Marview Farms – From Cuba to the American Dream

Farmer and Wife on Farm

Fernando and Margarita Mendez

Fernando Mendez was born in Cuba during the Communist regime of Fidel Castro. Before Castro, Fernando’s father owned a small farm and grocery store. The store was attached to their home. There was an entrance to the store from Fernando’s room.

In the days before Castro, that door served as the interior entrance to the store were the community came to shop, visit, talk about family, and solve the problems of the world. Castro seized the store, the farm and everything in it and made it a place for Communist activity in their home quarters.

In close eye view from the farm, the Cuban government built barracks to house Russian soldiers. Fernando remembered that his father would hide him when the soldiers were outside. “They were lawless and could do whatever they wanted,” Fernando said.

Fernando’s father was devastated with the the theft of the farm, the store that he worked so hard to build, and having Communists operating in his own home. He made the decision that he had to get out of Cuba before something worse happened.

Until 1971, there were freedom flights from Cuba to the United States. If a family in the United States agreed to sponsor a family from Cuba, they were allowed to emigrate to the United States.

Fortunately for Fernando, his father had a brother in the United States. Cuba was willing to let his father leave immediately if he went unaccompanied.

Fernando’s father was not going to leave Cuba without his family. In order for family units to leave Cuba, the Cuban government demanded that the head of the family work for free in a labor camp for a year.

Fernando’s father did his year in the labor camp, keeping his heart focused on gaining freedom in America for his loved ones. In 1968 when his year was done, he got on a plane with his family, and left his home and all belongings in Cuba for an uncharted journey to America guided by the confidence of liberty and the American dream.

Fernando’s father went into the construction business and built a home on 1.25 acres of land. It was in this humble home that Fernando began his agricultural journey as a young boy raising chickens, horses, turkeys, guineas, cows, and dogs.

Fernando married, Margarita, his high school sweetheart and started a roofing and construction business. He was making a living in construction but his dream was to own a farm. They were blessed with three daughters. As their family grew, so did his business.

At the age of 28, Fernando received shocking news. Doctors discovered a cancerous sarcoma in his left thigh. He had surgery and treatments to fight the cancer into remission.

Instead of throwing him into a pit of despair and defeat, the cancer created a drive in him to learn more about how foods are produced. This added a new dimension to his dream of farming.

Fernando wanted to go into farming because he loved animals. Now he also wanted to farm in order to grow food based on the natural way that God designed.

At the age of 47, Fernando turned his construction business over to one of his children to run and poured his life savings into his life-long dream to become a farmer. He and his wife prayed for guidance and he said that God led them to buy a farm in Crisp County, Georgia. The name of the farm is Marview, from his wife’s name, Margarita, and the beautiful view they see every day.

On his 900 acre farm, Fernando raises Devon, grass finished beef, pastured pork, pastured lamb, pastured goat, pastured chickens, and pastured eggs. Over the years he has trained his animals to move from section to section of his farm to graze. Fernando says that his animals do the work.

Woman buying eggs from Marview Farms

He sells his meats from the animals that are organically born and raised on his farm. He is at the International City Farmer’s Market in Warner Robins every Thursday. He also has a route that goes across Southeast Georgia all the way down to Miami, Florida. His customers place their orders on line and meet him at designated times for him to deliver.

At the recent Farmer’s Appreciation Banquet in Crisp County, Marview Farms received the Innovator of the Year Award. Fernando’s goal is that Marview Farms be as self-reliant as possible and maintain his unique approach to farming.

Marview Farms holds several certifications including American Grassfed Association (Certified), and Georgia Agriculture Commissioner, Gary Black’s highly successful Georgia Grown certification.

Fernando’s life was shaped and molded through the challenges that both he and his family faced. He has a deep appreciation for freedom and the American Dream.

Fernando and Margarita work hard and serve their customers with the highest commitment to quality and service. Marview Farms is a glowing example that the American Dream still lives today.

Signature-Donald E. Cole

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