Lee Rankin, our owner and founder, is one of TWO finalists for this amazing award presented by North Carolina A&T State University as part of their annual Small Farms Week program.
While 2020 was a challenging year on all fronts, Lee and the rest of the team at Apple Hill Farm worked hard to make keep the animals and our customers as our top priority. Even with the uncertainty of a global pandemic, we focused our energy on continuing to make our farm sustainable, eco-friendly, and above all safe for our animals and guests. We continued to safely work with our community to provide education and resources to other farms, and diversified our offerings here on the farm to help Apple Hill Farm continue with our mission.
At Apple Hill Farm, we believe we are living in a world of distraction and overwhelm. People are disconnected from themselves and feel helpless. Visitors to Apple Hill Farm find joy and connection through our animals and the experience of a real working farm. Our tour guides lead the way for people to leave with a smile on their face and memories to share.
Each year, Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T celebrates the crucial role of small farmers in North Carolina’s $91.8 billion agriculture sector with Small Farms Week. First held in 1986, Small Farms Week includes workshops, tours, farming demonstrations and recognition of a Small Farmer of the Year.
Small Farms Week is held in March and has focused on techniques to lengthen the growing season, pest management, safer and more sustainable practices, growing food without pesticides, urban horticulture, and more. The week culminates with a luncheon and talk by a speaker with connections to small agriculture.
Each year at Small Farms Week, Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T honors one of the state’s farmers as North Carolina’s Small Farmer of the Year. The award recognizes a farmer who is an innovator in livestock or crop production and marketing, a leader involved in contributing time and other resources to build their community, a steward of the environment who protects and enhances natural resources, and a wise businessperson running a farm business in an entrepreneurial manner.