Local News

Farm Life Lures Greene County Woman Away From City

Posted February 17, 2003

— The call of sheep lured a Greene County woman to leave her job in the city to return to country life.

Genelle Pridgen's farm has belonged to her family since 1746 when the King of England granted the land deed.

"This farm has been passed down through my family for several generations, and I just feel like it's my obligation to pass it on to my children and grandchildren," said Sandra Garner, who was born on the farm.

Pridgen left the farm in the late '80s, never intending to work the farm again.

"I went to school and got a degree in molecular biology and went to work fresh out of college at the ECU School of Medicine," she said.

Although Pridgen had a good-paying job in the city, she still longed for the farm. What began as a few sheep bought to "mow" grass became an internationally known breeding farm. Pridgen's farm raises sheep and ships them around the world.

The sheep not sold for breeding stock are sold for meat and Pridgen said that market is also booming, and it looks like her farm will stay for yet another generation.

"It's provided a way for me to provide a future for my family -- a prospect for my son hopefully to be the next generation of Rainbow Meadow farms, a way for us to carry on the tradition," she said.

Pridgen said as soon as she can increase her herd to keep up with demand, she will begin marketing the meat online.

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