Jordan Holthouse of Holthouse Farms in Willard, Ohio passed away on June 21, 2017 at the age of 85. Jordon grew up on a vegetable farm in Willard then called Holthouse Brothers. He served military duty during the Korean War by serving in the U.S. Coast Guard as an electrician on the icebreaker Mackinaw. Jordon became a school teacher after the war and taught school for a few years until he rejoined his Dad on the farm in 1964. Soon two other brothers, Stanton and Mark joined the operation and the farm came to be known as Holthouse Farms.
The brothers worked hard to grow the business and to establish an operation that could outlive them and sustain generations to come. This was extremely important to Jordon. Today the Holthouse operation is ran by Jordon’s sons, Ken and Steve, and by Stanton’s sons, Kevin and Kirk. In 2003 Holthouse Farms acquired D.R. Walcher Farms in nearby North Fairfield, Ohio to expand the farms product line.
Jordan has been active in the Holthouse operation until very recently. He was also active in the Celeryville Muck Crop Growers Association until last year. At the monthly breakfast meetings, when crop updates where given, Jordon was never sure of a crop until it was harvested, marketed and paid for. His experience told him that if everything in the operation is just fine, you probably hadn’t scouted crops yet that day. Jordon was a true voice of experience.
Jordon’s son Ken had this to say about his Dad: “As we reflect on this life, most of what we always said about him is that he just liked to work. Work was his hobby. However, as we hear from people every day, we realize that his work was a way to connect and invest in people. It did not matter if you worked for him or with him or served on some committee. He did his best to contribute and did not ask for recognition”.
The life story of Jordon Holthouse closely mirrors the story of the Celeryville Muck Growers. Both stories were based on hard work, dedication, family, sustainable growth, striving to improve and giving back to the country and your fellow man.
We will miss Jordon, but his legacy will live on for generations.
-Mike Gastier, OSU Extension Educator, Huron County
“Mr. Holthouse was a great inspiration for me as a Junior in high school to pursue my studies and degrees in in Horticulture from OSU with an emphasis on vegetable crops. I stopped by Mr. Holthouses office one late fall day and introduced myself and told him my interest in vegetable crops and he took time from his busy schedule to give me a tour of his farm and of the entire muck crops farming area and filled me in on the history of the area, his knowledge of vegetable crops was phenomenal. I believe this time I spent with Mr. Holthouse guide my career path to what it is today, he was a major contributor to the Ohio Vegetable industry.
-Brad Bergefurd, OSU Extension, Horticulture Specialist, South Centers
“Jordon’s accomplishments and service are known by many. I appreciated his direct and humble manner and his humor. He tended to liven up most all the conversations he was part of, especially with perfectly delivered and on-point one-liner quips. I recall one from a breakfast meeting long ago that brought lots of laughter: “there is no rest for the wicked and the righteous don’t need any.”
-Matt Kleinheinz, OSU Professor, OARDC Horticulture and Crop Sciences