Vollmer Farm is a multi-generational family farm in Franklin County, North Carolina. The farm started as a conventional tobacco farm and was transitioned to an organic, diversified produce operation. Russ Vollmer is currently owner/operator of the farm. Russ’ father, John, started growing certified organic vegetables and fruits as tobacco was gradually not able to pay the bills anymore. Russ took over the farm full-time and began adding an element of agricultural education for children to the operation. Children from all over the central part of the state come to the farm on field trips to reconnect with agriculture. The working farm gives the next generation a passion for agriculture that the Vollmer Farm hopes will inspire more kids to be involved in agriculture and food production. One-hundred acres of farmland is available for the kids to run around and explore what being on the farm feels like. Russ gives popular presentations explaining why it’s important to preserve farming as both a profession and lifestyle.
Since 2015, the Vollmer Farm has welcomed more than 6,000 kids, teachers, and parents to the farm. Activities have included hands-on farming tasks such as collecting eggs from the chicken coop, learning about the varieties grown in the greenhouse, and gathering a healthy snack from the farm’s organic strawberry fields. The children also get the “run of the back 40” as they enjoy various play elements such as a jumping pillow, underground slide, playgrounds, and corn mazes.
The Vollmer Farm plans to continue their agricultural education and farm field days programming. They hope that they can inspire as many kids as they can to preserve agriculture and get outside.