Welcome to Southern Belle Farm and the Carter family — Jimmy and Kathy Carter; Wes, Holly, Mallory, Madison and Chad Cobb; Jeff, Carmen, Hailey, Bailey, and Bo Brannan, and Jake, Jennifer, Karson, Kennedy and Coan Carter. Southern Belle Farm, which was a dairy farm for three generations, is now being converted to a beef cattle and educational farm open to the public for tours. Please allow us to tell you a brief history and story of our farm.
The Carter Family has been in Henry County, GA for 8 generations – 5 generations on this same farm. The Carter ancestors through my grandfather, Mr. J.A. Carter, were sharecroppers which meant that they basically farmed the land for other farmer landowners for a share of the crop. In about 1938 J.A. Carter saved enough money to buy a place of his own and began farming on what is now part of Southern Belle Farm.
A dairy operation was started by my grandfather, and my father J.C. Carter began another dairy across the road in the late-1940’s. I came back to the farm in 1975 after graduating from the University of Georgia with a Master of Science degree, 2 years in the U.S. Army, and 2 years as Executive Director of Georgia Milk Producers, Inc. When we came back we put the two separate dairies together into one operation, and I was in partnership with my Dad, J.C. Carter and Uncle, M.L. Carter. In 1979 we bought my Dad and Uncle out of the partnership. At its peak Southern Belle Farm consisted of 375 acres owned, 100 acres rented and a total of around 350 Holstein dairy cows. In 1986 we sold out of the dairy business and went into a beef cattle/hay farm with thoughts of developing the farm into an educational farm.
In 2005 our son Jake also became interested in developing the farm into an educational/tour/corn maize farm along with the cattle operation and we built the first piece of this venture with the construction of a new barn where we were able to have Jake and Jennifer’s rehearsal dinner and wedding reception in August, 2005. Since that time we have been moving forward with plans to complete this project.
In the Summer and early Fall of 2006 we plan to complete the first phase of our plans with the opening of the corn maize and school tours which will include a milking demonstration in the newly renovated dairy barn, hay rides and tours of the plantings, farm animal education and experience, and much, much more. Our two daughters Holly and Carmen and our daughter-in-law Jennifer have also become a vital part of this operation in the areas of accounting, bookkeeping, promotion, marketing, and curriculum.
The Carter family and Southern Belle Farm have been blessed beyond measure and it is our desire to open up our farm to allow others to have a taste of the good life on the farm and receive education about agriculture and its importance to the health and well-being of our county, state, nation, and world in a wholesome and safe environment. It is our desire to be good stewards of the resources the Lord has blessed us with and at the same time be able to remain on this land and share it with others. We hope you will be able to visit us soon.
Written by Jimmy Carter