Gerald C. Whitson, Whitson Farms
Grant Award: $3,000
Gerald is adding a cold storage unit for his potato crop, decreasing the amount of fuel and transport time as well as overall hours required to process the product. The storage area also increases Gerald’s ability to raise more product, selling the potatoes while they are still high quality over a greater length of time. He will buy a commercial refrigeration unit specifically designed for the needs of his existing storage shed.
All produce is sold and consumed within a 75-mile radius of the farm. Gerald has established a base of clients and retail outlets he met through Extension offices, local grower’s associations and local wholesale markets.
Gerald has farmed full-time since 2000, and he and his family grew tobacco from the 1930s until 2004. He was recently named the Mitchell County Conservation Family Farm of the Year.
“Our farm is proud to be an example of how the tobacco farms of yesteryear can continue to be the diversified family farm of tomorrow,” Gerald said. “We strive to be an example of conservation of both the land, which we are responsible for preserving, and the family farm, which we love and cherish.”