Written By Katie Chappell
Photos By Tori Steyne
There’s a reason the term “family farm” starts with the word family: it takes a whole family to run it! Meet the Setzler family, a true gem within the Newberry community. Ben is the farmer of the family and has been raising livestock his entire life. He comes from a family of farmers and is the third generation of his family to farm in Newberry. To further his knowledge of farming, he attended Clemson University and studied Animal and Veterinary Science. Upon graduation, he returned to his family’s farm where he has since started his own farm with his wife, Tara. He’s active with the local Soil and Water Conservation District and agricultural organizations throughout the state. He serves as the Vice President for the South Carolina Association of Conservation Districts, as well as Vice-Chair for the Newberry Soil and Water Conservation District.
Oddly nestled between an airport and a golf course in Newberry, South Carolina, sits what Ben jokingly refers to as his “experimental farm.” Triple Creek Farm is the product of the Setzlers’ imagination, and the payoff has been grand. It’s not so much that Ben’s doing crazy new things, but that he blends some new ideas with a traditional way of farming that’s a rarity. You might call it radically traditional. Whatever the case, his family puts their love into all their efforts to create products that are good for your body and the environment.
If Ben keeps the farm running, Tara keeps the family running. In addition to her full-time job as a mommy to two wild boys, she is a commercial real estate appraiser. While she appraises a variety of properties, she specializes in the appraisal of agricultural properties as well as conservation easements and properties for federal acquisition. Tara attended Erskine College where she earned her degree in Business Management. She later received her MBA from Winthrop University. Although she works full time, her career allows devoting time throughout the day to raising the boys and assisting Ben with business decisions regarding the farm. Being from a small town, she’s a country girl at heart and loves being involved in both the business and day-to-day operations of the farm. It’s not all business, though, as she also loves finding any excuse to entertain family and friends on the farm.
The boys, as they’re lovingly known, are the reason Ben and Tara try to improve the farm for the next generation. Benjamin, 4, and Eli, 2, are balls of boundless, wild energy, and some days the farm is not big enough to contain them. Since there’s no minimum age to work in agriculture, they have already been hard at work in their few short years. Their farm jobs consist of naming the cows, catching bugs and lizards, riding the tractor, pulling fences with Daddy, and trying to convince calves to eat hay out of their hand. They can always be found getting dirty, breaking things, and getting into mischief. Nothing makes Ben and Tara prouder than raising the fourth generation of farmers to have a love of and respect for the land and animals.
The Setzler family hasn’t just built a business, but an outlet to show their love for one another and their community. Through teamwork and determination, Ben, and Tara, along with their two boys, have worked to provide quality products to those around them, all grown, harvested, and delivered with a smile.