Revitalizing the Jernigan Farm

The Jernigans
Wednesday 01 May 2024

The Jernigan family is reconnecting to their agrarian roots under the leadership of the youngest sibling, Timothy Jernigan. He stated, “My vision is slowly formalizing into a working farm with a touch of urbanization. Our parents (Joe Lewis and Octavia) raised five boys and two girls on this bucolic farm. Our dad believed in the ethic of work. We learned to work collectively as a team to accomplish our tasks on the farm and in other venues.” 

The Jernigan Farm operation consisted of planting and harvesting crops to supplement the family’s income. “We planted the traditional crops of peas, green beans, tomatoes, corn, and other southern staples. Additionally, we raised cattle to support the family’s nutritional needs, especially during the winter months. You could describe our dad, Joe Lewis Jernigan, Sr., as an entrepreneur and a legitimate hustler. He created income from multiple streams. He worked at Georgia Pacific Wood Plant in Louisville, MS, as a full-time employee. However, our dad taught the boys how to generate income from harvesting and hauling pulpwood.”

During the 70s and 80s, most families in Winston County had access to a short wood or pulpwood truck. Their parents allocated the income from this back-breaking work to purchase music equipment for the Jernigan brothers’ DJing business. “Learning the art of work at an early age has been a bonus for my siblings. We are thankful and appreciative of our parents for teaching us the art of survival.”

Timothy stated, “Our parents died more than twenty years ago, and I want to keep the family legacy alive. Initially, we leased the farmland to local cattle herders for grazing purposes. This process did not create viability or yield positive financial results.” Timothy has decided to shift gears and focus on the farm’s natural resources. “My wife, Shani, and I are contemplating renovating the family home. We want to add two bedrooms and two bathrooms. We have revamped and expanded the pond into a seven-acre lake. We will stock the lake with crappies and catfish.” 

Additionally, Timothy said, “We will add walking and ATV trails for recreation. This is phase one of our long-term plan. We planted peas, corn, and watermelons in the second week of April.” 

The Jernigan Farm is on Mt. Olive Road, Louisville. The Winston County Self Help Cooperative provides Timothy with technical assistance.

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