Anson Youth Leaders Farm Tour
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During a recent farm field trip to Thy Will Be Done LLC., participants of the Anson Youth Leaders Academy (AYLA) joined N.C. Cooperative Extension on a small farms visit.
Owners, Rodrequis Lisenby and Whitney Downer, led the group on a walking tour of their Wadesboro farm in which participants learned about broiler chicken breeds, the egg laying operation, garden, and managing a backyard farrow-to-finish hog lot. Participants learned about resources for small-scale agricultural production and how their farm start-up experience tied in with building personal leadership skills, philanthropic responsibility, and entrepreneurship.
N.C. Cooperative Extension of Anson County Livestock Agent, Kinsey Everhart, and Horticulture Agent, Aimee Colf, along with Union Co. Small Farms Agent, Aaron Moore, explained their roles as Extension agents providing researched-based information and technical assistance to agricultural producers and discussed the diversity of crops and livestock raised in Anson.
Many Anson natives have strong family ties to farming going back generations. Currently, one-quarter of the land in Anson County is in agricultural production with 412 farms and 605 farmers. One hundred years ago, 86% of the county was in agriculture with over 3,332 active farms, half of which were minority-owned.
Agriculture remains a large part of our economy. In 2017 the total market value of Anson’s agricultural sales totaled over $300M. According to the U.S. Census of Agriculture, only 13% of Anson’s 605 producers are minority farmers. However, Lisenby and Downer are part of a growing number of new and beginning farmers seeking to re-establish an agricultural legacy for their family, and taking it one step further by sharing their knowledge and aspirations with AYLA. “Farming has always been a part of my life,” recalled Downer, “there is nothing like the satisfaction of living off the land and establishing my own farm. It is such a joy and brings back many memories.” To learn more about Thy Will be Done LLC and other local farms that sell direct to consumer, download the “Visit NC Farms” mobile app and search farms in our county.