Meet KK and Will Proffitt of Hoodley Creek
Kathleen “KK” Proffitt has been connected to land and animal since day one. Watching her grandfather milk the family cow, Adorabelle, climbing the hay feeders’ ladder to find nests full of eggs, and stopping by the hog pen to throw scraps are just some of her fond, childhood memories. During those early summers, KK, a sixth- generation farmer, learned the ins and outs of farm life from her grandparents and great grandparents. They taught her to raise livestock, how to gather and observe wild plants, to grow fruits and vegetables, fish and maintain waters, and keep pastures in best condition.
These days KK and her kids are raising and breeding registered Katahdin Hair Sheep on the family land passed down since 1850. The Proffitt’s Hoodley Creek is named after the creek running through the hay field, the same trickling waters a young KK used to wade in and catch tiny fish. KK coordinates record keeping and medical care of the farm’s sheep, including vaccinations and veterinary work that doesn’t require special services, such as the delivery of lambs. Her children, William and Molly, are seventh-generation farmers. Will manages the farm, feeds and waters the sheep, and makes hay. He’s also the primary salesperson at farmers markets and loves to teach people different lamb cooking methods and recipes.
The Proffitts sell at Nourish Knoxville’s Market Square Farmers’ Market, Depot Street Farmer’s Market in Greeneville, TN, and have farm pick-ups for customers preferring to pick out their lamb cuts and whole lambs to be processed at USDA facilities. KK believes that that farmers markets help drive Hoodley Creek’s business growth while opening up unique opportunities like their lamb tasting event that was sponsored by the American Lamb Board.
“Our favorite part of farmers’ markets is meeting people and finding out their favorite foodie needs and ideas,” explains KK. “Through them, we’ve met many chefs and we’ve sold to some very high-end restaurants and large catering affairs. We also love buying the freshest food in the world. When you shop at farmers’ markets, the products you buy taste better and last longer because they are just picked.It’s a great experience to participate in an atmosphere where you can sell your own product that you have worked hard to make sure is the best available and to buy from other vendors who feel the same way. Plus, sales days are super-charged fun! Everyone is usually in a great mood because they are surrounded by beautiful, fresh food!”