The Gregorys live in a farmhouse which is believed to have been originally built in the late 1860's, with additions and renovations in the early 1900's, the 1940's, the 1980's, and forever ongoing in the present. The slideshow below provides some background on our farm, as well as our pastured beef cattle, sheep flock, pigs, guineas, chickens, and our farm family in action.
Clark grew up walking and working beside his father, Robert and grandfathers, Jim Gregory and Thomas Myers, as both sides of the family actively farmed. All of his best childhood memories center around the different activities he got to participate in on the farm. When Clark was only a few years old, his father began a custom high-tensile livestock fence business, which he remained involved with throughout high school and college. Clark credits the fencing business with opening his eyes to the limitless potential offered by controlled grazing practices and systems, of which he became a student at a young age and which he continues to improve upon in our pastures today. Controlled, intense rotational grazing provides for higher-quality livestock, as well as higher quality, healthier pastures.
When Clark was eight years old, his family began keeping sheep as well as cattle. The flock grew to more than sixty head and, along with beef cattle and the fencing business, provided Clark with a well-rounded agricultural education by a fairly young age. Clark managed to continue farming while attending Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture. While working towards his degree, and being actively involved on the national collegiate circuit in crops judging, Clark continued to travel back to his family's farm almost every weekend, working 20-30 hours a week, in order to keep the farm thriving. After receiving his B.S. in Crop and Soil Environmental Science, Clark farmed full-time for several years, and became a Virginia Certified Nutrient Management Planner in 2010, qualifying him to provide nutrient analysis and management plans for pastures and cropland across the state, and serving as an agriculture teacher and FFA sponsor as an adjunct to his primary goal of being able to raise his family with the benefits and values successful farm living provides. Since purchasing Cheerful Ridge Farm in 2015, Clark has continued to refine and perfect his livestock, land, and pasture management techniques. You can find him up before sunrise walking the fence line and checking water troughs, in the evening baling hay, or on a rainy day on the telephone explaining custom butchering to a customer.
Maggy grew up on the beautiful Northern Neck of Virginia at a time when farmers and watermen comprised nearly all of the region's economy. Every generation of her family has farmed or worked the water. After graduating from the University of Virginia, Maggy accepted a position as a teacher and moved to Pittsylvania County, where she became friends with Clark. Their shared values and desire for a similar lifestyle provided the foundation for a lasting relationship, and they were married in the spring of 2010. Maggy saw the difference in the quality of the beef and lamb her husband raised, and encouraged Clark to expand to offer others access to the same high-quality meat. Maggy is the first point of contact for most new customers, as well as returning customers who make their reservations for beef shares each year. In addition to on-farm activities, Maggy enjoys meeting and speaking with new customers, answering questions, and explaining our livestock husbandry process and how our products are meaningfully different from what can be found in the grocery store.
Maggy has provided support for the business set-up, marketing, and sustainable development of our direct retail operation, from a smaller operation for family and friends to its current position meeting the needs of families and consumers across Virginia who want local, humanely-raised, affordable healthy meat. If she's not scheduling butchering or answering questions, you can find her in jeans and muck boots moving cattle, tagging lambs, or wrangling the two Little Farmers.
The Little Farmers are the reason we do what we do.