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The Noble One Percent Who Farm Rowan’s Green Acres

Joe Hampton thinks the number of Rowan farms needs clarification. He is the superintendent of the Piedmont Research Station on Sherrills Ford Road. “The number of full-time farms in Rowan County is closer to 40 or 50,” said Hampton, “The rest are like my wife and me. We have jobs and farm on the side.” Hampton raises beef cattle and sheep. “We’re not smart enough to raise crops,” he said.

Many of those who work full time at the Research Station are in the same boat as Hampton. “They are people who love agriculture, but because of economics, can’t farm on their own.

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