Local farmer, Eddie Paschall, was recently featured on the front cover of the winter 2021/2022 edition of the Tennessee Home & Farm magazine. The feature included an article about how Paschall’s family farm located along the Caney Fork river in Gordonsville traced back to the 19th century. Read Below:
By Amy Beckham
Sometime around 1887, Ebenezer “Eb” McDonald acquired a piece of land right along the Caney Fork River in northern Middle Tennessee. He might have known how special that piece of land was, but what he didn’t know was that more than 100 years later, the land would still be farmed, owned and operated by his family. You see, that’s the story of Eddie Paschall’s more than century-old farm in Smith County.
Eb was a well-known and busy man back in his day. “He had 13 children, and some say he was one of the bigger farm operators of the county,” says Paschall, Eb’s great-great-grandson.
The farm was passed down through several generations of the family before it eventually came to Paschall through his mother. Paschall and his two sisters grew up on the farm with his father operating it mostly, until Paschall was 19 and in college when his father tragically passed away in a tractor accident on the farm. The family sharecropped for a few years to make it before Paschall found his way back to the operation.
“I didn’t come back to the farm immediately,” Paschall says. “I finished college at the University of Tennessee and received my degree in forestry and then worked for the state for a while. In 1973, I was able to be close enough to the farm where I could start really operating it.”
The original homeplace on the farm burned in 1964, so when Paschall and his wife, Brenda, married in 1977, they started work on building a residence on the farm and officially moved there in 1981. They raised two children on the farm and are now bringing three grandchildren up in farm life as well.
Paschall has always had an off-the-farm job but has always been able to manage the roughly 135 total acres they are on now. They have a herd of between 40 and 50 Hereford cattle. In recent years, he’s been running a black Angus bull with the Hereford cattle and has utilized the Tennessee Beef Alliance to market his cattle since the program’s beginning.
Somehow between working a full-time job, operating a century-old family farm, raising a family and much more, Paschall found time to be involved with the Smith County Farm Bureau.
Farm Bureau and Farming
“Uncle Carl was the Farm Bureau agent in Smith County, and I got my insurance through him when I turned 25,” Paschall says. “Then in the early ’90s, they asked me to serve on the board, and I’ve been on it ever since.”
What’s more, Paschall has also served on state committees and found time to travel to state conferences as well. “If you aren’t in there with them making decisions, then you’ll be the one throwing your hands up after,” he says. “Trust me, it’s better to be the ones making the plan than trying to revise it years down the road.”
Paschall is grateful for the voice Farm Bureau gives folks and the connections he’s made through the years because of his involvement with the organization. And in the end, he’s looking forward to what’s to come with the future of his family’s farm.
“If my three grandkids end up with this farm and they really should be able to, I’ll be very pleased,” Paschall says. “It’s just tremendous being here and we’ve had such a big time, I really hope they’ll run with it someday.”