The house builder and sustainable farmer, along with his wife, was invited to the White House to speak on our nation’s “green economy.”
In 1997, my wife (Jodi) and I built a farm on Pearces Road on land my family had. Both of our families have farming backgrounds, like many families did in the area years ago. We have free range pork, turkeys – all of the animals are free range.
On our website (rayfamilyfarms.com), we inform people about our farm, whether it’s field trips or people who want to visit, or people who want to purchase our products. We are a 4-H sponsor of 65 kids. We promote our products as being natural, ‘from conception to consumption.’
We really don’t have a large staff there – we have a couple of college kids who help us. It is really all about education. When we have small kids visit, we tell them, that when they are older, it is important to know how to prepare their meals. They have to know how to grow and prepare good food.
We have two big issues in our country – hunger and diabetes. Corporations are not doing a good job when it comes to processed foods. People are not making good decisions when it comes to their health. No one gardens anymore. No one cans anymore. We have a farm that is the way people raised crops and produce for thousands of years. We need to get back to doing it the way we did it years ago.
David Howle (Chad’s football coach while he was at Bunn High) was also a big influence.
He encouraged me, when I was a walk-on for the football team at (North Carolina) State, that if I stayed on the team and gritted it out, I could make it. I was able to play every game my senior year at State.
I would also have to say that a man who served as a father figure for many years to a lot of boys was also a big influence, and his wife – David and Shirley Pearce. They led the RAs (Royal Ambassadors) at Pilot Baptist for many years.
They led my dad, and they also later led my age group. I have learned as I got older that it is true what a lot of people tell me- you have to put good people around you to be a good person.