Student Life

Student-driven venture uses Liberty’s farm property to cultivate dreams

February 21, 2018

Three Liberty University students have created a company, Wholesome Harvest LLC, for the purpose of growing fresh crops and educating the community about responsible stewardship.

By using the land and facilities at the former campus farm on Liberty Mountain — including two high tunnel greenhouses — the students have begun growing flowers and raising egg-laying chickens. They have plans to grow their enterprise over time.

Nathan Pritchard and Morgan Parry (Photos by Jessie Rogers)

Juniors Morgan Parry and fiancé Nathan Pritchard are both pursuing Interdisciplinary Studies degrees and want to own a farm one day. The land is currently being leased to LandTech, a landscaping and pool construction company owned by alumnus Wayne Melancon. LandTech has arranged to let the students use the land for free.

“This opportunity came, and we felt that the Lord was honoring our dream,” Parry said.

“Wayne has been hugely helpful to us,” Pritchard added, “giving us advice when we need it (and) old equipment to help us out.”

Their idea was developed through the Entrepreneur’s Center’s Spark! Incubator program. They partnered with senior Ryan Coble to help with the business aspects. Parry manages hospitality and event planning while Pritchard oversees livestock and maintenance.

Currently, the group is cultivating the land and will soon start selling flowers to local florists and students, as well as offering cut-your-own on-site. They will also sell eggs and plan to expand into produce for students, local grocers, and area farmers’ markets. They may even add more livestock, possibly meat chickens and pigs.

“We would love to grow and add something new every year as we get better and better,” Pritchard said. “It’s really about supplying beautiful things for people that nourish their bodies and nourish their souls. We want to give people great options and great opportunities.”

As part of the vision, the group — with the help of Associate Professor of Business Dr. George Young — is already establishing relationships within the community, including the Region 2000 Workforce Development Board and Lynchburg’s 4H Club. The goal is to educate inner-city youth about sustainability, growing their own food, and basic business principles. Eventually, Parry would like to invite schoolchildren to manage their own plots on the property. They plan to host school groups for educational events and will offer community service opportunities for Liberty students.

“The dream for us is to be out in the community,” Parry said, “teaching about being healthier and more aware of the way that we use the land and the things that we put in our bodies.”

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