Founder and owner of Oechsner Farms, Thor grew up in the suburbs of New York City. Through summer trips to his uncle’s dairy farm in Pennsylvania, he became completely fascinated with agriculture. Eventually, he plowed his parents’ lawn and planted corn. Since he wasn’t born into farming, Thor built his farm bit-by-bit, scouting for abandoned fields to rent and restore to cropping. In 1991, Thor purchased his 15-acre home farm. In 1998, he started Oechsner Farms on 44 acres of rented ground. As Thor gained experience and equipment, he steadily added acreage until he could support himself exclusively by farming. In the meantime, he ran a Volkswagen shop and taught diesel mechanics. Today, Oechsner Farms manages 1,200 acres, primarily for organic food-grade and craft beverage markets. The grandson of a German-born pastry chef, he is also one of Farmer Ground Flour’s three business partners.