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The Austin Family

$2,500 — Petting Zoo
Because of this grant, “We’re able to transition our farm operation and maintain our family land in order to leave a profitable agricultural operation for our children.” ~ The Austin family


The Austin family is the last remaining dairy operation in Yancey and Mitchell Counties. The dairy along with tobacco production has been the primary income source for this family. With the loss of tobacco income their challenge is to create an alternative business. The whole family is invested in converting the tobacco barn into a small petting zoo facility for youth.

The start of this new agri-tourism business will educate the community about the importance of agriculture and will replace part of the income lost from tobacco.

NC Cooperative Extension agent Stanley Holloway is the primary consultant on this project and believes that this project will demonstrate to other farmers how agri-tourism can generate income for the farm.

Yancey County

Contact the Local Extension Agent