A Family legacy: Lovers Lane resident to donate 55-acre farm to Carter County Schools

A legacy is often something you cannot actively achieve on your own. Instead, many people often work to preserve the legacies of others however they can, thereby achieving their own without realizing.

Louie Greene has been in talks with Carter County Schools for several weeks about donating his family’s farm, coming in at about 55 acres and about half a million dollars, to the school system.

Greene said he considered a variety of different organizations to donate the farm to, but most of them rejected his one stipulation.

“If I donate it, you cannot sell or transfer it,” Greene said.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) did not agree with his terms, and neither did the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Carter County Schools, however, were still “very interested” in the property.

To Greene, the farm is more than a plot of land. It represents a lifetime of his parents’ hard work and dedication, and he said he did not want the new owners to cut it up into subdivisions for profit.

“They worked at North American Rayon Corporation,” he said. “They worked there for 35 years apiece, and after working there eight hours a day, they would come home, change clothes, and work another eight hours in the fields.”

Greene and his parents moved to their home at 135 Lovers Lane, just off the exit ramp from Highway 19E, when he was eight years old, and he worked with his parents on that farm until he joined the military when he was 18.

“My father loved the land,” Greene said. “He was farming since he was a kid. He loved getting involved with farming the tobacco, and Mom was always right there with him.”

Now 70 years old with a pacemaker, Greene said he wanted to find a way for his parents’ legacy to live on after his death, and after looking at various places, he said a friend told him to consider donating the land to the county schools.

“I am so glad I found someone who will take it,” he said. “It will do a lot of good.”

Superintendent of County Schools Kevin Ward said the donation is not yet finalized, as the county needs to determine the legal specifics behind how the donation would work, but he said the school board would make a final decision by next Thursday’s meeting.

Greene said he hopes students in the future will be able to learn the meaning of hard work and where the food they eat comes from.

Greene will maintain a life estate at the farm after the donation, meaning he will continue to maintain and rent out the farm and the three houses on the property until his death.

“I want my parents’ legacy to be there for generations to come,” Greene said.

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