Project #82 – Suttles Farm2950 Waldens Creek Rd, Sevierville, TN 37862
Property Type: Working Farm
Farming is a big part of my life, my family’s legacy and our regional heritage. It’s worth preserving.
– Mike Suttles, 7th generation farmer pictured here with his late father Roy
Mike Suttles’ family settled along Waldens Creek in the mid- 1800’s and their property’s deeds go back to the original land grants. Mike’s 206 acre Sevier County farm is one of the last remaining working farms and cattle producers in the Walden’s Creek valley. This quintessential and majestic East Tennessee valley is located adjacent to the growing cities of Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Seymour. The farm also has a Tennessee Century Farm designation, which is part of a state-wide initiative to recognize individual farms owned by the same family for at least 100 years.
Back in 2009, Suttles and his family opted to place his farm in a conservation easement with Foothills Land Conservancy. This agreement permanently preserves the land from commercial and residential development but also allows it to stay as a working farm or natural area. Roughly ¾ of the property is forested and includes mature hardwoods such as oak, hickory, maple, and tulip poplar. The remainder of the farm is in open pasture and hay fields.
For Suttles, the unique opportunity for a landowner to say how their property will be preserved and stewarded ‘in perpetuity’, or forever, is invaluable:
“I realized early on that it was important for me to support the efforts of FLC in many ways, including through annual giving. Over the years, this organization has given me, my family and community the tools and resources we need to preserve our rural character.”
When he’s not working on the farm pruning apple trees, mending fences, or taking care of his Santa Gertrudis cattle and Tennessee Walking Horses, Mr. Suttles is a professional land surveyor for Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Knoxville and surrounding areas. He is also serving his 5th term on FLC’s Board of Directors.