Let me introduce myself. I am a forty something gal who was born and raised in the big town of South Hill, Virginia (population 4,541). I grew up far from agriculture with my dad being a civil engineer/land surveyor and my mom being a great domestic engineer (a.k.a stay at home mom). I grew up prissy and not appreciating hard work and being dirty.  Being the sassy teenager that I was, I was determined to move to the big city lights and lead a more sophisticated life. There were three things that I said that I would never, ever do. (1) marry a farmer (how dreadful would that be)? (2) get married in December (why would you want poinsettias at your wedding). (3) live in a place smaller than South Hill, VA. Well, never say never, right?  Fast forward to 1991 when girl meets boy and girl falls in love, with who? You guessed it, a farmer! Well, the son of a farmer.   Let me just say, when we first met he was an agricultural economics major with no desire to go to his home town of Drewryville (population 727).   Fast forward to 1993 and two weeks before graduation he says, hey, I want to go home and farm. Huh???   What do you think???   Huh???   Did I ever tell you, I do not like to sweat or get dirty?  So, he graduates and moves home to do the farming thing and after six years of dating he finally says, hey, let’s get married! You know what they say, love is blind.   So, I happily packed my bags and moved to the “big” town of Drewryville to start our next adventure in life.

It was summer time when I moved to the big “D” and lots of work to do on the farm in the summer.   Jeffrey decided that he was going to grow butter beans and that we would freeze them for winter.   High on love, this sounded fun and domestic. Not! Let me say that we had been to a friend’s wedding the night before and we had a GRANDE time. Jeffrey says, honey we need to get up early before it is too hot to pick the butter beans, ok.  Did you know you must pick those boogers by hand?   Did you know that there are a lot of flying bugs in the hot humid summer? Did you know you sit on a five-gallon bucket bent over picking butter beans for a very long time? Well, I was not feeling the best from our evening out and when the sun began to really beat down, well, let’s just say it was not one of my finest moments. Nor, was it his best light bulb moment inviting me to assist with the butter bean picking.   I was able to compose myself and return to my duties of picking.  After, listening to me sing “Green Acres is NOT the place for me” over and over.  He gladly sent me packing to the house and has never requested my help in picking again! 22 years and counting…. Thank goodness!

So, those 3 things that I said I would never, ever do. Yes, I married a farmer, moved to a much smaller town and got married in December.   And, no I did NOT have poinsettias at my wedding! I must say, marrying this farmer was by far one of my finest moments. It was not long after getting married and having kids that he had a major light bulb moment. Hey Steph, why don’t you cook and sell the peanuts we grow direct to the customer. Huh??? Are you crazy??? We have a 3½ year old and a 1½ year old…..and so our gourmet peanut business was created in 2002.   I would cook and package and ship peanuts all with the help of mommies’ little helpers and a lot of help from my mother in law. As the years have passed, I must say, that I still do not like to sweat or get dirty, but very much appreciate hard work, but hey, you do what you gotta do!  With hard work comes many rewards!  So just like that, I became the CEO of my family’s business, and the cook, packer, janitor, secretary, accountant, the Jack (or Jill) of all trades.

Now, I cannot take all of the credit.  The Pope boys have been growing the finest Virginia peanuts since the late 1800's on our 5,500-acre farm in Southampton County, Virginia long before I entered the picture.  Our peanuts are truly the cream of the crop.  We grow only the world-famous Virginia jumbo peanut, prized by gourmets everywhere for its impressive size and even more incredible flavor.

As generational farmers, the love of the land has been instilled in many ways. Waking up early and looking upon the fields as the fog hangs just above your crops and the sun begins to shine and the dew begins to evaporate and that earthy smell meets your nose. It’s harvest season and the picking has begun and the delicious aroma of peanuts is in the air for miles. Sitting on the porch and watching the sensational sunsets over the fields, listening to the birds and crickets and farm equipment being parked for the evening.  My favorite, watching the billions of stars light up the sky. There are not many professions where you get a do over.  Farming allows us just that.   Planting season is a do over year after year.  It is a season of great optimism and angst.  Certain growing conditions are needed to succeed, soil temperature and moisture are vital to success and it never goes according to plan.  We have just completed planting season and now we hold our breath hoping and praying that god will provide the necessary temperatures and moisture needed.

I truly believe that farming is like being in Vegas, it is one big gamble! It is not for the faint of hearts.   Knowing that all your eggs are in one basket can be too much for some to bear.  It does not take but just a couple of bad years to put you out of business!   Most family farms today are generational because of the immense appreciation for the land and its unique lifestyle.   It is a lifestyle of back breaking work at times, but with that hard work, comes tremendous rewards. The overwhelming feeling of accomplishment that comes from putting a seed into the dirt, and with water, sun and a lot of hard work, you are able to produce something that is greater than you.   Quality time with the kids, teaching them how to drive a tractor or showing them how to take soil samples or teaching them how to drive on the farm path.  Date night may be riding around the farm checking on crops or riding in the tractor during harvest or planting. This may sound horrid to some, but it is the simple things and quality of time that brings pleasure.  There is nothing 9 to 5 about farming.   Being able to witness the bounties of nature daily is something that we never take for granted. Sustainability is crucial for the survival of our farm.  Not only are we helping to feed the world, but we are feeding our precious family from this same land.  We are thankful for new technologies that help us in the field and allow us to be more efficient with innovations such as GPS or technologies that help us conserve water.  Protection of our natural resources is critical for growing a healthy crop. Did you know that peanuts are the most water efficient nuts grown? Peanuts are naturally sustainable and efficient.  As parents of two teenage daughters it is very important to us as parents, to pass our legacy to our girls in a state of healthy prosperity, so they too, can continue to grow healthy peanuts and excel for the next generation.

Quality control is our trademark throughout every step of the process - from growing, harvesting and cooking our crop of delicious peanuts to shipping them to any destination you may choose. Our cooking process deserves special mention.  Each batch of our Virginia peanuts is cooked according to a time-honored family recipe in pure 100% peanut oil.    Our artisan product is made to order in small batches, so you get the freshest product possible.  With 30 essential vitamins & nutrients they are a superfood and peanuts have 7 grams of protein, more than any nut. We believe with 7 grams of protein peanuts provide you energy for a good life, and with our hectic lives who doesn’t need more energy.   Our peanuts reflect our passion, heritage and love of the land and we hope that you will agree, our Virginia peanuts are the absolute best! Happy eating from this small-town gal, who went smaller and got big! Country girls do survive! #smalltowngalgoescountry

All the best,


Love the land • Respect your roots • Give your best