Elon, North Carolina|Friday, January 27, 2017
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Local Farm is a Family Heirloom 

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“Happily growing your vegetables… also growing your clean air and water.” That’s the motto of Iseley Farms. Passed down through five generations, it has been in business since 1790. Jane Iseley is the owner today.

“We’re still here. And it’s going to be here,” Iseley said.

With more than 400 acres of land, Iseley Farms is committed to the preservation of natural resources. Tomorrow, they will be honored as the 2013 Conservation Farm Family of the year, given by the North Carolina Association of Soil and Water Conservation.

“It’s the first time Alamance County has won one of these awards, so we’re really pleased about it,” Iseley said.

After 16 years of traveling as a photojournalist, Iseley returned home at age 34 when her father became ill. Before he passed, he taught her the skills she needed to know in order to keep the family business going.

“And I can tell you exactly where we were standing I said ‘Ok Daddy, how do I do this?’ and he was standing there at the end of the field with his walker and he handed me the walker and he said, ‘I’ll do it, I will show you how to do it,’” Iseley said.

For Iseley, farming has now become a way of life.

“You don’t do it for quantity in life, you’re not going to get rich doing it, but every day is different,” Iseley said.

Iseley has also noticed a growing trend in people wanting to buy locally grown food.

“People are aware of it now and they want to know where their food is coming from,” Iseley said. “They want to have that relationship with the farmer. So agriculture is very fortunate that that’s happened.”

Iseley Farms’ main products are organic tobacco, strawberries and beef. But for the month of October, pumpkins are their best sellers.

“The kids all come and they’re happy,” Iseley said. “I love to mess with pumpkins because every one of them is different.”

Iseley said its things like pumpkins that keep bringing families in the area closer together.

About the author: Sky Cowans

Sky Cowans is a senior broadcast journalism major. She is currently an evening news anchor for ELN. Originally from Beverly, Massachusetts, Sky is passionate about health and fitness. She is also a group exercise instructor for Elon Campus Recreation and enjoys teaching power yoga. Last fall, Sky lived in Copenhagen Denmark for four months where she studied cross-cultural communications. She also serves as a Global Ambassador for Elon. Sky hopes to pursue a career in either broadcast news or health and wellness journalism.