL.
Mike Hunsader with his sons Jared and Tyler at Jeter Mountain Farm in Hendersonville, NC.
Farming goes back over 150 years in the Hunsader family.
The earliest known farming in the Hunsader family began in the late 1800’s with great-grandfather Leonard Hunsader’s dairy farm located in Alaska, WI. He later moved his family - including his son Henry - to Manitowoc, WI where descendants still run a dairy operation today.
Over time, the airport in Manitowoc expanded and acquired the Hunsader’s farmland in the process, presenting their family with an opportunity to embark on a new farming journey. In 1967, Henry’s son Donald, his two brothers and their families, including 10 small children, set their sights on Bradenton, Florida and hopped into 3 cars and an 18-foot box truck to move all that they had between them, and put their roots down in a place without such harsh winters. It was here that they found land that remains in the family to this day; they named the business Hunsader Brothers and began a new life as tomato farmers.
In 1990, five of the Hunsader brothers’ children purchased the farm from their fathers and changed its name to Hunsader Farms. Over the years, the farm grew to produce crops beyond tomatoes, and has become known regionally for its impressive family events, such as the fall Pumpkin Festival and winter Country Christmas.
In 2005, the Hunsader family acquired over 400 acres in beautiful Western North Carolina, now known as Jeter Mountain Farm. The rolling hills between Hendersonville and Brevard carry a farming history of their own. The deeds date back to 1813 and outline a rich tapestry of dairy farming, growing hay and corn, and housing cattle and horses.
By 2008, Hunsader Farms in Bradenton was owned and operated by just two of Donald’s sons - Mike & David Hunsader - and by 2011, Mike’s family began to set their sights - and hearts - on the North Carolina farm.
In 2011, the wedding and event center was born and began hosting local events in 2012.
Shortly thereafter, the dream of an orchard took hold in the family, and Mike and his sons worked to continue the family’s farming legacy on Jeter Mountain Farm.
The first apple tree was planted in winter of 2014, and in the fall of 2015 the first tomato crop was harvested on the property. Tomatoes were grown commercially for the 5 years that followed.
In the years that followed, Mike and his sons patiently tended to the growing orchards, bearing more than 20 varieties of apples as well as peaches, blueberries, raspberries, grapes, elderberries, pumpkins and more.
In 2020, Jeter Mountain Farm opened for its first u-pick apple season. Each u-pick season, the family aims to add something new for other families to enjoy, including the hard cider taproom, The Orchard Coffee House, a large market, an indoor play area and the 1813 BBQ Food truck.
And as the dream has grown, so has the family, as each new son-in-law, daughter-in-law and grandchild has added to both the effort and scope of the dream.
Jeter Mountain Farm is a completely family-owned and operated initiative, and the value of family and a commitment to glorifying God remains the cornerstone and inspiration for all that they do. While a love for farming is woven throughout the generations, a love of family is what inspires the Hunsaders to find ways to invite the local community to join them in enjoying all that the farm has to offer.