While traveling the landscape of Duplin County North Carolina you are bound to notice several things. There is an abundance of hog, poultry, and large-scale farming operations. Small farms, once the backcloth standard in this rural county are becoming more intermittent. For farmer Mitchell Paige, however, his operation has not become an endangered livelihood lost among a milieu of encroaching large-scale farming operations. Mr. Paige’s roughly 400-acre operation is thriving and is an example of what other operations, small and large, should strive to replicate.
Mr. Paige, a 4th generation farmer, is keenly aware of the issues that affect his business, including the economy, culture, climate, and natural resources unique to Duplin County. “There are large farms popping up all the time down here, farms where the people who own the land don’t live here and have others farm it for them. There are poultry operations being frequently, as well, but the landowners do not understand the type of land and water we have here,” said Paige. “We’ve been here, lived here, grew up here and it takes a lot more than being a huge landowner to be successful...you’ve got to know and care about the soil, water, and other resources we have to make it work for your farm and for everyone around you.”