A HIDDEN GEM: TKM Bengard Farms

By carefully developing leafy greens suited for South Florida’s subtropical climate, TKM Bengard Farms in Belle Glade has become the largest lettuce grower east of the Mississippi. Vertically integrated from seeds to shipping, the fourth-generation, family-owned agricultural company serves both the food processing and the retail sectors.

“We produce more than 100 million pounds of lettuce each season,” said Stephen Basore, Co-Owner and Vice President. “If you buy iceberg or romaine lettuce at the supermarket, it may well come from the 5,000-plus acres we farm in the Everglades Agricultural Area.”

TKM Bengard’s leafy green products, including wrap lettuce and romaine hearts, are sold throughout the eastern U.S. as well as Canada and Puerto Rico, with some shipments going as far as Japan and Russia.

Brian Basore, Co-Owner and Director of Food Safety, adds that TKM Bengard Farms is one of the largest employers in the region with 500 year-round workers – a number that doubles during the winter growing season. “We also support the many businesses that serve the agricultural sector and contribute to the Glades region economy.”