Our wedding day. We will never be so young, or clean, again.
Clark Gregory 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, which he became a student of at a young age and continues to incorporate and improve upon today at Cheerful Ridge Farm. Controlled, intense rotational grazing provides for higher-quality beef animals, 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, while becoming 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 accepting a position teaching agriculture and sponsoring the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and the Young Farmers Program. For both Clark and Maggy, being able to farm and raise a family consistent with their values was always the primary goal. Since renovating and moving onto Cheerful Ridge Farm in spring of 2016, Clark has continued to refine and perfect his 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 Gregory 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. Soon enough, fate brought Maggy and Clark together, and 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 her husband raised, and encouraged Clark to expand to offer others access to the same high-quality beef she was now enjoying. 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. When she's not moving cattle, sheep, or poultry, or wrangling her two sons, she puts on slightly cleaner clothes and works as an attorney and as a leader in the ABA's Agriculture Law Committee, presenting on legal issues that affect farmers, entrepreneurs and the local food movement.
The Little Farmers are the reason we do what we do.