22 Sep, 2015

‘We Hope To Influence People By Our Actions’: How One North Carolinian Plans To Save Local Farmers In The Carolinas One Farm At A Time

By |2020-09-09T10:52:21+00:00September 22, 2015|Farmers, News|0 Comments

When Zack Wyatt was laid off from his government contracting job in December 2014, he was mad — mad at himself, mad at those in his life, mad at his circumstance. But it didn’t take too long before he said passion got the better of him.

At just 35-years-old years old, Wyatt is a husband, the father of five children and the founder of Carolina Farm Trust, a new nonprofit organization that aims to protect farmland, support farmers in the Carolinas and foster an ecosystem of sustainable living. As Wyatt has said, “agriculture is long-term,” but as North Carolina relinquished hundreds of thousands of acres to urban and suburban development over the past few years, sustainable farming seemed pretty bleak.

Carolina Farm Trust, Wyatt told TheBlaze, is different from other nonprofits in that the organization doesn’t approach local farmers and say, “We want to help you, but you’ve got to do it our way.” Instead, the goal of Carolina Farm Trust is simple — the nonprofit purchases farmland and leases it back to local farmers with a lease that is perfectly tailored to the farmers’ vision. And from there, Wyatt said, the farmer can keep the land forever.

Worker Charlie Davis hauls a trailer of freshly picked flue-cured tobacco leaves during the harvest on land leased by Eaton Farms in Kernersville, North Carolina, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012. Although smaller than last year, a quality U.S. tobacco crop endured a tough agricultural growing season in 2012. Photographer: Davis Turner/Bloomberg via Getty Images

“We are entering into relationships with people, and the leases will be kind of designed to be never ending as long as they’re farming,” Wyatt told TheBlaze in an interview. “We will have a relationship with someone and design the lease terms […]

22 Sep, 2015

Carolina Jubilee Is A Music Festival, A Beer Festival, A Wine Festival, A Farming Festival

By |2020-09-09T10:50:14+00:00September 22, 2015|Carolina Jubilee, News|0 Comments

Here’s the idea: Hold a music festival, raise money to buy 40+ acres of farmland in Lincolnton and lease it to a farmer. Then, next year, raise more money, buy more land and support more regional farmers. And on … and on …

Will it work? Zack Wyatt thinks so. And he wants to prove it to you.

Wyatt, 35, started the Carolina Farm Trust earlier this year with a mission to “protect farmland and foster an ecosystem of sustainable farming,” according to its website. The group hopes to buy land and lease it back to farmers, giving new farmers access to land and allowing existing farms to expand, and support farmers in any way it can.

The money for that, Wyatt hopes, will come from Carolina Jubilee, a music festival Oct. 16-17 at VanHoy Farms in Harmony, about an hour north of uptown Charlotte.


Click here to watch video

In addition to bands like Mipso, Tacoma Narrows, Songs of the Fall, and Sinners and Saints, the festival will feature food and drinks from local farmers and only North or South Carolina-based companies. And 100 percent of the profits will go to the Carolina Farm Land Trust.

“It’s a music festival, and a beer festival, a wine festival, a farming festival,” said Wyatt, who lives in Cornelius. “It’ll be pure, raw and it will be genuine. …

“Where we get our money is extremely important to me. … We want to make Carolina Jubilee a Coachella, a Bonnaroo, that is the goal, so we can generate a […]

8 Sep, 2015

Do You Care About Local Sustainability? Introducing The Carolina Jubilee Farm Celebration

By |2020-09-09T10:47:24+00:00September 8, 2015|Carolina Jubilee, News|0 Comments

This adventure started for me at the beginning of the year. I got laid off from my job, a new start-up breaking into the wonderful world of government contracting. As with most people who get laid off, time suddenly slows down, the blinders come off and the reevaluation of your life starts to begin.

I grew up in a farming community. I loved and hated it. We had a pretty large garden, butchered a few hogs, got our eggs from our own chickens. My dad hunted and we got beef from the neighbors’ cattle farms. This is not to say we didn’t go to the grocery store, but when we did, it was to supplement what we did at home. I have fond memories of how I grew up and the only part I truly didn’t like as a kid was the work but those memories fade and only the good ones remain.

As a father of five, I struggle with now living in a development in suburbia. My kids never have to go far to find a friend to play with, the chores are limited to a few rooms and it seems like there is always something to do. But there is something missing.

You learn a lot living in a farm community: about life and death, what hard work looks like, how to problem solve, how to best utilize limited resources, how important community is.

I never envisioned being involved in a nonprofit let alone starting one. I knew that if I ever was to be affiliated, it would have to be about a great cause that I knew a lot about and could actually make change. One thing that I knew from the very beginning […]

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