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First Things Now: Meet the Family

Posts Monday, September 28th

We owe you an apology.

We got so excited to be back in the blogging game that we never formally introduced ourselves to all of you fine fowl feasting friends who’ve joined us since we last signed off.

That’s our bad, and we hope you’ll give us the chance to make it right. (And if you don’t want to give us that chance, you’d better close your browser now because we’re about to do just that.)

For anybody who’s still here, I’m Heidi, a fourth-generation farmer at Diestel Family Ranch. I grew up on the ranch, which my Grandpa Jack founded in 1949, helping my mom, Joan, with customer service and odd jobs around the farm. It’s been a big part of my life for as long as I’ve been alive, and I’m honored you’ve made us a part of yours, too. You can find more on me here.

Our intern here on the farm (okay, it’s my daughter Aurelia) thought it’d be fun to have each of us answer a few questions about ourselves. (What questions, Aurelia? She didn’t have that answer.) So we Googled a list of icebreakers and just went nuts.

Heidi Diestel

What’s your favorite thing about farming for a living?

How humbling farming is. It deepens the soul, forces gratitude and more often than I’d like to admit, it kicks your ass to the curb. But it’s there for the durable few who keep coming back for more. 

If you kept your human body but had to replace your head with that of an animal, which animal would you choose?

It’d be a South African Oryx, for so many reasons. It’s basically a warrior unicorn, and if that’s not something to aspire to, what is? 

What’s your favorite thing about working on a farm?

What isn’t? Our offices are in our family’s old farmhouse, and I get to see turkeys, chickens, and goats almost every day. It’s dirty, sometimes smelly, and every day I’m reminded never to give up—and never to be satisfied. 

What’s your latest obsession: Gardening 

Name of your memoir: Durability Counts 

Most underrated Diestel product: Chorizo 

Jared Orrock

I guess that makes it my turn. I’m Jared Orrock, long time listener, first time blogger. I grew up helping my friends Jason and Garrett around the farm on Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, and after a few years in Silicon Valley, I moved back to Sonora, married Heidi, and took a full-time job on the ranch. Read more about me here.

If you could go back in time and start learning one new skill as a child so you’d master it by adulthood, what would it be?

I’d pick up the piano. 

Which famous animal movie character do you like the most and why?

This one assumes that I know some movies… I’m pretty familiar with Godzilla and Donkey from Shrek, but none of those feels quite right—at least not that I’d choose for myself! Alright, let me think on this… I’m going to go with Heihei from Moana. (I mean we’ve watched it more times than I’d like to admit, and that chicken does just keep coming back for more!)

What’s the most important thing about the work you do every day?

It’s going to sound like a cliché, but people really are the most important part of our business—especially as a family business. I’m incredibly interested in building a world-class team. I think we’ve been successful, too, when I look at the people I get to work with every day.

What’s your latest obsession: Rock Climbing 

Name of your memoir: You Gotta Put Some Lead in the Air 

Most underrated Diestel product: Holiday Cook-in-Bag Turkey Breast Roast

Jason Diestel

I guess that makes me the friend: Jason Diestel here, Heidi’s brother and—surprise surprise—a fourth generation family farmer myself. Like Heidi, I grew up on the farm, learning the ropes (and turkey) from my parents—Tim and Joan—and my Grandpa Jack. My focus on the farm is to improve the things we do, how we do them, and the products they make possible. Check me out here. That came out wrong.

What one technological innovation made the biggest impact on your life? 

Probiotics, duh. 🙂

How long would you last in a zombie apocalypse? 

I’d be the last man standing. I never give up, and I’m hard to kill. 

What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on at the ranch this year? 

On the ranch, we are taking big steps toward standardization and simplification. It might sound boring, but it’s been very exciting. That, and there’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to our animals. We’re excited about new slow-growing breeds, and our goat herd is growing, too, which has helped us to keep our fire hazards under control. 

Latest Obsession: We had a son in April, so my latest obsession is sleep.

Memoir: Figure It Out: Making it Work with What You Have 

Underrated DFR Product: That’s easy: it’s our all-dark roasts in literally any slow cooker recipe. #amazing



That feels better—at least everything except the part about how you now know that Jared’s favorite movie animal is Heihei from Moana. 😳

Want to learn more? Check out the “Meet the Family” page on our website, or shoot us a question via email or on social at @diestelfamilyranch.