Youngsville farmer makes comeback after road construction project, COVID-19 slow sales

Akilah Davis Image
Wednesday, November 1, 2023
88-year-old Youngsville farmer makes comeback
EMBED <>More Videos

After some of the worst years for his business in decades, Charles Strickland's farm is starting to turn around.

YOUNGSVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- As a boy, Charles Strickland would run the fields of his family-owned farm tending to the produce, but at 88 years old he uses a golf cart to get around.

He runs the Strickland U-pick Farm and grows a variety of produce including corn, peas, butter beans, snap peas, collard greens and cabbage.

His family has owned the property for generations. Since he's taken over years ago, he had never seen profits as low as he did over the last few years. His income was cut in half. He blames the COVID-19 pandemic and U.S. 401 road-widening project for the business slowdown.

"If you pass a roadside stand on the other side, but you've got to go way down and you don't want to take time to turn back, you miss it," said Strickland.

Thanks to a Facebook post from a viewer and news article, the community came to the rescue.

"They flooded me. I think one Friday afternoon, about four of us were working here to pull corn together," he said.

The U.S. 401 project is now complete. It expanded the road from two lanes to four to accommodate the demand of people moving to the community. As housing developments pop up around Strickland's nearly 300 acres of land, he's benefitting from that.

"It's good. I've got people from up north coming to buy stuff from me now," said Strickland. "Good customers."