Every Friday on social media, we post a Farm Feature Friday showcasing one of our dedicated North Carolina farmers. Autumn Hunter, with Hunter Family Farm, is one of those farmers. The #FarmFeatureFriday campaign will run through December 2021 on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages and from August to December will feature younger farmers in the industry. Be sure to tune in each Friday afternoon on social and help show your support for our local farmers!
Sometimes life has a funny way of showing us new passions through the people that we love. Autumn Hunter did not grow up on a farm, but found her true passion for agriculture when she married her husband, Landon, and became a part of Hunter Family Farms Produce. Both Autumn and her husband are part of the Young Farmers and Ranchers of N.C. group, where they were originally inspired to venture into the produce industry. Today they continue to lead that group into new and innovative avenues of agriculture.
Located in Boonville, Hunter Family Farms was originally a tobacco farm and transitioned in 2016 to grow a variety of produce as well as raise cattle. “We currently have 50 cattle, 25 acres of produce and 150 acres of sweet corn and beans,” Autumn said, “we obtained our meat-handlers license a few years ago and have been producing grass-fed, grain-finished meat ever since.” On the produce side, they grow many fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, sweet corn, potatoes, okra, lettuce, onions, cauliflower and bell peppers.
A typical day on the farm usually starts around 8 a.m. by picking fresh produce in the field before the farm store opens at 10. The rest of the day can encompass a variety of tasks, depending on the season, including packing wholesale orders, delivering to customers, marketing and social media. “What people sometimes don’t realize is that farmers aren’t just responsible for the crops but for marketing, finance and social media as well,” Autumn said, “we always try to wrap up around 7 p.m. so that we can have family time together before we do it all again.”
Although the hours can be difficult, Autumn and her family love providing products that their customers enjoy, especially developing and releasing new ones. “We recently released a delivery system online for our meat boxes and it has been exciting to see that take off,” Autumn said, “and now we are getting ready to release a charcuterie box option and I am interested to see how our customers react to those.”
In addition to online at their website, products from their farm can be found at the farmers markets in Mocksville and Surry counties as well as D&J Galaxy Food Center and Hawks’ Produce. If you are in the area, you can also experience products from Hunter Family Farms in a variety of dishes at Generations Restaurant in Jonesville and Reeves Theater & Cafe in Elkin. Autumn’s favorite way to eat beef from their farm is to stir fry the steak on a Blackstone and serve it with stir fried veggies. “Eating local products is so important because not only do you know where your food is coming from but you know who you are supporting,” she said, “in our case, you are supporting our hopes, dreams and goals when you purchase products from our farm.”
In the future, Hunter Family Farms will continue to provide new and exciting products for their customers, including a punch card for their CSA members that gives them the opportunity to select their own produce each week. They also are working to open a store on site that includes a cold storage facility to sell their products and the products of other farmers across the state. We are proud to have farmers like Autumn and Landon helping lead the next generation of farmers and agriculture industry workers! #NCAgriculture