The Matt Mittan Show

FYBR: Crooked Creek Highlands w/ Megan & Evan White

October 17, 2023 Matt Mittan / Megan White / Evan White
The Matt Mittan Show
FYBR: Crooked Creek Highlands w/ Megan & Evan White
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

From Megan White:

We own a Scottish highland cow farm in Hamptonville, North Carolina. We bredScottish highlands and we host events including paint parties, yoga, photographysessions, meet and greets, and educational farm tours. We are passionate abouteducating the public and allowing people to get to know these beautiful animals.

A little more about our farm, we are situated in Wilkes County, the foothills of NorthCarolina on 80 acres. Our farmland has been used by our family for over 200years. My husband, Evan and I moved back here after living in Huntersville, NCfor 10 years to pursue our dream of owning a farm. We are currently building ourhouse on the property. We have two young children, Evy (age 2.5) and Beckham(1 year). Evan works for Principal Financial and I am a practicing attorney whenwe are not working on our farm.

We have 14 Scottish Highlands, 3 British White Parks, 2 black angus (werescued), 2 donkeys, a horse, a pony, and 9 adorable goats (four are named afterthe Golden Girls.)

This fall, we have also taken cows for a little "cow therapy" to 5th Street Ministriesin Statesville and Safe Spot Child Advocacy Center in Wilkesboro. They had thechance to pet, brush, and love on our highlands. As an attorney myself, I know how important these resources are for the community so we like to bring somesmiles! We also attended the 1st Annual Davie County Farm Fest and will bedoing the Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival in Elkin this year.

Additionally, we had 60 Wilkes Early College Students visit last week which was really exciting and a firstfor many of them to visit a farm. We really enjoy giving back to the community.

Please check us out on our social media accounts and website.

Website: https://www.crookedcreekhighlands.com/
FACEBOOK       INSTAGRAM
Email: megan@crookedcreekhighlands.com

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Matt Mittan:

From White Lightning to Lightning Fast. The Wilkesboro Find your Backroad podcast covers all the people, places and things that make Wilkesboro one of a kind mountain destination.

Megan White:

Enjoy lively conversations as we welcome artists, local business leaders, event organizers and creatives from around Wilkesboro.

Matt Mittan:

It's the Wilkesboro Find your Backroad podcast and let's welcome today's guests to the program. We have Evan and Megan White on with us from Crooked Creek Highlands Farm and thank you so much for joining us. I'm so excited. We were talking off air. I love Highland cows and I'm excited because I know there's going to be people listening today. They're going to learn something new about an amazing breed of cattle that exists on this planet and we are privileged to have a place to interact with them and get to know them here in the foothills of Western North Carolina. So welcome to the show.

Megan White:

Thank you so much. We are very excited to be here and share our love of Highland cows with everyone.

Matt Mittan:

Yeah, so before we get into introducing the cows, let's go ahead and introduce the two of you. Share a little bit of where you're from. How did you end up doing what you're doing? Those kind of front porch conversation things.

Megan White:

All right. So we are Evan and Megan White. We have. I grew up in Wilkes County, so this is home for me. My husband and I we lived in Charlotte for 10 years and I practice family law on the side and then this is my other side job. We, about a year ago, we decided that we'd really like to move back to Wilkes County. We love this area. It's just. It's so beautiful and a wonderful place to raise a family. So we decided to move back. We're in the process of building a house here and we got very interested in Highland cows and now we have pursued that passion and have been sharing them with everyone.

Matt Mittan:

Well, go ahead Evan.

Evan White:

I was just gonna say I did not grow up here. I actually grew up on the coast, so it's a little bit different change of scenery. But I take it in every day and learn something new every day, and that's that's what makes it exciting for me, and we've met a lot of really cool people through these cows as well, and that's. That's just been a lot of fun.

Matt Mittan:

Well, and you know, if you're growing up on the coast, I'll say the waters we have. If you're getting out to Kerskot or anything, there's nothing in the water trying to kill you.

Evan White:

Yes, yes, you used to alligators and sharks.

