Glenmary Farm has been home to the Nixon family since 1980. The farm is located in the historic Rapidan area of Orange County, where it borders the Rapidan River. The property has a rich history that dates back to 1733 when Charles Spoe of Richmond County leased the farm from Governor Alexander Spotswood’s massive land holdings. The lease was typical of Spotswood’s “leases for lives.” The term of the lease was for the lifetime of the tenant and rent was to be one ear of Indian corn per year for the first four years while the land was being cleared and buildings were being constructed. After that the rent was seven hundred and eighty pounds of tobacco per year.
The name Glenmary was given to the farm when Governor Spotswood received the land patent from the King of England. During 1733, a small house was built on the farm and is considered to be one of the oldest structures in Orange County. Over time, two additions were added on to the original structure. In 1983, the Nixon family donated the original portion of the house to the James Madison Museum in Orange, Virginia.
The Civil War brought many battles to the area. During the winter of 1863, the farm served as part of a confederate encampment with over 75,000 troops living on Clarks Mountain. Many Civil War artifacts have been found and in wooded areas on the farm there are still Civil War trenches.
The Nixon family became part of this strong heritage when Tom’s parents Bob and Bettie Nixon purchase the farm. Tom and his father had a small commercial cow herd and backgrounded several hundred head of cattle. In 1992, Tom married Kimberley Horn and with their goal to raise a family on the farm, they decided that diversification would be the key to a successful future. The past 26 years has provided us with many challenges and accomplishments. We have seen our farming operation evolve and grow into a business that we never thought would be possible when we first got married.
One of our main goals has always been to have our children, Elizabeth and Robert, become a part of our successful farming operation. They have both developed a strong passion for working on our farm and for today’s agricultural industry.
Elizabeth, a 2016 OSU Alumna, is back on the farm managing the cowherd. In addition, she has a communications business in which she offers photography, videography and design services. She also works as the Member Services Coordinator of the VA Angus Association. Robert graduated from the University of Northwestern Ohio in 2017 where he majored in Diesel Mechanics and Ag Technologies. His primary focus on the farm is crop work and mechanics.
AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
- 2017 Family Farm Environmental excellence award – Presented by US Poultry & Egg Association
- 2014 Virginia Farmer of the Year – Presented by the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo
- 2012 Virginia Commercial Producer of the Year – Presented by Virginia BCIA
- 2012 Commercial Producer Roll of Excellence – Presented by The Beef Improvement Federation
- 2012 and 2006 Environmental Excellence Award – Presented by Cargill Turkey Production
- 2012 Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award Semifinalist – Presented by US Poultry and EGG Association
- 2009 Commercial Producer of the Year – Presented by Virginia Angus Association
- 2001 Pilgrim’s Pride Environmental Stewardship Award
- 2001 Received joint Resolution 338 from the Virginia State Senate with State Senator Ed Houck as the Patron recognizing our leadership in agriculture
- 2000 Virginia Farm Bureau Young Farmer of the Year
- 2000 awarded the Bay Friendly Clean Water Farm Award by the Department of Conservation and Recreation
- 1998 Orange County Chamber of Commerce Farm Family of theYear