30 Days: Franklin and George Teague, Reedy Fork Farm

Dairy is a tough business, but the Teagues have figured out innovative ways to protect a family tradition while maintaining it for the future.

Reedy Fork Organic Farm is located in Elon, North Carolina, and has been in the Teague family for six generations. After George Teague graduated from college, he returned home to farm with his father, Franklin. The two built a milking parlor in 1987, and it is one of the few original rotating milkers still in existence. In 2006, George (5th generation) and Franklin (4th generation) decided to become fully organic and join the Organic Valley Cooperative.

Perhaps the most exciting project on Reedy Fork Farm is an organic feed mill. The Teagues grow, process and sell organic feed for most any farm animal, including horses, pigs, cows, chickens, ducks, turkeys, sheep and goats.

They still milk a herd of 100 cows. As George told us recently, “We’re not trying to push for the most milk, we’re trying to push for the best milk.”

The farm operates with non-GMO seed, and the Teagues were instrumental is pushing for the Tester Amendment in the Farm Bill, which would provide greater access to a diversity of seeds bred specifically for their regions and cropping systems.

“We need the seeds to deal well with our soil types, and to deal with our humid climate,” he said. Teague’s concerns lie in keeping up with the competitiveness of the current market, without the proper resources and federal support to do so.

We want to thank George Teague, his father, Franklin, and the entire Teague family for keeping up the family tradition with respect to the land and animals. We are proud to work with them!

(We also love the Teagues because they are total geeks about agriculture! If there’s anything you ever needed to know about cows, check out this page on the farm’s website!)

The video below was produced by Elon University documentary students for Company Shops Market in Burlington, where the Teagues sell their Organic Valley product.

To nominate your favorite farmer or food hero for RAFI’s 30 Days of Thanks, click here.

Follow along every day at rafiusa.org/30daysofthanks

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