Grown Here at Home: Franklin County couple makes farming their retirement plan

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FRANKLIN CO., Va. (WDBJ7) Farming isn’t an easy business to get into, must less profit from. So you can imagine that it must take a lot of guts to make farming your retirement plan. Jerry and Joyce Conner of Four Oaks Farms in Franklin County are making it happen.

“My wife and I had wanted to find a means of staying busy after we retired from our regular jobs,” Jerry said.

Joyce has already retired from her nine to five. Honestly, she’s probably busier now than she was before. But to her, it’s nice change of pace.

“I came from the banking world, so I sat a lot behind the desk. So now this is a totally different atmosphere that I'm in now because I'm on my feet and working and walking and I'm out in the sunshine and out in the fresh air and it's just totally different and it's been really, really nice,” she explained.

But why lettuce?

“I stumbled on commercial level growing and realized that there was an area in Virginia that just didn't have it,” Jerry said.

“We went to school for a weekend and looked at everything before we got involved, and just got to see some greenhouses and how they were operating,” said Joyce.

“One thing led to another, and here we are. We've been growing lettuce continuously for over four years now, and loving every minute of it,” said Jerry.

Joyce and Jerry say their customers make this whole farming venture worthwhile.

“They just make it for us because when you sell lettuce and people return and say, 'Oh my gosh that was so awesome. The flavor was wonderful.' Even though you're tired from working all week, when you get those compliments you sit there and go, 'It was worth it,’” explained Joyce.