• 37°

Rowan County once again hosts NC Farm School

By Amy-Lynn Albertson
Rowan County Cooperative Extension

Rowan County will once again host N.C. Farm School in 2021. N.C. Farm School is a comprehensive business planning course for farm entrepreneurs. The school rotates throughout the state to different counties each year. The last time Rowan County hosted was in 2015 and 2016. Some of the famous Rowan County Farms who graduated from N.C. Farm School are Two Pigs Farm, Hopeful Acres, Tranquility Farms, Third Creek Cottage Gardens, and Bizzy Bee Farms, to name a few. Not everyone who goes through farm school decides to become a commercial farmer. Often our students realize that their dream is to be a homestead farmer and decide to keep their day jobs and invest more in subsistence farming. N.C. Farm School helps you take your farm dreams and put them on paper. We will walk you through a comprehensive business planning process. In 2021, our class will meet in person as long as the governor’s guidelines allow it. We will also have the ability to provide an online option for those who do not want to come in person. Business classes meet every other Tuesday evening beginning Feb. 2, and once a month, we will have an all-day hands-on farm field day event at different farm enterprises.

Fubar Farm went through N.C. Farm School in Pitt County in 2019. Husband-and-wife team Joseph and Sara Kidd represent a new generation of young farmers not from a farming tradition. A teenaged Sara explored some agriculture classes in high school, which led her to pursue environmental studies in college. Meanwhile, Joe grew up in suburban California and then joined the military after high school. In his mid-20s, he retired early from the military and received equine-assisted therapy at Camp Lejeune. Through those experiences, the young couple yearned for a peaceful homesteading lifestyle, which eventually led them to consider farming.

“Over the years, we began to see how farming could impact the lives of other veterans and give them a new sense of purpose after getting out of the military. So when we were finally ready to start farming, our mission had grown much bigger than just providing for ourselves, but we still needed some help with all the technical bits and pieces, and that’s where Farm School came into the picture at just the right time,” revealed Sara.

Kidd Family and Nash County Extension Agent walk their fields and discuss their farm dreams

The husband-and-wife team attended a Farmer Veteran Coalition meeting in Raleigh where they met Derek Washburn, an N.C. Farm School associate, and learned about N.C. Farm School.

“When we first started farm school, we were planning on having a greenhouse and doing a lot more herb and leafy greens production right away along with our livestock,” explained Sara. “One of the things we learned was budgeting and planning for new enterprises without ‘betting the farm’ and how it is wise to take things one step at a time.”

N.C. Farm School’s business approach helped the Kidds prioritize various aspects of their farm vision. “(N.C. Farm School) was able to help us lay the framework for a solid foundation, getting our farm started on the right foot so that we will be knowledgeable, secure, and able to help other veterans one day.”

As they plan out their livestock system and mark their herb production beginnings, the Kidds stay on course with their farm vision. “We have about 20 acres of woods and 12 acres of fenced pastures. We will be keeping the wooded areas as natural as possible while utilizing some of it for our pork production and recreational activities like trail riding with the horses and walking paths,” revealed Sara. “We are planning on hosting classes and weekend workshops for military veterans and their families on various farming topics,” outlined Sara. “We will also be taking on an apprentice or two in a few years as part of our goal to help veterans get into agriculture and sustainable farming.”

In the meantime, the Kidds have already achieved their peaceful homestead. If you would like to learn more about N.C. Farm School, contact the Rowan County Extension Center at 704-216-8970 or ncfarmschool.com .

Amy-Lynn Albertson is the director of the Rowan County Cooperative Extension.

About Post Lifestyles

Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SalPostLifestyle/ and Twitter @postlifestlyes for more content

email author More by Post



Local health officials see record testing numbers ahead of Thanksgiving


State Board of Elections certifies results of 2020 election


Small business owners seek lifeline in new grant program offered by Rowan County


Blotter: Sheriff’s Office investigating arson at storage unit housing Royce Apparel Inc. merchandise


Sheriff’s Office looking for white pickup caught vandalizing schools, church


Salisbury city manager tests positive for COVID-19


Home sweet home: Families never tire of decorating Rowan Museum gingerbread houses


Former Salisbury High teacher faces additional sex offense charges


RSS planning drive-thru send-off for superintendent


Highway Patrol: Fatal I-85 crash occurred when one vehicle stopped in roadway


10 more counties found with ‘critical’ spread as Gov. Cooper tightens mask-wearing restrictions


Police: Several weekend overdoses possibly result of ‘bad batch’ of drugs


Davie County Social Services employee faces assault, child abuse charges


Political Notebook: State survey shows majority of voters confident in election process


Logistics, instructions for ‘Tis the Season Spectacular parade

Ask Us

Ask Us: How can people stop unwanted telemarketers, robocalls?


One reported dead after fiery interstate crash


Salisbury’s $35 million in water, wastewater upgrades on track for completion in 2022


Blotter: Man charged with stealing $600 in pallets, 10 boxes of clothing


North Carolina shooting suspect caught after days on the run


Charleston weighs wall as seas rise and storms strengthen


Candy Cane Train makes maiden voyage at Transportation Museum, lights show follows


United Way celebrates campaign with lively finale, but work will continue


Recycling centers, landfill adjust schedule for holidays