Looking toward the future of farming in Polk County

Published 2:35 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2017

On Saturday, April 15, Growing Rural Opportunities (GRO), a local nonprofit that supports agriculture in Polk County, hosted the inaugural GRO Fest, a music festival to celebrate and support the farmers of Polk County, at Harmon Dairy in Green Creek. The festival featured live performances by The Hackensaw Boys, Aaron Burdett Band, Letters to Abigail and the Bald Mountain Boys in a beautiful setting overlooking the foothills.  (Photos by Mark Schmerling)

Nicole and Aaron Bradley of Bradley Farms, a fifth-generation family farm on Howard Gap Road in Saluda, which produces pastured pork, chicken and beef.

“Aren’t we fortunate to live in Polk County?” remarked Lee Mink, a local farmer, poet, and agricultural leader, also a founder of GRO. Mink mentioned a local survey in which Polk County residents overwhelmingly hoped to preserve the county’s rural character and family farms.

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Lee Mink, left, a founder of GRO, and Tom Dekay.

Natalie Klimstra

Nadia Aliva

J.J. Klimstra

Jason Craig of St. Joseph’s Dairy mentioned how hard the farmers in Polk County are working. “They really are the heroes in Polk County,” he said. Craig noted that those farmers need the support of consumers to stay in business.

One of the leaders of the Bald Mountain Boys, among the groups performing on stage at the event.