Local News

July 7, 2013

For some, farming is a family affair

To Pat Scoggins, it’s work. To Tony Scoggins, her son, it’s an escape from work.

But both agree farming at Scoggins Farm in Subligna in Chattooga County has brought their family closer in a way most families don’t experience.

“I grew up on it,” Tony Scoggins said. “That’s one of the reasons I do it.”

The Scoggins brought their farm-grown tomatoes, peppers and other produce to join several local farmers at the Downtown Dalton Saturday Market.

The market is held at the corner of Thornton Avenue and West Waugh Street every Saturday through August from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. If it rains, as it did Saturday, the market is held inside the parking deck adjacent to the BB&T Bank at 201 W. Waugh St.

Despite a steady downpour, both mother and son were more than happy to be out talking with other farmers and patrons. It’s something they’re passionate about; something they attribute to Pat Scoggins’ late father, a gardener and cattle farmer.

“My son got my daddy’s genes,” Pat Scoggins said. “Somehow we keep at it. It’s just part of our family.”

Virginia Richards, a retired teacher from Bagley Middle School in Murray County, said she probably wouldn’t even be a farmer had it not been for her family.

“Me and my husband grew up doing farming and moved away from it as adults,” she said. “Life got busy but then we found ourselves coming back to farming.”

Richards said she lost interest in farming when her father died.

“My husband’s mom and dad went the same way,” she said. “We just changed after that.”

Until her grandson, who has autism, pulled her back into the farming lifestyle.

“We just became more aware of food additives and preservatives in things he was eating, things we were eating,” Richards said. “We really realized what we had given up.”

What they’d given up was a heritage, Richards said. Beulah Farms in Spring Place, where Richards and her husband work, has been in her family for five generations.

Family and farming are intrinsic to each other, Pat Scoggins said.

“I was raised on a farm. All my life my daddy gardened and farmed,” she said. “When I got married 52 years ago, me and my husband bought a farm. When my husband’s dad died, that farm joined ours.”

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