The story of Rasmussen Farms began in 1976 when newly-married Jeff Rasmussen and his bride, Mary Bradford Rasmussen, began their life together in Draper. Jeff, the son of Welden (Sonne) Rasmussen and Ramona Leak Rasmussen had lived in Draper most of his life. Jeff’s parents lived at 12244 South 900 East in Draper next to the home owned by Sonne’s parents, E. Miller and Mary Jane Andrus Rasmussen. E. Miller’s home is gone now, and his lot is the location of the quilting shop Thimbles and Threads.
At the time of their marriage, Jeff was a new history teacher at Jordan High School and Mary was a kindergarten teacher in Provo. Having always valued a family, Jeff and Mary made the decision that they would do all they could to welcome whoever would join them—that turned out to be seven children: Brandon, Bryan, Amy, Jennifer, Daniel, Katie and Rebecca. Rasmussen Farms came into being out of the realization that one teacher’s salary would not be sufficient to provide for a large family.
Over the years Rasmussen Farms leased a number of agricultural properties that were available at the time, including the property that is now the site of Corner Canyon High School and Draper Park Middle School. As Draper changed from a small agricultural community of 2500 people, to a growing residential community, the properties available for farming have melted away.
Jeff’s farming motto became quality local (grown in Draper) produce picked fresh daily. Those involved in agriculture are very aware that farming involves a great deal of work and probably more than a fair share of adversity—weather (too hot, too cold), moisture (usually not enough, but often not available when needed), raccoons, skunks, deer, bugs, fungus, etc. Farming is very demanding and offers no flexibility. Crops have to be weeded and irrigated on schedule according to their needs, not the needs of the humans!
2016 was the 40th year of Rasmussen Farms, and what a memorable year it was! Adversity came in waves in 2016. An old faithful tractor experienced an electrical short and burned before it could be saved. The devastating hailstorm that occurred on August 6, 2016 was the most damaging in more than seventy years—it covered all of Draper in quarter-size pieces of hard hail lasting more than twenty minutes. Jeff and Mary both experienced serious accidents during the farm year, but with the help of a few valued employees, Rasmussen Farms continued to provide local fresh produce of the highest quality that could be produced.
Fast forward to 2017. Draper is now home to more than 45,000 people. Open space is no more in Draper, and Rasmussen Farms is now taking the years one at a time. They believe the legacy of local fresh produce is an important value to the community. One of the precious gifts of these forty years for Jeff has been his deep appreciation for the land. There is reverence when he talks about it, stating, “it gets in your blood and is something you enjoy. The earth is precious and what you can do with the earth is precious.”
Rasmussen Farms has had the blessing of meeting many wonderful customers from all over the valley as well as from Draper. They ask, “Where will we buy fresh local produce when Rasmussen Farms is done? Where, indeed?