Beginning with an indenture dated July 27,1791, Nicholas Worley and seven subsequent Worley generations have owned and operated the family farm in the southeastern section of Columbus County, adjacent to the South Carolina-North Carolina state line.
The farm this July will celebrate its 226th anniversary in producing quality crops and livestock including but not limited to turpentine, sugar cane, hogs, cows, rice, cotton, tobacco, corn, soybeans, strawberries, watermelons, sweet potatoes, wheat, and chickens. Primarily, the farming operation today consists of 700 acres of row crops and produce including strawberries, corn, soybeans, wheat, watermelons, sweet corn, and about 50 acres of pasture for the 40 cows, due to societal changes in the last decade with tobacco as a major cash crop in the Carolinas.
Vigorously working to carry out the Worley family tradition, Chandler Worley Family Farms has transitioned to the 21st Century by continuing its rich family tradition in growing fresh summer like tomatoes for restaurants in the Carolinas as well as experimenting with hydroponics and aquaponics.
Equipped with a solid education from from North Carolina State University with a degree in agronomy; Chandler and his wife, Jenny, (a retired kindergarten teacher of 32 years) devote all their livelihood in the daily farming operation and actively taking continuing education classes from Southeastern Community College and other educational agriculture programs to benefit the operation.
Chandler and Jenny are very active in helping to organize Down East Connect, an agricultural group that will sell vegetables on the internet. The family is also actively involved with the NC Watermelon Festival held each July in Fair Bluff, N.C.. In 2010, in connection with promoting the commodity of watermelons grown on local farms and gardens across the Carolinas (NC and SC), the Chandler Worley family set out to help the NC Watermelon Festival organize a contest between the states to find the tastiest watermelon of the Carolinas. The competition was such a success that an even larger competition is planned each year.
Chandler also serves on the Board of Directors with Columbus County Farm Bureau and Jenny serves on the Women's Committee of Columbus County Farm Bureau.
Throughout the years, the Worleys have served in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, Spanish-American War and World War II obviously for the purpose of defending their rich heritage and the old homeplace.
Over the years, farming has been instilled in the Nicholas Worley decendants, thus creating the impetus for future generations of family farmers, who like Chandler Worley and his family, will adjust and prepare for tomorrow.
Written and compiled by:
Dennis Worley, Chandler Worley, & Emily Worley
11005 Swamp Fox Hwy. West
Cerro Gordo, North Carolina 28430