Meet Our Farmers
In Our Gardens 07/30/15
Written By Jean Sexton
From the beginning, George Vanderbilt envisioned Biltmore as a working estate and farm. He set aside the acres of rich, rolling land along the French Broad River for raising healthy livestock and growing food for Biltmore House, with surplus produce to be sold in the community. We continue to honor that legacy today through the efforts of a highly-specialized team of “farmers” who oversee our field-to-table program and other agricultural initiatives. Let us introduce you to our farming experts:
Dr. Ted Katsigianis
Vice President of Agriculture and Environmental Science
Before joining Biltmore, Dr. Ted Katsigianis earned Masters and Ph.D. degrees in animal science at Penn State and worked as a livestock extension specialist at the Universities of Kentucky and Maryland. In the past three decades, he has overseen the vineyards, the estate’s production gardens, and much more. Today, “Dr. Ted,” as he's affectionately known, serves as Vice President of Agriculture and Environmental Science and is in charge of raising antibiotic and hormone-free beef and lamb served in estate restaurants.
Production Garden Manager
Eli Herman serves as Biltmore's Production Garden Manager, overseeing all aspects of the estate's field to table gardens, including frequent meetings with Biltmore chefs to discuss their menus and ongoing needs for the freshest seasonal vegetables. In his more than three decades with Biltmore, Eli has filled a variety of roles including Vineyard Supervisor and Kitchen Garden Manager, and has served as a Master Gardener Volunteer at the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service.
Philip Oglesby began picking grapes in Biltmore’s vineyard in 1997. Eighteen years later, Philip serves as Vineyard Supervisor and is responsible for managing the acres of grapes on the estate’s west side, the vineyard staff that care for the vines year-round, and the seasonal crews that harvest the fruit.