Producer Feature: Riggins Homegrown Foods
Charles Riggins grew up on a cattle ranch in western S.D. where his family and extended family worked together often. His grandma produced a large garden and canned from it. She also raised chickens and turkeys.
“I helped in all of this and learned a lot of what it takes to produce food fresh for your family,” Riggins said. Charles has a love for a variety of fresh foods through his family cooking what they raised.
Charles has a wife, Mamie, and three children. Sommer graduated from Mitchell Technical Institute in 2020 with a business management degree. Tyler is a freshman at Dakota State University pursuing a degree in computer science. Clara is five and is loving playing outside and reading books.
In 2018, Charles and his wife realized there was a demand for farm fresh food in their community. They also noticed a need to help people cook with whole foods. They started Riggins Homegrown Foods to help provide and teach people how to cook with raw foods.
Riggins Homegrown Foods objective is to produce foods that are more nutritional and raised with no herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides. They use regenerative ag to replenish soil health. Focusing on regenerative ag led them to the conclusion that there is a circle tying soil to animals and back to soil. They feed blemished produce to their pigs, chickens and goats and use the animals’ manure to fertilize the soil. Chickens are used to control the bugs and goats help with weed control. The circle is complete with no need for chemicals or additives.
Products can be found at the Brookings Farmers Market, Gilkerson Garden‘s Farm Store or by directly contacting Riggins Homegrown Foods through Facebook for orders. They currently deliver to Brookings, SD and are considering deliveries to Watertown, SD as interest grows. They are planning on building a farm store in the spring so people can stop by and pick up orders.
Charles joined the S.D. Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) to meet new people with his same passion for locally raised foods. Charles is on the SDSPA Board and serves as our organization’s Treasurer. He loves to travel and try new foods and learn about new ideas. He saw this as an opportunity to teach people what is available to them and to expand their ideas into reality.