Spotlight: Amy Ager
Hometown: Fairview, N.C.
Size of Operation: 250 acres
Years in Business: 17
Years Working with Farm Credit: 6
Established in 2000, Hickory Nut Gap Farm has grown to feature a restaurant, catering, and a retail store and meat shop all on their farm in Fairview. Amy Ager is the co-owner and Operations Manager/ Marketing Manager for Hickory Nut Gap Farm along with her husband, Jamie.
Primarily known for their meats, Hickory Nut Gap Farm raises grass-fed beef and pasture raised pork and poultry. The animals are raised on 250 acres of land that is leased from family and neighbors. Their cattle and beef are non-GMO certified and their pork and poultry are pasture raised. The leased farm land is certified organic.
Today, the meat raised for their wholesale program by the Hickory Nut Gap farmer producer group can be found at grocery stores such as Whole Foods, Ingles, Earth Fare, local restaurants and on at their on farm store. Expansion has been the name of the game for Amy and her husband for the past 10 years. The opening of the retail shop, the growth of the wholesale business, the creation of the farm tour and event center; everywhere you look, Hickory Nut Gap is growing.
Amy has been a key element in the creation and growth of the farm. “It’s amazing to see how far we have come. Being able to see families come out to the farm and teach their children where food comes from. Having interactions with customers and knowing that our product is going to help nourish a family to do the best they can do is why we are here.”
This passion continues to drive Amy to move the farm into the direction of the future. “Looking ahead for the farm and for agriculture, there is a lot of opportunity for growth in the ag community,” said Amy. Battling misconceptions through transparency and education is another way to bring people back to the farm.
The growth of opportunities for women in agriculture is also something that will be coming down the pipeline because of this growth. Amy has personally seen agriculture moving away from gender-based roles, and seeing women take advantage of those opportunities. This is not only good for women, it is good for agriculture.
As agriculture continues to grow, Amy believes that the future is bright for young women looking to pursue a career in agriculture. “There will be obstacles you have to overcome, but if it is your passion, don’t let those things stop you.”
Amy and her husband have been working with Farm Credit for six years. They credit that partnership with their ability to be able to grow as quickly as they have. “Our wholesale business would not be where it is today without the support of Farm Credit. We are so thankful for their trust in us to be a successful operation.”