One of our greatest values is stewarding all that God has entrusted to us—from the Board of Trustees (BOT), our staff, the people we serve, and our treasured alumni, to our financials and assets. This includes you. This includes the 340 acres of land at Thornwell’s central campus in the historic town of Clinton, South Carolina.
Caring for creation and stewardship of our land resources is what stirred in the hearts of our BOT and staff as we began a conversation in 2018 to revitalize and reclaim our farmland. With it, we can make a difference for children and families. With it, we can move our mission forward to support healthy communities in the name of Jesus Christ. You make that possible!
Our new Farm Director, Brandon Bowers, joined Thornwell in August 2019, and new Assistant Farm Manager, Jacob Koch, this summer. Brandon brings strong experience in livestock and agritourism, and Jacob offers experience in specialty crops and agritourism. Their experience complements the farm’s strategic approach to diversify operations into livestock, specialty crops, and agritourism. These three divisions of the farm were developed by the steering committee and a deeper land plan including creating a business plan and putting together projections to develop a full 10-year plan for the farm operations.
Sustainable farming practices the farm plans to implement are leading efforts now to prepare for the next 50 years. Cleanup activities are helping to reclaim the land into pastureland and prepare land for our specialty crops. Over the last year, teams have surveyed the land and installed a perimeter fence to prepare for upcoming farm operations.
Regenerative agriculture also helps us to improve the land by adding minerals and nutrients back into the soil. Two wells will be installed and used for irrigation. Ponds are also being reclaimed by cleaning the boundaries to prepare for aquatic life.
This is one of the most exciting realizations of the farm! Not only will proceeds of the farm benefit the children and families served by Thornwell, but they will create significant opportunities for therapy, education, and fun—Thornwell Charter School, Clinton community schools, and children and families served by Thornwell will have access to unique learning opportunities. Thank you for investing in our mission to provide these remarkable experiences!
The farm also supports our mission to build up strong families by offering community festivals and events. Families across the region will enjoy fun-filled experiences at the farm—days filled with hayrides and fruit picking and a jar of your new favorite honey or tea!