Director, Linda Grimes
On Campbellsville Road near the LaRue County line in Nolin’s district 5 sits a destination for many local families. Hinton’s Orchard and Farm Market has long been a place where children taste their first strawberry and teens get their first job. Each year since they purchased the farm in 2006, Jeremy and Joanna Hinton have not only provided the community with a place to find a Halloween pumpkin or spring flowers, they have also established themselves as leaders and key contributors to LaRue County and beyond.
Before they were the owners of their current farm and business, the Hinton’s experienced growing up in families with deep roots in their communities. Jeremy is an 8th generation LaRue County farmer who was born near Magnolia. He was the only child born to parents who farmed beef cattle, row crops, hay and straw. He attended the University of Kentucky where he studied agriculture education. His mother was born into the Ragland family who are also prominent LaRue County farmers with a long history in the area. In fact, Jeremy’s grandfather, Roy Ragland, was instrumental in bringing electricity to LaRue County as one of the original directors of Nolin RECC.
Joanna’s roots are in Marion County where she was one of three children. While not farmers themselves, her dad and grandfather ran a farm equipment business. Joanna studied history at the University of Kentucky and was the first in her family to attend college. She began her career after college in the nonprofit sector working in a historic house museum and in historic preservation.
Joanna and Jeremy met through a mutual friend at UK and starting dating in 2000. They were married in 2002 and had the goal early on of owning their own farming business. They leased the Tommy Bennett Orchard for 2 years and then bought the farm where they have developed their current business in May of 2006.
Both Jeremy and Joanna reflect on the last 17 years on the farm as a time of continuous evolution. They also credit a talented team for helping to make it possible. While they started with growing and selling fall products, they quickly added fruit trees, strawberries, vegetables and flowers. They expanded their business by opening a market store in Elizabethtown in addition to their LaRue County farm market. They been active in both LaRue and Hardin County Farmers Markets and their farm is full of family-friendly experiences such as hayrides, a corn maze and their new jumping pillow. They host many school and other groups throughout the year and create a variety of delicious treats in their commercial kitchen.
In addition to their business, both Jeremy and Joanna are very active in the local community. Joanna has been involved in organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, Leadership LaRue and was just elected for her 11th year on the LaRue County school board. Jeremy has been active with groups such as the Kentucky Horticultural Society, Kentucky Horticulture Council, Feeding America board and he was just recently recognized for his service to the LaRue County Farm Bureau. They also volunteer with their church and children’s schools.
Joanna and Jeremy have three children, Jacob, Joslyn and Joel, who have always been an active part of the farm business with their parents. Jacob is currently a freshman at UK, Joslyn is a freshman at LaRue County High School and Joel, who his mom calls the farm ambassador, is in the 4th grade.
When asked what it means to them to be able to make a life farming and being active contributors to their community, both Joanna and Jeremy talk about how important it is to do their part in making the world a better place. They both share a sense of responsibility to others and the generations that will come after them, important lessons they hope they are passing on to their own children.
As residents, business owners and active contributors to their community, Jeremy and Joanna Hinton are fixtures in LaRue County. Beyond just providing a popular local destination for families to connect to each other and to the land that feeds them, the Hinton’s embody a spirit of giving that has impacts well beyond their farm.