Matt Mittan:

Yeah, Unless you get too close to a secret fishing spot of a local guide or something, Right, you know. But now, from what I understand, your your 80 acre farmland. Your family's been using that farmland for a couple hundred years, right?

Megan White:

Yeah, so it's we. My children would be six generation farmers if they continue to pursue this. My grandfather had herford cows, my dad has black Angus and we decided to get into Scottish Highlands. So this has been in our family for a long time, so that makes it extra special and historic for us.

Matt Mittan:

So I have to ask what made you choose Scottish Highlands as what you were going to focus on?

Megan White:

We really you know true story. We bought two. We fell in love with the breed. They have wonderful demeanors, they're very docile, they're much more, um better with human interaction, and the more we read about them, the more we learned about them. Our knowledge grew and our interest grew and we just fell in love with them and thought they would be such a great asset to this area, because there's not many people who have Scottish Highlands and, um, this is such a perfect place for for them.

Evan White:

And having small kids too. That was that went into a factor, and then also the just the breed itself, where they come from in the Scottish Highlands. It's a very resilient breed also, and so they are uh, really fun to work with, but they also are very tough as well. So it's a good climate and it does get cool enough in the winters, and they do okay in the heat as well, even despite all the hair.

Matt Mittan:

Yeah, and they do have that long hair and they've got the uh, the horizontal horns and and things and their size too. And I was telling you about Smitty, my favorite Highland cow near you know where I, where I get to interact and, um, getting to know him over time, I mean there's an actual personality. I mean like he's playful and, like you say, kind of chill, but also beautiful too. And I was telling you and thank you for the kindness of saying a lot of people make this mistake Um, and when he was young and I first saw him, I thought is that a baby buffalo?

Megan White:

Yeah, we get that so often. People are very interested in the breed and we love educating people um and giving them a chance to interact with it, because they're very they're majestic, they're beautiful and they all have their own personality. They're all unique and just really fun to watch.

Matt Mittan:

Well, and so you do a lot of different things. Let's talk about some of the ways that you host events and some of the kinds of things that you're doing and giving people the chance to interact with these Highland cows.

Megan White:

Yeah, so we actually started hosting our first event in March of this year. We do a little bit of everything. We do paint parties, which is a really fun event for people to come out. They get to paint a canvas or door hanger Highland cow related Alongside the cows. They get to interact with them and take a piece of art home. We also do yoga, which has been a huge hit. People really enjoy yoga with the Highlands Now.

Matt Mittan:

I want to point out, though, this isn't like baby goat yoga, where they climb on your back.

Megan White:

No, they do not. That would very much hurt. We actually have had that question. I'm like no, I promise they won't jump on your back.

Matt Mittan:

No stampede is going on.

Megan White:

Yeah, so we have. We've done the Highland cow yoga. We also do a lot of photography sessions for people to create special memories and interact with these animals and have those beautiful keepsakes.

Evan White:

The other thing we've done too that we've found to be a lot of fun is we've had schools out for field trips really engaging way to interact with kids. A lot of kids just don't have any farm experience or have really even seen cattle before, so getting them out here and seeing the reactions on their faces has been really rewarding.

Matt Mittan:

Well, and you have other animals there as well too. You know you're getting a whole experience, of course, getting to see the Scottish Highlands. You know, like we said a couple of times, a lot of people haven't seen them before. There's not a whole lot of them around here. But I know when I first met my first Scottish Highland, I was like, okay, this is the only kind of cow that I want to, you know, interact with, if I have the choice, at a farm, because they're just so beautiful, like you said, majestic, they're so soft and gentle with their demeanor and everything. But you have other things too. Talk about some of the other animals that you have there on your farm.

Megan White:

Yeah, so we have. We have non-Nigerian dwarf goats, four of which are named after the Golden Girls. They are hilarious too. A lot, a lot of fun. We should have some little babies in the spring, so we're excited for that. We also have Zilly, who is a Halflinger pony. He is about seven years old. We have two British white parks and two black Angus that we ended up rescuing, and we have two donkeys, and I think that's everybody right.

Evan White:

There are two other black Angus that have shown up and kind of hang out. We think they want to be Highlands, but yeah, they just show up every day.

