How Tosh Started
In 1913, Jimmy Tosh’s grandparents, A. L. and Ida Tosh, moved across the county line to Henry, Tennessee. A. L. farmed and was also a merchant, shipping sweet potatoes and selling coal and ice. He and Ida raised four children, one of whom was James Garland (J. G.) Tosh, Jimmy’s father.
J.G. stayed in the family business, farmed 123 acres of land, and even built and operated a feed mill and grain station. He and his wife, Sue, milked dairy cattle and ran a local restaurant. In the mid-1950s, J.G. became disabled. At that time, he decided to sell his dairy cattle and, with help, began raising beef cattle. J. G. and Sue’s son, Jimmy, was also drawn to agriculture and in the sixties he acquired a small number of sows and began purchasing local feeder pigs. In 1970, Jimmy built the family’s first pig barn on the site where Tosh Farms’ current feed mill sits today.
After graduating with a degree in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee at Martin in 1972, Jimmy returned home and officially took over the family business. Jimmy purchased his brother Randall’s share of the family farm, expanding his land ownership to 315 acres, 123 acres on the current site and the original 192 acres from his grandparent’s estate. In 1978, he purchased a neighbor’s farming operation, adding 800 more acres of rented land to the total. Jimmy also married his wife, Alonna, in August of 1978. Within the next few years, he and Alonna had two sons, Jamey and Jonathan.
During the eighties, Jimmy continued to grow the farming operation and expand the feeder pig side of the business. In the early nineties, Jimmy recognized that the swine industry was changing and knew that he needed to follow suit and make changes within his own operation. He established contracts with area pig producers and built his first nursery. Expansion of the business continued when he signed a contract with Bryan Foods in 1994. Shortly after, the construction of a commercial-sized feed mill began. Jimmy continued to purchase sow sites and Jimmy, Jamey, and Jonathan establish partnerships with other pig producers during the late nineties and early 2000s. Under Jimmy’s leadership, Tosh Farms has continued to grow and thrive, and presently consists of 15,000 acres of farmed land, 12 sow farms that produce over 750,000 market hogs each year, over 360 employees, and over 80 contract growing partners.
“We started out as a small family farm. We’re still a family farm, we’re just a larger family farm.” – Jimmy Tosh, CEO