Ethan is only 5 and John 7, they have had a thriving Boer goat business
for the past two years, buying and selling to improve their bloodlines.
The Vickers’ other grandson, Dominique, currently lives in Colorado
with their other daughter, Andrea, and husband Lou who both serve in the
Air Force. Andrea returned stateside just before Christmas after ten
months in the combat zone of the Middle East. Daughter Gail also
previously served in the Air Force.
Whisenants are working on their farm to establish a line of rare-breed
cattle, the Braunvieh.
grew up on a farm outside Cookeville, Tennessee, where his parents
raised cattle, hogs, horses, chickens and more.
of my favorite trips to town when I was little was going to the Farmer’s
Co-op," Buddy remembers. "It was just the smells of the feeds
and the fertilizers. What kid wouldn’t like all the equipment and farm
tools? Everything there fascinated me. So it was only natural when I had
my own farm to seek out the Co-op. I go to St. Clair Farmers Co-op in
Ashville because it’s right off the Interstate when I’m traveling to
continues, "But Blount County Farmers Co-op in Oneonta reminds me
most of the one from when I was a kid. The loading docks are just like
those back in Tennessee. The people are friendly and they have a wide
variety of feeds and even clothes like you have to have. I bought
several Carhardt shirts and jackets because they will withstand this
LuAnne adds that Ethan and John aren’t like most kids who want to go
to Wal-Mart; instead their favorite destination is the Co-op!
Heptinstall, the Blount County Farmers Co-op’s manager, said he’s
proud that folks like Buddy and his family love to shop in the store.
"People ARE our business. The store is here because of the
goes on, "We try to keep people on our staff that are knowledgeable
about our products and farming in general. Customer service is the key
to success and we strive every day to provide that customer
for the many products offered, Chris says, "We do have a diverse
line. We have things needed by the small home gardener for the garden
and their lawn all the way up to the biggest farmer, from somebody with
two or three horses and five acres to someone with thousands of acres
and LuAnne are proud their grandchildren understand not only where much
of their food comes from, but the hard work, planning, and knowledge it
takes to make any type agricultural endeavor a success.
Lowry Geno is a freelance writer from Blount County.