Barham Farms is a family owned and operated business that has been in production since 1979.
Julian Barham, with an engineering degree from North Carolina State University, decided in 1980 that he wanted to work full time as a farmer. He had worked as an engineer but being in an office wearing a suit and tie was just not for him. Julian wanted to have his family at home and create their own little world where “life is good and simple” and they can make a contribution to the world and take care of the environment.
So now, Julian and and his wife Elaine live and work on their family farm in Zebulon, NC where they are involved in several projects that are “giving back” to the environment. Julian and Elaine started out as independant hog farmers in 1979. Then in 1985, they contracted with Murphy Family Farms, leasing a sow farm in Pittsboro, NC while still taking care of their farm where they also lived.
Then in 1987, the Barhams purchased 3 additional hog farms in Nash County, NC. When this became very inconvenient, and they were driving too many miles to get their work done, they decided to consolidate to gain more efficiency and make things easier. So in 1994, they decided to construct a 4,000 sow farrow to wean facility on their home land which consists of 350 acres.
Julian and his family do not believe in being wasteful and they are big advocates when it comes to recycling.
The Barhams are responsible for several recycling projects and for producing healthy safe gourmet vegetables for consumers. They started normal everyday businesses and used their resources to practice recycling methods making sure that nothing on their farm is wasted. They firmly believe “Waste Nothing. Everything is useful.”
The Barhams started a swine production facility that led to a methane recovery system, generating methane into electricity and they even compost their dead pigs. Then in 2005, they opened up Barhams Recycling Center, where they take wood debris from local companies and grind it into usable wood chips or yard mulch. The chips and mulch are then sold on site to local customers. The Barhams also grow greenhouse vegetables depending on the season specializing in heirloom tomatoes. In addition, they grow field crops such as wheat, coastal burmuda hay, beans, and orchard grass for their horses.
The greenhouses are managed by their only daughter, Julie. Julie purchased property that adjoined the 350 acre farm and built a home there also. She also has a nursing degree as a registered nurse from Wilson, NC. However, like father like daughter, Julie doesn’t like being inside and having a schedule to abide by either. She likes the farm life and enjoys working there with her family and taking care of the greenhouse vegetables, especially the cucumbers.
You can read more about some of Julian’s achievments and some of the many articles that have been written about what the Barhams are doing on their farm. In 1999 they won the Environmental Stewardship Award . In 2001, Julian was named Progressive Farmers “Man Of the Year”. In 1999, he won the “River Friendly Farmer Award by the Soil Conservation Service. Articles were written in the Our State Magzine, Progressive Farmer, National Hog Farmer, NC Pork Council, the Farm Chronicle, the News and Observer, Smithfield Herald, Associated Press and Star News, Herald Sun, Winston-Salem Journal, and the Zebulon and Wendell Record.
The Environmental Stewardship Award Program is an environmental recognition program sponsered by the National Pork Producers Council and National Hog Farmer, and PCS sales.
This award requires constant work and a serious commitment. It is for pork producers who run all types and systems who have shown an outstanding contribution of excellence to the environment. One outstanding pork production system in 5 regions of the US are selected yearly. A national selection committee made up of experts from several pork industry and natural resource organizations review all the nominees. They focus on seven main areas: general production information, management of maure, financial management, neighbor realtions and aesthetics, wildlife management, innovative ideas, and an essay on the meaning of Environmental Stewardship.The National Hog Farmer Magazine Quoted the Following about the winners : “Environmental Stewardship means responsible, respectful, care of our natural resources. It requires constant attention to production practices, manure management programs and a balanced approach to pork production while safeguarding our air, land and water supply. This production system is an excellent example of pork producers committment to a quality environment, often with a twist of innovation. These winners represent families and managment teams working hard to protect the environment placed in their care. They apply time tested management practices to ensure their pork production systems remain in harmorny with the environment.”