Megan White:

They figured out the food routine, and so we've sort of adopted them too, and we can't not feed them.

Matt Mittan:

Yes, and I'm curious, on 200 years of history and 80 acres there, our family has been on the same spot on the mountain that we're on for 40 years and generationally the wildlife here is used to our family and so we have close encounters and everything have there been. You know, is there a familiarity with some of the wild animals that wander across your land, like deer or bears that you have encounters with, that you see from time to time?

Megan White:

Yeah, we've been really fortunate. We have some wild turkeys. We have about 12 of them. Usually every year they come have their babies here and hang out. We saw them yesterday. We also have a mama deer and her two little babies she just had babies and so they come hang out. They're so used to the Highlands they don't really pay on any attention. The turkeys actually will go out and eat whatever leftover feed they drop and it's just fat, it's just beautiful.

Evan White:

You'll see some of the some of our bull especially, will give the turkey a funny look every now and then. Do I chase it off or do I just let it be? But it's kind of it's funny to watch them figure things out. But the turkeys come down almost nightly. We see, we'll see them every, every night we kind of keep count of them to make sure they're all okay. We've got some coyotes and other things in the area as well that we watch out for, but it's a lot of fun to see all the different wildlife, even birds. It seems like we always see a different species of bird come join us as well. Well, I'll go ahead.

Megan White:

Sorry, I also forgot to mention speaking of wildlife are not are. We have seven female goats. They have adopted a cat. When I say that, this cat showed up and has been living with the goats since he was a kitten and he doesn't really like people, but he loves the goats, he hangs out with them, he eats with them, sleeps with them. So we've adopted him. His name is Jinx and he is the. I guess he's the goats pet.

Matt Mittan:

Wow, that's really awesome and you know it's. I talk about it and a lot of different things I do. I talk about nature therapy and how getting out into nature just it's some. There's something that not only helps you reset but can also feed you creatively inspiration and perspective and things like that, and I know that you've taken that kind of concept and adopted it into what you have available on the farm there. Talk a little bit about how you've integrated some therapy type interactions.

Megan White:

Yeah, so I also find that to be true. Being around animals, it's really hard to be sad. When you're around them they're just very wonderful. So we've taken that at. You know, I am a family law attorney and I know what a lot of families go through and the difficulty a lot of a lot of them face. So one thing that we really wanted to do with our business is we wanted to give back, because not everybody has the opportunity to be around these animals. So this past year we went to a domestic violent shelter. We met some wonderful children who got the experience of meeting one of our highlands. Her name is Cotton Candy and they had a wonderful experience. We've also been to some child advocacy centers to give employees just a little bit of sunshine, and we want to continue to do that and give back to the community and the children around this area.

Matt Mittan:

That's fantastic, and so what's the best way for people to stay up with all the different events and different things that you have coming up and that you will continue to have moving forward? I know you have a very full schedule that you're putting together. What's the best way for people to build a relationship with you and the Scottish Highlands?

Megan White:

Yeah, the number one way. If you're interested in Scottish Highlands, follow us on Instagram at Crooked Creek Highlands and Facebook at Crooked Creek Highlands. I post tons of photos, videos. We really want to connect them with the world so everyone has a chance to see these animals, and I post a lot of fun videos and also our events. We also have a website, crookedcreekhighlandscom, where all of our upcoming events are listed and you can find out more information about our farm.

Matt Mittan:

That's fantastic and thank you again for bringing something that really does have such an impact on the community when you open it up and give all kinds of opportunities for people to have these interactions and whether it's through the yoga or painting parties or meet and greets, the educational tours you're doing or the therapy, cow therapy all those things, it really is wonderful and in keeping a legacy of an old property in the area still vibrant and involved. So thank you for all that.

Megan White:

Yes, thank you.

Matt Mittan:

All right and I appreciate you both being on. Be safe out there and we look forward to seeing you on the farm soon.

Megan White:

All right, thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you for listening to the Wilkesboro Find your Backroad Podcast.

Matt Mittan:

To request an interview spot or to advertise email info at wilkescountytourismcom.

Highland Cows
Scottish Highland Cows and Nature Therapy