This is the second year of the Young Farmer of the Day program at the Got To Be N.C. Festival. This program, sponsored by AgCarolina Farm Credit and AgSouth Farm Credit, recognizes three young farmers who work hard everyday to impact our state’s agriculture industry & blaze the trail for a strong future. Individuals either nominated themselves or were nominated by members of the community. One young farmer will be recognized each day of the Got To Be N.C. Festival, taking place May 19-21, 2023 at the N.C. State Fairgrounds!
Sami Parker, with Marks Creek Farm Market in Knightdale and Parker Ag Inc. in Wendell, has been in love with the life of agriculture since she was a little girl. Growing up at Marks Creek Farm Market, originally started in 2003, she has had a major hand in the growing, harvesting and production on the farm since the very beginning. In fact, she is now owner of the farm and dreams of growing and expanding it to impact generations. As a recent graduate of N.C. State University, she is ready to take on the world of agriculture and inspire others to do the same.
Although the farm has been in operation since 2003, the farm market was developed by Sami to reach a growing need in her community for local produce. During the spring, the farm produces a variety of eastern vegetables and operates a pick-your-own strawberry patch. In the fall, Sami produces fall vegetables, apples and fall decor that is all available at the market for visitors to purchase and enjoy. “As a true young farmer of this day, she hopes to bring a new and fresher option to her community through these products offered on the farm,” said Sami’s mother and business partner, Dana Parker. “Her dream is to grow Marks Creek Farm Market into a spot where families can come to purchase all of their grocery needs.” She is not only passionate about growing the absolute best products for her customers, but also sharing her farming story with others in the hopes of inspiring and educating them.
Sami recently graduated from N.C. State University where she gained lots of knowledge that she plans to use on the farm. Throughout her college years, she has taken the things she learned and applied them to develop a place that is attractive and intriguing to all ages and walks of people. She interacts with her customers and the public everyday on the farm and through her social media presence. “She is very passionate about telling her farming story,” Dana said. “She puts value on learning her customers and allowing them to get to know her as their farmer. She takes pride in telling them how passionate and attentive both her and the rest of her family members are in ensuring that the food grown for their tables are the best products possible.” Marks Creek Farm Market can be found on Facebook and Sami herself can be found on Instagram at @samanthaaa.parker and Facebook as Samantha Parker.
Sami is excited and honored to represent the N.C. Agriculture industry as the Young Farmer of the Day at the Got to Be N.C. Festival on Friday, May 19, 2023. She believes that this nomination will not only encourage her in future farming efforts, but also other young women, like herself, that have a desire to serve in their agricultural community. “Those who read this nomination and learn my story through it will see that the people who grow their food are passionate about the quality of food that is feeding families in their community and state,” she said. “To reach and teach the customer about who their farmer is and how their food is grown is my top priority.” Be sure to look for Sami today in the daily tractor parade at 1 p.m. and, if you see her around the festival, be sure to thank her and her family for their hard work. We are excited to see where her future in the agriculture industry will lead!