The Freed family has called Rockfish Farms their home for four generations. The commercial cow-calf operation, located on Rockfish Road just outside of Waynesboro, VA, is one of the few remaining original homesteads, a fact that instills pride in Buck and Margaret Freed, the third generation to operate the farm.
The Freed family's history in the Shenandoah Valley dates well past 1903, but for Buck, farming became one of his primary occupations in 1961 after an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army; the other, a full time staff member at DuPont for several years, until farming became his sole focus. Margaret played a critical role as the farm business manager while raising their three children.
Currently, in partnership with Buck and Margaret, Kevin, their son, and his wife Lora, farm full-time on the family operation. Kevin returned home to farm after attending Ferrum College. His knowledge of nutrition, genetics, and row-crop production assists in building their existing operation.
The Freed family is a strong advocate for land conservation and water protection. In 2016, Rockfish Farms partnered with the Valley Conservation Council and set aside a portion of their existing property which would both limit development and ensure that the river water quality is protected by a forested buffer and exclusion of livestock. One of Virginia's premier land trusts, the Valley Conservation Council, is a member-supported nonprofit that protects the natural resources, cultural heritage, and agricultural vitality of the greater Shenandoah Valley region. Buck and Margaret want their children and grandchildren "to be able to see the farm used in the future as it has been for the past 100 years."
As for the 5th generation of Rockfish Farms, it is a bright one. Kevin's daughter, Kendall, is currently studying Ag Business and Crop & Soil Sciences at Virginia Tech University. After graduation this coming December, she hopes to return to the Shenandoah Valley and pursue a career in the Ag field and to assist on her family's operation.
Augusta Cooperative is proud to service Rockfish Farms. On behalf of Augusta Cooperative, in celebration of May is Beef Month, we want to extend a special thank you to the Freed family for their dedication to the beef industry.