The proud owners of Eastglen Farm, Marilyn Easter and her hard-working husband (of 54 years), Glenn Easter, are a staple in the Laurens County community. “Farming here over 40 years has brought us much happiness and a feeling of accomplishment,” says Marilyn. When the Easters moved to Laurens County, from Vermont, they quickly absorbed into the community and made a home--now with 300 Jersey Dairy Cows covering 360 acres of farm land, located just outside of the Laurens City limits. In 2018, the Easter’s farm produced 6 million pounds of milk--we did the math, that’s 720,000 gallons!
Eastglen Farm is just one example of the many commodities produced in Laurens County, SC. With over 120,000 acres of farm land in a County of land spanning 713.80 sq. miles, the agriculture community is making a huge impact. According to the most recent Census, Laurens County has 826 farms, with the average size covering 148 acres. Obviously, loving our chickens, the County houses 5,888,947 in the 17 farms documented. The egg production sits (no pun intended) around 24,200,000 eggs and Laurens County celebrates the 8,155 beef cattle, 653 dairy cattle, 855 goats, and 1,477 horses and ponies, to mention a few highlights in animal agriculture. With full intent on covering all the many areas of agriculture success in the County, it is necessary to also mention the 123 beehives, 25,089 acres of hay, 916 acres of wheat, 143 acres of vegetables, and 257 acres of nursery stock. With these brag-worthy numbers Laurens County has much to be proud of. Many of our youth are growing up on these farms, learning family traditions, and planting deep roots for a successful future.
The Agriculture community is strong in Laurens County, the Clemson Extension office and Farm Bureau are both very active and the 4-H programs are developing daily. The annual Spotlight on Agriculture hosted by Clemson Extension is an event worth attending, as the agriculture community is celebrated for the many accomplishments throughout the year.
Laurens County takes pride in the Agritourism opportunities offered and the locals look forward to the seasons to participate. Stewart Farms presents various seasonal activities including a corn maze and hayrides in the fall, poinsettias during the holidays, and strawberry picking in the Spring. Crescent Farm offers a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program which “allows members to enjoy their favorite vegetables and encourages them to try new ones that aren't available in their local store” according to Margie Levine, Crescent Farm. “They also benefit from the additional nutrients and flavor that fresh produce has to offer.” Red Fern Farm has educational seminars, garden tours and herb walks. And don't forget how beautiful an event or wedding could be at any of the many event venues offered. Here in Laurens County, we have several farms to tour, spend the day, u-pick, and plan holiday fun.
Sources: SC Department of Agriculture, 2012 Census of Agriculture, US Census Bureau
Written by Amanda Munyan