Meet the People Behind Ames Farm
Apis Melifera - Honeybee
Brian Fredericksen Founder & Owner
Brian Fredericksen, owner of Ames Farm, has been passionate about nature since he was young. He attributes this interest in the natural environment to his grandmother Verna, who grew all her own food. Through their frequent foraging expeditions in the woods near her home, she sparked Brian’s lifelong curiosity and love of the land that led him to become a honey farmer.
In 1994, Brian purchased a seven-acre orchard from David Bedford a horticulturist at the University of MN who created the Honeycrisp & First Kiss Apples, which also included two bee hives. “Given my grandmother’s influence, the idea of an orchard was not too scary,” said Brian. “But from the beginning, I had a lot of respect for the bees … and with time, I learned that being a successful honey farmer is both an art and a science.”
|Temo Balakhashvili Chief Beekeeper|
|Temo came to work for us from the Republic of Georgia via a student exchange program called MAST at the University of MN. Temo grew up with beekeeping as part of his local culture, in fact the Caucasian line of honeybees originates in the mountains of Georgia. I like to say he has beekeeping in his DNA. After working at Ames Farm for the summer of 2018 Temo then went on to work at the Bumble Bee lab at the U of Mn before coming back full time to take over the chief beekeeping position in 2020. Temo also has his own apiary of 50 hives called Stray Pine.|
|Mark Campbell General Manager|
|Mark came to Ames Farm during the height of the pandemic while he was laid off from his 20 year career as a chef. Previously Mark worked for Jacobs Farm del Cabo an organic herb and vegetable farm in northern California for many years. He has an extensive garden and small orchard of apples, plums, peaches and gooseberries at home. Mark answers our phone and takes care of all of the important stuff like web orders and wholesale customers. Mark looks a lot like Brian don't you think?|
|Marty Bergland Worker Bee/Madame Butterfly|
A former educator and current master gardener, Marty has worked at Ames Farm for the past 17 years. She loves gardening and nature— especially bees and butterflies. An appreciation of the unique flavors of pure raw honey keeps her happily engaged with us, contributing in candle making, gift packaging, and honey demos at many local stores and co-ops in Minnesota.
|Liam Bickerstaff Assistant Beekeeper|
|Liam grew up on a hobby farm near Valdosta, GA, and has kept bees since he was 12. He studied History and English at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota where he was also smitten with the natural beauty of our state and began trout fishing and cross-country skiing. Liam currently keeps sixteen beehives of his own.|
|Alex Honey Conveyance Expert|
|Alex came to Ames Farm via the M.A.S.T program at the University of MN that matches foreign students with an agricultural work experience in America. He was so well liked and appreciated that he has come back on an annual agricultural work visa. Alex plays an enormous role in day to day honey house operations taking care of most of the web orders, bottling and extraction areas. He loves to shoot photos and go on outdoor adventures with his friends when he's not working.
|Selene Thomas Worker Bee|
|Selene brings a Biology background and a love for photography and nature to Ames Farm. She runs the Mill City Farmers Market stall for us on Saturdays and picks apples and helps with the honeycomb, beekeeping and is the winter goat tender at the Tx property. She can be found in her garden or a nearby woods on a mushroom foray during her free time.|
|Paige Lambert Worker Bee|
|Paige is most recently from Toronto, Canada, but was raised nearby in Buffalo Minnesota. She likes to cook, crochet, and craft, and enjoys spending lots of quality time with her three cats, boyfriend, and assortment of exotic indoor foliage. She loves how her natural craftiness and attention to detail have helped her become an expert in the honey house with bottling, labelling, and packing online orders. Her latest project involves turning her lawn into sustainable pollinator habitat!|