Hey Everyone! We are Joe and Rachel Shenk and we started Shenk Family Farm in 2017. We met in the spring of 2012 while Joe was a Marine Corps Officer at Cherry Point and Rachel was approaching her last year at UNC Chapel Hill. We were married that December and began praying and considering how we wanted to raise our family and live life.
We desired to raise our family in a way that we could grow together through hard, rewarding work and have a lot of meaningful time as a family. We both had some farming in our families and personal backgrounds, so it seemed to be the perfect melding of our personal and family values.
So we bought a bunch of books, watched a lot of videos, and in 2016 decided to buy 40 chickens to raise in our backyard for meat. We honestly didn't know just how much better a pasture raised chicken could be, we just wanted to farm! We gave our first batch away to friends and family and we realized we had stumbled upon something that not only we enjoyed, but our community desired.
We're not going to lie, it hasn't been easy and our journey so far has been one with lots of ups and downs. We have been blessed to lease pasture a few minutes from our house and are praying for guidance and provision to move onto a much needed larger space as we look to expand the farm. Joe currently works full-time with Genesis Custom Construction, which he loves, but that means the majority of the farm work has to be done early mornings, late evenings, and on weekends.
Then, we welcomed our first baby into the family, Mason Warner Shenk, in the fall, which has added all the many blessings and stressors of parenthood to our daily lives, but it has all been worth it to see God's provision as our family and farm grow! We were able to raise nearly 500 broilers and meat ducks as well as collect 600 dozen duck and chicken eggs during our first year and eagerly anticipate more growth and opportunity to do what we love with new customers, markets, and restaurants.
Along the way, our desire to farm has been reinforced time and time again. Since starting the farm, we've become more passionate and informed about the benefits of food grown locally and naturally - food that's nourishing for you physically, but also you can trust was grown with the utmost care. We consider it such a privilege to be parents to Mason and stewards of this farm. We look forward to the rest of our journey to provide trusted quality food to our local community.