Every Friday on social media, we post a Farm Feature Friday showcasing one of our dedicated North Carolina farmers, including young farmers just starting out in the industry. Jared Porter with Porter Farms Inc. in Mt. Pleasant is one of those farmers. The #FarmFeatureFriday campaign will run through December 2021 on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Be sure to tune in each Friday afternoon on social and help show your support for our local farmers!
Jared Porter and his family bring a competitive edge to the farming industry at their family farm in Mt. Pleasant. At Porter Farms, not only does the Porter family raise a variety of livestock animals, including cows and pigs, but they also host three obstacle course races each year, including the well-known Spartan race.
Jared remembers growing up on the farm and, although he worked in another industry for several years before returning home, he has always had a passion and love for agriculture. “I grew up on the tractor helping my dad, from the age of eight, with the cows and hay operation,” he said, “even though I worked as a police officer in Charlotte for 8 years before returning home, I always knew that I wanted to come back to the family farm. This place was my end goal because this is my true passion.”
Currently the farm is home to 2,000 pigs, seven chicken houses and 350 cattle. Jared and his family grow their own hay for the animals and corn silage on a seasonal basis. Most of their animals are sold to larger industry producers such as Tyson Foods and Smithfield Foods.
In addition to their livestock operation, the farm hosts a variety of events for the public including weddings and obstacle course races. “The obstacle courses being held on the farm honestly just fell into our lap about eight years ago,” Jared said. Every April, nearly 10,000 people come out to the farm and participate in the Spartan Race. “It is definitely the biggest one held on the farm,” Jared said, “they build obstacles on about half of our acreage.” Later in the year, Bonefrog and Muddy Princess USA are also held on the farm to not only get the public involved in the workout, but also to inspire them and support the community. “Bone Frog is a Navy Seal owned and operated obstacle course, so all the support from that race is for them and it is by far my favorite to run,” Jared said, “then later that same month we host the Muddy Princess race, which is women only and untimed to inspire an atmosphere of positivity.” Jared and his family enjoy running the courses as a team and seeing the public out on their farm.
Although the challenges can be stressful, they are also what keeps Jared going day to day. “I love big projects and a challenge,” he said, “I have a drive to the task and feel a huge sense of accomplishment when the problem is overcome.”
As a young person in agriculture, Jared reminds those looking for a future career in the industry to love what you do and rely on your passion every day. “Don’t do it if you’re always going to be looking at the clock, waiting for quitting time,” he said, “you must have a passion for it that drives you day in and day out to not only do what needs to be done but to improve upon it and constantly make it better.”
In the future, Jared and his family will continue to grow their operation through pasture improvements, expansion of the herd, upgrades to the wedding venue and more. He will also continue to raise his three children in a way that instills in them a love of agriculture and passion for the family farm. During his daily workouts or obstacle course races, you can find Jared listening to Thunderstruck by AC/DC to keep his motivation going.