#EscapeWithNCAg is a year-long series that will focus on agritourism across North Carolina. Many farms, wineries and other agricultural businesses in our state offer events such as tours, yoga, educational classes, pick-your-own events and festivals, to entertain the public and teach them about our state’s number one industry. Each Thursday, we will feature a new site for you to visit with friends or family. Stay tuned and learn how to escape the stresses of life by diving into agriculture!
A life of farming can be muddy and full of obstacles, especially at Porter Farms, Inc. Located in Mount Pleasant, the farm offers a variety of fun events throughout the year to help you enjoy life on the farm and get your adrenaline pumping, including the widely-popular Spartan Race.
Ten years ago, Jared Porter and his family received a call from Spartan Race requesting to host an upcoming race on the farm. Home to over 500 acres of land, the farm offers the perfect spot for children and adults alike to experience a fun time on the farm through obstacle course racing. Each year, Porter Farms hosts three large races, Spartan, Bonefrog and Muddy Princess, which is a women’s only race. “I have always loved to run and my friends got me into the obstacle races a few years prior to the event being hosted on our farm,” Jared said. “I enjoy working with the companies and having an input in the way the course is set up. It’s an honor to have the farm showcased in this way each year.” Spartan typically takes place in the spring, whereas Bonefrog and Muddy Princess occur in the fall.
This April, you can get in on the fun by participating in the Spartan Race at Porter Farms! Each race consists of over 20 obstacles, including monkey bars, sandbag carries, spear throws and rope climbs. The total course is about 3 miles long, but runners can take it at their own pace either as individuals or in groups. Jared helps plan the course each year and always tries to incorporate trails that showcase the beauty of the farm and dedication of the family to their land and lifestyle. “This farm is our livelihood that we preserve for the next generation,” Jared said. “I love being able to open the farm, as raw as it is, to the public to run and enjoy with their family while also seeing how we care for the land and the animals that we raise here.” Jared and his family enjoy running the race themselves to listen and see how people respond to the farm and build new connections within the community.
The Spartan Race at Porter Farms will take place on Saturday, April 15th, and Sunday, April 16th, this year. Tickets start at $125 and build based on the time, date and heat entered. “The two day event consists of many different race levels,” Jared said. “We have a sprint race, which is one of the most popular, a kids race and a teams race that helps individuals work together to overcome obstacles throughout the course.” Check out Spartan.com to register for the upcoming event as well as bonefrogchallenge.com and muddyprincess.com for more information on the fall races, including how to register.
In addition to mud runs and Spartan races, Porter Farms also hosts many weddings in their beautiful on-site barn venues each year and offer farm tours to agricultural groups throughout the community. Porter Farms property is split 50/50 into two different locations, the Farm at Brusharbor and the Farmstead, each being home to a beautiful barn that is perfect for weddings. “My wife and sisters operate the wedding business, while I mostly help them with the repairs when needed,” Jared said. “Typically we host about 100 weddings a year, split between the two venues.” Although Jared prefers the races and farm labor as opposed to the weddings, he says it is always an honor to have couples choose their farm as the location for their special day.
Porter Farms is home to about 400 head of Angus cattle, ranging throughout the year based on number of cow/calf pairs, 2,000 sow farrow to wean pigs, two pullet houses and 4 layer hen houses. They also operate a greenhouse where they are currently growing a variety of annual and perennial plants. “We recently started offering freezer beef products to interested customers, including quarters, halves and individual cuts,” Jared said. Orders can be placed through their Facebook or Instagram page until the farm store is established on-site. This project is currently in the works and the Porter Family is very excited about the endless opportunities it will open and provide for the community.
Check out their website and social media pages for the latest information on products and races at the farm. Be sure to visit the Spartan website to register for your spot in the April race and learn all about the hard work that is done for our state’s agriculture industry at Porter Farms!