FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) – If you venture south of Nashville to Franklin, Tennessee, you’ll find a farm that has been operated by the same family for 165 years.
“It has just been the bed rock of our family.” says owner Cindy Gentry.
The nearly 400-acre farm has been owned by her husband’s family since 1848. Their children are the seventh generation on that farm.
“We have a son who swore he would never be a part of it. He grew up and has a degree in psychology, and he’s a full time farmer now, so we’re ready to pass it on to the next generation,” Cindy told News 2.
Over the years, the Gentrys have adapted their farming efforts to be able to maintain the farm and keep it in the family.
Cindy says they try to keep things as simple and as original as they can.
“It’s still a tobacco barn. You can look at it, and if you know anything about agriculture, you will know immediately that’s what it was used for. But we’ve diversified and used it as a maze today since we no longer grow tobacco on the farm,” she explained.
The family raises beef cattle, but their main focus now is to offer educational programs and field trips for school groups.
They started that 25 years ago when their children were little and had no idea how successful their field trip program would become.
It’s one of the Cindy’s favorite events on the farm.
“Seeing kids that have never experienced a farm is the best! Just watching their faces light up, they’re a little timid, scared at first, and then just to see the smile cover their face when they come face to face with a turkey or a goat, it’s just amazing! It just warms my heart,” she said.
Kids can interact with the animals, pick their own pumpkins, or wander through a corn maze.
Many of them walk around on the same exact land that their parents visited as a kid.
“Now that we’ve been open 25 years, we’re watching generations come through the farm, and it’s wonderful watching the kids that came when they were in kindergarten now bringing their children back to the farm to have the same experience,” Cindy told News 2.
The Gentrys field trips are booked for this fall, but the farm is open to the public on Saturdays from 9 to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.
For more information, visit GentryFarm.com.