Meet Chasen Matthis, a senior at New Life Christian Academy. We took his senior pictures at his family’s farm, which was the perfect backdrop not just because of its beauty, but because it is Chasen’s passion. On the whole, Chasen is a pretty stoic young man, but his entire demeanor changes when he starts talking about tractors, cattle, or anything on the farm. He truly lights up! The knowledge and passion he possesses for the family farm is amazing.
After graduating, Chasen plans to attend Sampson Community College to take trade classes like welding and electric. His plans also include buying some cattle of his very own. One day he hopes to take over the family’s farm that his great grandfather started.
Perhaps, though, pictures can tell you Chasen’s love of farm and hope for agriculture better than any amount of words could. This is Chasen’s story:
I love when a few of my favorite things combine together to make a fun day. Last Saturday, my family and I went to the Got to Be NC Festival.
This event is held at the NC State Fairgrounds and hosts a ton of North Carolina vendors and products. There is a tractor parade, flea market, rides, and games. One of my favorite parts (actually it was the BEST part) was trying lots of food. One of the great things about the event is you can pay $2 for all-day access into a giant building filled with food vendors that are giving away all sorts of free food. FREE FOOD! After writing that, I’m realizing that the $2 negates the free part, but it is basically free and so very worth it. Even cooler was the fact that all of the food was NC based. There were peanuts, hot sauces, mints, wine, dips, Bright Leaf hot dogs, and so much more. My favorites had to be Cherry Orchard Food’s pretzel dip mixes (we got the buffalo bleu and chili, cheese, bacon flavors) and the pickled green beans and Bloody Mary mix by Bruce Julian. Of course, I could have stayed at the Bright leaf hotdog station forever, but I feel like that is a given. Gideon was in heaven with all of the hot sauce samples (the boy absolutely loves hot sauce and has never found one he couldn’t handle). Isaac was obsessed with Sunshine Energy drink. Thankfully, he didn’t get wound up off of the samples. All in all, the $2 was absolutely worth it!
I paid another $2 to try some very odd food. I ordered deep fried sweet tea. It was essentially a doughnut drenched in very syrupy tea. While it wasn’t bad, it was too sweet for me. Daddy ordered frog legs. Now, if you know me, you know I HATE frogs. I am utterly petrified of them, yet somehow, for some reason, I ate a bite of the frog legs.
I know. I may be going insane, but it wasn’t half bad until I actually thought about it. Then it wasn’t so good. I can cross it off my bucket list, though (not that it was really on it). Adding to the craziness, was our photo bomb guy. Do you recognize him?
He is Anthony Anderson, an actor. He has played in movies like Transformers. He was at the festival, filming for a food show, and he totally photo bombed us! Too funny!
Our main point in being at the event was not food, believe it or not. My brother, Alec, and I both received NC State Fair Livestock scholarships along with 22 others and were invited to come to the shin dig for a ceremony. The scholarship is brand new, and was started with a change to the NC State Fair livestock sale. A percentage of the proceeds of the Sale of Champions goes to the scholarship fund. Awesome, huh? Alec and I were very honored to receive the scholarship and participate in the festivities. We met the NC Commissioner of Agriculture and got to ride in the tractor parade. Our families were able to ride in the parade too. It was perfect.
It was also a nice final hurrah. Garrett and his family (he and his sister also received the scholarship) were able to come to the festival. Garrett was leaving that day to drive to Illinois where he would be working as an intern all summer for Maschoff’s, a large hog company. I’m super proud of him, but it was bittersweet to see him go.
I jokingly told him I was now single for the summer. No worries, I’ve only gone on one date so far. They were short, blonde and cute. Don’t you agree?
The rest of the day was spent walking around and enjoying everything.
So, there you go–a quick recap of some of the happenings around. I strongly recommend the Got to Be NC Festival and definitely the $2 entry to try all the NC based foods.