Serving their country, serving their land: Joel and Gabby Funk find fulfillment with Funk Family Farm

Jun 29th, 2023

There are few holidays more meaningful to Joel and Gabby Funk than Independence Day. That’s because while Joel is a 6th generation farmer, he’s also a 13-year Army veteran who experienced combat operations seven times as a helicopter pilot in support of ground forces in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan (five times). Gabby still serves in the Missouri National Guard where she’s currently in her 15th year of service and has also been deployed to both Kuwait and Kosovo.

The Funk family has been farming in the area since the 1830s. In fact, Joel and Gabby live in a house built by the family in 1861, the same year as the Civil War began.

But Joel and Gabby are committed to doing things a little differently. While Joel grew up on a farm using conventional methods to raise corn and soybeans, he is an advocate for small farmers and is passionate about regenerative agriculture and sustainability. With the creation of Funk Family Farm, he wants to use methods that are best for the land and the animals so their children can continue the family business for another generation—or six.

“To see the fruits of your labor is an incredibly fulfilling experience,” Joel said. “War and the stress of deployments change you. Working with your hands, growing with nature and giving back to your community is both rewarding and therapeutic.”

But as Joel and Gabby scaled up their production at Funk Family Farm, they soon realized they had a problem. Their supply of eggs was quickly outpacing their demand and their fridge was filling up.

That’s why Market Wagon has been a perfect solution to their problem. By partnering with Market Wagon, the Funks are able to connect with every home in a 10-county region of Greater St. Louis without having to do the deliveries themselves—which is no small thing since both Joel and Gabby work full-time jobs in addition to farming.

These days the Funks have a mixed breed flock of roughly 400 chickens, ducks and guineas. In fact, Joel and Gabby like having a number of varieties which make for a rainbow assortment of eggs in each carton!

All birds on Funk Family Farm are cage-free and pastured-raised. While the Funks do provide access to a locally-sourced non-GMO feed mix, they ration it to ensure natural foraging in the fields. The hens love pecking at both cover crops and eating the bugs and grubs too.

The Funks offer four different sizes of chicken eggs which are sold a dozen at a time on Market Wagon. Just use the dropdown menu to choose the size that’s right for you—anything from small all the way up to jumbo. They also sell cartons of duck eggs as well.

Now that you know their story, it should be no surprise to know that the Funk Family Farm is a 100% veteran-owned company with a certified “Homegrown by Heroes” label. They are also proud to be a licensed Illinois egg producer.

Click here to read more stories about military veterans who are finding success on the Market Wagon platform as well as see a complete list of veterans on Market Wagon.