Don’t be fooled by his youthful appearance—although he’s only 28, Chauncey Koehn has plenty of experience as a sweetpotato farmer. He represents his family’s fourth generation in the business, and he personally started right out of school, working with his father for three years before establishing an operation of his own, Chucklane Farms.
“I have an independent streak,” he says with a smile. “Dad jokes that he had to kick me out so I wouldn’t take over.”
Today, Chauncey lives on his 20-acre farm with his wife Tasha and two-year-old daughter Mara, and leases another 40 acres, all in and around Livingston, California. He’s thrilled to keep the tradition going.
“I’m really excited about the future of sweetpotatoes—I think they’re really going to take off. They have in the last ten years, it’s been amazing, but I think it’s still building.” Plus, he adds, “I really like the farming lifestyle.”
A few more things Chauncey loves about being a farmer in California—our beautiful weather, long summer evenings, the farming community, and easy access to world-renowned destinations like Yosemite, Carmel, and Big Sur, which he and the family love to explore.
Chauncey was recently elected a California Sweetpotatoes board member. “I think I can learn a lot, and I also think the younger generation needs to start getting involved. Hopefully, I can give a bit, too.”
And there’s that smile again.