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Southern Belle named Business of the Year

Southern Belle Farm owners, from left, Jake Carter and his father, Jimmy, display their awards for Business of the Year. (Special Photo)

Southern Belle Farm owners, from left, Jake Carter and his father, Jimmy, display their awards for Business of the Year. (Special Photo)

The Henry County Chamber of Commerce recently honored James C. Carter by naming his family business — Southern Belle Farm — Business of the Year.

Southern Belle Farm, a 330-acre working farm where Carter and his family — his wife, three children, and eight grandchildren — live, has been an anchor in Henry County for 75 years.

Located in McDonough, the farm is operated by James Carter and his son Jake Carter. The pair, along with assistance from other family members, have transformed the former dairy farm into an agri-tourism destination. The farm hosts over 70,000 visitors per year from the surrounding area, including from Rockdale and Newton counties.

Highlights of the farm’s agri-tourism activities include a fall pumpkin patch and full lineup of fall activities such as piglet races, pedal cars, cow train, bounce area, corn cannon, corn maze and pick-your-own flower patch; and, starting in April, a spring pick-your-own strawberry patch.

The award is given based on a business’ overall operation, customer service, site aesthetics, marketing, integrity, innovation and community contribution.

Carter was also recognized as the recipient of the Billy Carter Public Service Award, given to a Henry County resident who has served in an elected, appointed or public service job and has rendered exemplary service above and beyond excellence in their own position.

Carter has been active with his church, Bethany Baptist Church, as a deacon and Sunday school teacher. He has also served on the Henry County Board of Education for 18 years, the last 10 as chairman. He has also served for 10 years on the Henry County Water Authority & Sewer Authority, and is currently chairman. In addition, Carter has been a longtime member of the Henry County Farm Bureau.

For more information on Southern Belle Farm, visit www.southernbellefarm.com.