My grandmother started the tradition of decorating our farm many years ago. She had sheds filled with decorations for every event and holiday. She loved to take down one set and put up the next set of decorations. When she passed, we kept the tradition alive and moved most of the displays down the driveway for the public to see.We try to decorate for every season. It might be pumpkins for the fall, scary painted containers for Halloween, or painted hay bales and lighted tractors for Christmas. We want tourists to stop in the driveway, take pictures with the decorations, and maybe tag us on Facebook. This helps get our farm name out to the public. We usually put most of the decorations at the end of the driveway next to our farm sign that has our info on it. They will stop, take a picture, and see the information about tours, and hopefully they will make a mental note to come back again.
This tradition also brings our family and employees together to create the decorations. It’s something fun for us to do, and the employees usually look forward to it. This year, dad added to his container display that is mounted on the fence down by the road. Most dairy farms have plenty of used 55-gallon drums just sitting under a shed or barn somewhere. So, dad had the bright idea to start painting them for different seasonal decorations and put lights in them for people to see when they drive by at night. It is something different that you normally wouldn’t see at a farm. As soon as Thanksgiving is through, the fall decorations will come down and the biggest decorations of the year will come out for Christmas, which includes a hay bale display.
We love to display our holiday spirit. It turns people’s heads, gets our name out there, and we have a great deal of fun coming up with ideas and putting it together with family and employees!
Mark and Caitlin Rodgers are dairy farmers in Dearing, Georgia. The Rodgers have a 400-cow dairy that averages 32,000 pounds of milk. Follow their family farm on Facebook at Hillcrest Farms Inc.