Archie Griffin fosters innovation, expansion at family farm
Published 4:41 pm Monday, November 29, 2021
BY NC DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Everyone wants to make a difference with their lives and leave behind a lasting legacy. For Archie Griffin, of Griffin Farms Inc., this meant returning to the family farm after college and being a young leader in the agriculture industry. “I love being a young person in this industry and carrying on a tradition that has not only meant a lot to my family through the years but to our state as a whole,” Archie said.
Established in 1996, Griffin Farms was started by Archie’s grandfather and has since expanded from its original 20 acres to 2,000 acres today. “I remember growing up on the farm and always having a love for it, but my dad never pressured me to stay here,” Archie said, “it wasn’t until my junior year of college that I decided this farm is where I was meant to be.” Tobacco, wheat, soybeans and sweet corn are the main crops grown on the farm today, with tobacco taking up 15% of the farm’s acreage.
A typical day on the farm starts at 7 a.m. and usually ends around 5 or 6 p.m. “There really is no ‘typical’ day on the farm because everyday brings something different, which is the intriguing and fun part of farming,” said Archie, “but we always try to end the day around 5 to allow our employees time with their families.”
Griffin Farms also uses a lot of technology, such as GPS and JD link tracking on all their tractors and Precision Agriculture for crop planning. According to Archie, these tools have been very beneficial in increasing efficiency on the farm.
Although the challenges of farming can be difficult, they are also Archie’s favorite part of working in the industry. “When life throws you a challenge, you can either sit back and pout about it or you can rise to the challenge and grow,” he said, “farming is a profession that can be daunting because you don’t want to fail and at times it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, but it’s also a profession where you are always learning, always growing and always gaining blessings from the hard work.” In addition to overcoming obstacles, Archie also loves harvest time each year because he gets to reap the rewards of his hard work.
Products from Griffin Farms can only be found on-site at their farm in Washington. “People want to know their farmer so you have to let them in,” Archie said, “and the best way we can do that is by bringing them on our farm to see the operation, get to know us and purchase our products.” His favorite way to eat sweet corn from their farm is straight off the cob.
As a young person in the agriculture industry, Archie has two pieces of advice to give others seeking a career in agriculture: Don’t let anything stop you and never stop chasing the dream. “Starting from the very beginning, learn as much as you can. Don’t think too small and don’t dream too big because agriculture is everywhere,” he said. “You must be willing to get your hands dirty and make sacrifices to follow your dream but it is totally worth it.”
In the future, Archie and his family hope to open up their farm more to consumers by offering agritourism events, adding an on-site farm store and possibly a farm-to-table restaurant. Although you can find Archie enjoying all genres of music on the farm, a few of his favorites are Van Halen, Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Rolling Stones.