Food & Drink » Flavor

The Yard Farmers And Ranchers Market Gets New Leadership After Racist Controversy


Sonny Naegelin has taken over leadership of The Yard Farmers and Ranchers Market after a week of much-publicized controversy. - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Sonny Naegelin has taken over leadership of The Yard Farmers and Ranchers Market after a week of much-publicized controversy.

If you are a fan of fresh organic produce who also disapproves of racially charged (and, let's be honest, dated) insults, you'll be happy to know that The Yard Farmers and Ranchers Market has new leadership. 

Sonny Naegelin of Naegelin Farms has taken over management duties from founders Heather Hunter and F. David Lent, according to a press release. 

Hunter and Lent, you may be aware, were involved in a very public dispute on March 15 with Ming's Thing owners Hinnerk von Bargen and Ming Qian.  According to the San Antonio Express-News, Lent allegedly called von Bargen a "ball-less German Nazi" and Quian a "gook," during a heated argument over Ming's Thing intentions to move their operations to the new Sunday morning market at Pearl. 

The Yard Farmer's Market has only been open at its McCullough location since December after it lost its long time home at The Quarry Market last year. But despite The Yard's relative newness to the local farmers market scene, its abrupt end seemed certain after a number of vendors left the market in solidarity with Ming's Thing. The Express-News reported last week that the market's landlord intended to serve Hunter and Lent with a 90-day notice that the market's lease would be terminated. 

But Naegelin claims reports of the markets demise were erroneous. 

"The media has sensationalized a personal disagreement and we need to do whatever we can to ensure this market continues. As a farmer, I am obliged to step in so our fellow farmers, ranchers and artisan producers can keep doing what they do best—grow, raise and make local foods that thousands of customers have come to depend on for almost four years," he said in a press release. 

The San Antonio Current has reached out the The Yard’s property manager Rachel Holcomb to clarify whether or not she followed through with her intention to deliver the notice. 

Although Hunter and Lent will no longer serve as managers, it's unclear if they still hold seats on the market's board or maintain any sort of advisory role in the the market they founded. We've reached out to The Yard Farmers Market for clarification. 

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.