Who We Are & How We Feel

Avid preservationists, Lois Mateus and Tim Peters purchased Tallgrass Farm shortly after their marriage in 1992, for her a return to farming in her childhood community.  They put a conservation easement on the land, built a home and began the long process of restoring fields overgrown with cedars and trash, raising grass-fed cattle organically, planting warm native season grasses, and slowly and gently grooming the landscape, taking great care to protect the creatures that inhabit Tallgrass Farm.

Together they received Riverfields’ Land Heroes Award in 2005 for their commitment to farmland preservation.  Currently in Louisville, they are partners in the development of the East Market Street NuLu district.

Tim peters and Lois Mateus Peters

Tim Peters has owned and operated Peters Construction in Louisville as a general contractor and construction manager since 1975. He has completed hundreds of commercial projects of all sizes as the business has grown and prospered. A land conservationist, he is a champion for adaptive use of existing buildings and his projects have won numerous awards, including The Green Building on East Market Street in Louisville where he became Louisville's first LEED Platinum Builder.

He is a native of Wisconsin and a graduate of the University of Louisville. He has served on the Kentucky State Board of Housing, Building and Construction and is a member of the Kentucky Association of General Contractors, The James Harrod Trust, the Lincoln Society of the Kentucky Historical Society, the Signal Club of Louisville Public Media and a former member of the High Hope Steeplechase.

Tim is a passionate gardener and enjoys cooking, hunting, fishing and long walks with Johnny and Coco, the couple’s Border Collies.

Lois Mateus Peters retired in 2008 from Brown-Forman, where she was senior vice president, a member of the executive committee, and responsible for the restoration of many of the company’s historic properties including the Woodford Reserve Distillery. Prior to joining Brown-Forman in 1982, she served in the economic development arm of the administration of Governor John Y. Brown as state commissioner of the departments of tourism, public information and the arts. From that position, she initiated and developed the state’s marketing program for arts and crafts and co-founded the Kentucky Museum of Art and Crafts.

She serves on the boards of the Kentucky State Fair, the Kentuckians of New York, International Contemporary Art Museum, Centre College President's Advisory Council, Center for Inter Faith Relations and Slow Food Bluegrass Chapter.

In 2005, her alma mater, the University of Kentucky, awarded her its Lifetime Achievement Award in Communications and Public Relations. She is chair of the advisory board of U.K.'s Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues and a columnist for Edible Bluegrass and The Harrodsburg Herald.



How We Feel about this Place

Lois

"My psyche is deeply rooted in the natural and cultural history of Kentucky farming. Tallgrass Farm has become my locus. The natural rhythms — the color, texture, feel, even the smells — the connection with the land has always been in my blood. I love the space, the seasons, feeling the weather before it gets here. I remember watching my father search the sky at the end of the day and evening for what tomorrow’s weather, and thus his work, would be like.

With Tim, it is my desire to continue to restore and revive this land and then to leave it, better than we found it, preserved in perpetuity from development and sprawl. Both of us revere nature and champion individuality and farm spirit. We recognize that one cannot legislate aesthetics and stewardship of the land, or mess with a farmer’s independence, but we know it is right for us to save and protect this farm. We try not to intrude on nature. Parts of Tallgrass Farm are still wild, and with our conservation easement, always will be. That’s the heartbeat of the place.


Tim

"Though Lois has retired after 26 years at Brown-Forman, we have invested in a major project  in Louisville that will champion locally grown food; as our commitments there take a lot of time and I am never going to retire from the construction business, I still think of myself as a weekend farmer. Our work here is slow and steady, a thoughtful development of conservation and how wildlife benefits agriculture. Tallgrass Farm is a model of what can be done to reclaim poor rocky soil covered with cedars. Stewardship is essential and one has to make personal choices that are environmentally and interpersonally beneficial.

We are curtailing the weeds and rebuilding the soil by careful mowing and grazing, accommodating both wildlife and agriculture. As we contain the cedars and mow the weeds, the yield of hay increases. We are bringing back native grasses. The turkey, quail, herons, owls, bats and hawks have returned. Here on this farm, I feel we are giving back some of what the land gives us. Our reverence for nature and history is reflected in this place. One cannot help but see and feel that many spots on the farm are sanctuaries.

 

What We Do


Tallgrass Farm Foundation
is a 501c3 non-profit agricultural and environmental education resource model practicing rural land use that is environmentally and culturally sustainable. By reclaiming, preserving and adapting its rural Kentucky landscape, along with what is believed to be the state’s oldest bank-style barn, Tallgrass Farm Foundation offers facilities and resources for teaching and demonstrating cooking, conservation and good stewardship of natural and agricultural resources.

Tallgrass Farm is preserved in perpetuity through an agricultural conservation easement.

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