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Farm Tour Stop 6: Smith Family Farm

If you’re itching for some farm life up-close and personal, then look no further. Right in Gainesville, the Smith Family Farm on Artemus Road near Catharpin has been in the farming business for more than a century. Once again, they are a featured farm on the region’s annual Wild Western Prince William County Farm Tour.

The 11th annual farm tour is scheduled for Sept. 24 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sept. 25 from noon-4 p.m. Designated in 2003 by the Virginia Department of Agriculture as the county’s only “Century Farm,” Smith Family Farm has been continuously owned and operated for more than 100 years by five generations of Smiths.

Brad Smith grew up on the farm and now runs the business with his wife, Leigh, and their children. “It first belonged to my great grandparents. Now our kids help with farm chores. They collect eggs and help with other jobs. That’s just what my parents did with me,” Smith said. The Smiths and their three children: Shiloh, 7; Sierra, 6; and Eli, 3 participated in last month’s 62nd annual Prince William County Fair in Manassas.

The farm has three different breeds of cattle: Angus, a French beef breed and Scottish Highland, which is one of the oldest breeds in the world. The cattle are grass-fed, which is healthier for customers, plus better for animals and the environment. “This is old-school farming; we put the animals in open fields,” Smith explained. The farm is U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected and is a Virginia quality-assured beef producer. In addition to cattle, the Smiths raise pigs, different breeds of sheep, turkeys and chickens and produce hay. 

During the farm tour, visitors will get a dose of daily life on the 211-acre farm. Leigh Smith, who organizes the tour said, “We get so many people that day. We have a hay wagon ride, which takes people on a tour of the whole property; it lasts about 30-45 minutes.” Visitors will learn how pasture rotation is done (moving animals to different locations), and will see and have a chance to pet some of the animals. They can also see the brooder house where the chicks start out before they’re turned out to grass areas.

More information on the farm tour is on its website:

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