Most people experience farm life on its very surface, driving through the countryside, passing the occasional tractor, or making the annual excursion to pick up a Christmas tree. Our experiences with farm products are even more distant from farm life. We shop for our fruits, vegetables, and meat at a grocery store where products may have been raised thousands of miles away. Farmers in the Pee Dee region are increasingly opening their doors to the public as a way to bridge the gap between farm and table. Farm tours and festivals educate the public to what is being grown in their “backyard” while promoting local products and a rural way of life.
The Ovis Hill Fall Farm Festival is an annual celebration of products grown in the Pee Dee and other regions of the state. Farm life is not “demonstrated” at the event, but remains in progress as cows are milked, sheep are herded and sheared, and thread is spun from wool fiber. Ovis Hill is primarily a sheep farm and their stock is the star of the show. Traditional arts and music, hay rides, and an open air “all local” farmers market enhance the festival’s rural atmosphere. The festival is a collaborative effort of Ovis Hill Farm, the Clemson Extension Service, and the 4-H Club, all groups sharing an interest in promoting agricultural education and agribusiness.
In this clip, Trish DeHond, an agronomy agent with the Clemson Extension Service, speaks to the importance of the festival, and about her personal background as an environmental and agricultural educator.
Visit: Ovis Hill Farm
Sandlapper Article (PDF): Farming as a Passion
Clemson Extension: Sheep Production PDF