How Are Families That Operate Farm Businesses Able to Work Together?
Ninety-eight percent of N.C. farms are family operated like ours, which we believe is important when you are constantly dealing with the uncertainties of farming. We really do get along great on most days, but then there are those days when you know it is just better to get out of the other one’s space. The reason we get along is each person brings their own talent to the job, so each person is responsible for different aspects of the farm. We also respect that each of us are different, and as a team, we can make a lot of different things happen for the good of the whole farm. It is fun, but it is also a lot of long hours and very hard work, and you have to be willing to give and take, knowing there is a common goal in sight. It also takes a great crew of employees that love their job. Our farming business relies heavily on hired labor — which can be a challenge to manage the seasonal nature of our products. We have a great mix of family and dedicated employees that are keys to a successful farming business.
Whitaker Farms is family owned and operated by Richard and Faylene Whitaker their sons, Shane and Travis, and daughters-in-law, Kelly and Shannon. The Randolph County farm started in 1975 and includes a nursery and retail store, as well as tobacco and vegetable crops.