Chatham County Farmers Named Young Farmers of the Year!

 Photos by Debbie Roos, North Carolina Cooperative Extension

The Withington family of Lilly Den Farm

The Withington family of Lilly Den Farm with one of their dairy cows

I had the honor of presenting the Young Farmer of the Year award to Tucker and Mackenzie Withington in front of over 800 folks at Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Durham back in November. Tucker and Mackenzie own and operate Lilly Den Farm near Goldston in Chatham County, NC. The whole family was at the banquet, including their kids Dennet, Lilly, and Meadow. The farm is named after Lilly and Dennet, and I’ll never forget the look of surprise and excitement on their faces as I announced the award and they proudly made their way up to the stage to accept the award with their parents.

The Withingtons check on the cattle

The Withingtons check on the cattle

The Withington family only moved to North Carolina a few years ago but they have quickly carved out a niche for themselves in our local food system and become an important part of the community. Tucker and Mackenzie are both from New York where Tucker grew up on a small dairy farm. They moved to Chatham County in 2008 to be closer to family in the Carolinas.

Tucker leads one of his dairy cows out during the winter

Tucker leads one of his dairy cows out during the winter

Tucker with one of the dairy cows

Tucker with one of the dairy cows

Mackenzie with baby Meadow

Mackenzie with baby Meadow

Lilly Den Farm is known for its high quality, antibiotic- and hormone-free meats, including beef, pork, lamb, goat, cage-free veal, chicken, turkey, and duck. They also produce eggs, pet milk and yogurt, and vegetables. Animals are raised on pasture and/or with access to the outdoors. Tucker collects spent grains from Carolina Brewery to feed livestock and unfilterable vegetable oil from Piedmont Biofuels to mix with feed for the pigs.

8 year old Dennet with one of the dairy goats

8 year old Dennet with one of the dairy goats

A much younger Dennet helps his Dad with the cattle

A much younger Dennet helps his Dad with the cattle

Lilly and her kitty

Lilly and her kitty

7 year old Lilly checks on the ducks and chickens

7 year old Lilly checks on the ducks and chickens

You can find Lilly Den Farm at several farmers’ markets, including the Chatham Mills Farmers’ Market, Pittsboro Farmers’ Market, and Holly Springs Farmers’ Market.

Lilly Den Farm at the Chatham Mills Farmers' Market

Lilly Den Farm at the Saturday Chatham Mills Farmers’ Market in Pittsboro

Dennet has become quite the little farmer! He raises and sells his own lambs and is a great salesman.

Dennet has become quite the little farmer! He raises and sells his own lambs and is a great salesman.

During the winter when the local farmers’ markets are closed, Pittsboro residents can find Lilly Den at the Angelina’s Kitchen mini-winter farmers’ market on Thursday evenings (from 5:00-7:00 pm) and in front of Carolina Brewery on Saturdays from noon-2:00 pm.

Lilly Den Farm also offers a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program where members receive weekly shares of meats and dairy. Restaurants including Angelina’s Kitchen, Oakleaf, Small B&B Cafe, Carolina Brewery & Grill, Phoenix Bakery, Little Hen, and the CCCC Natural Chef Program all feature Lilly Den meats.

Congratulations to Tucker and Mackenzie for their award and for strengthening our local food system!

Visit the Lilly Den website for more information.

Written By

Debbie RoosExtension Agent, Agriculture - Sustainable / Organic Production (919) 542-8202 Chatham County, North Carolina

Posted on Feb 2, 2014

Was the information on this page helpful? Yes No

Do You Recommend This Article?


Find more stories like:
Custom Site Page on Growing Small Farms, — or checkout all the other tags we use.