Billy Bryant

Bryant Family Farms

Yancey County (15 acres)

Heirloom tomatoes, peppers, red cabbage, beans, cucumber, squash

The Bryant Family has been farming in Yancey County since before the Civil War. Like many farmers in the area, Billy and his family farmed tobacco for many years —in fact, he grew his first tobacco crop of his own at age 11. At 16, Billy purchased his first bit of farmland on which he grew corn, tomatoes, and, of course, tobacco. Unlike many other tobacco farmers, Billy still grows it and has a contract to sell tobacco. However, he now focuses more heavily on growing vegetables with the help of his wife, Becky, and their children. The Bryants’ specialty is their Candy Stripe heirloom tomatoes from which they have been saving seed for over 100 years.

When asked, “What made you wanna pursue farming?” he replied, “It’s in my blood.” Billy likes growing in Burnsville because it is a bit of a microclimate, making the flavor of his tomatoes the best quality due to the slightly cooler climate beyond Madison mountain. Billy has been selling through TRACTOR since we started, due to the ease of marketing.

Billy also sells his produce directly to Ingles.