A “Berry” Sweet CALS Love Story

meeting at North Carolina State School, to touring the world, to rebuilding a family farm, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences alumni Austin and Christina Wrenn do nearly the whole thing collectively, they normally wouldn’t have it another means.

“I’m so grateful that our lives are like this,” says Christina. “It could be truly hectic at cases, nevertheless I wouldn’t change it.”

All Paths End in NC State

Austin grew up in Zebulon, North Carolina, on, the family farm he and Christina now deal with. Wrenn’s Farm, which produces scale back flowers and strawberries, started as a tobacco farm. Inside the Nineteen Sixties, Austin’s grandfather constructed greenhouses to develop tomatoes and cucumbers. Later, Austin’s father started rising strawberries after taking some packages at NC State.

Austin decided he, too, wanted to attend NC State and graduated in 2016 with a degree in agribusiness administration. After graduation, Austin labored with Sundrop Farms, a world agency that focuses on using sustainable greenhouses to supply latest vegatables and fruits.

Austin and Christina Wrenn with flowers from Wrenn’s Farm.

Whereas working at Sundrop Farms, Austin was impressed to proceed his coaching, and he’s wrapping up work on a grasp’s diploma in horticultural science in Mark Hoffmann’s lab group after taking classes part-time over the earlier quite a few years. Austin moreover for the time being serves as a result of the president of the North Carolina Strawberry Affiliation.

Christina grew up west of Asheville, North Carolina, in Haywood County, on a cattle farm. She attended NC State as a Goodnight Scholar and graduated with ranges in agribusiness administration and horticulture in 2018.

The Start of With out finish

The couple met in 2013, all through Christina’s first week of faculty, at a cookout for the NC State chapters of Alpha Gamma Rho, an agricultural fraternity, and Sigma Alpha, an agricultural sorority.

The couple reconnected throughout the spring of 2014 when Christina was assigned a problem on farmers markets.

Austin and Christina Wrenn whereas discovering out abroad in Europe.

“I remembered that one amongst my associates, Harrison, had a buddy that went to a farmers market, and that was Austin,” Christina explains. “Harrison launched me to Austin as soon as extra at a CALS pizza event. We truly hit it off, and I knew in a short while that we had been going to get married.”

Austin offers: “I actually really feel like we merely truly clicked. It takes a selected explicit individual to put up with quite a few the problems that farming can entail, and he or she has the suitable work ethic.”

In 2015, Austin and Christina studied abroad in Italy and Croatia, a go to that they’d every signed up for individually sooner than they started relationship. Their travels continued with a freeway journey to Seattle, Washington, after Austin’s graduation, after which to Australia, the place Austin was working with Sundrop Farms and Christina was discovering out abroad.

Strawberries rising in a greenhouse at Wrenn’s Farm.

“After I used to be employed, they talked about, ‘Now we have now a facility in Australia we’d want to ship you to for a short time.’” says Austin. “We found that Christina’s dorm room was decrease than a mile from my agency’s headquarters in Australia.”

Rebuilding the Family Farm

After Christina graduated, the couple moved to Wrenn’s Farm, which had been closed for quite a few years as a consequence of properly being factors throughout the family. Six months later, Christina started working at Grafted Growers in Raleigh and was recruited by the North Carolina Division of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences, the place she labored as a promoting and advertising and marketing specialist.

Austin and Christina’s bridal ceremony on July 4, 2020 at Wrenn’s Farm.

After residing on the farm for almost a yr, Austin proposed to Christina whereas selecting strawberries. The couple married on July 4, 2020, moreover at their farm.

Christina left her job with the Division of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences one yr up to now to work full-time on the family farm, serving to with promoting and advertising and marketing, product sales and buyer help. She moreover picks loads of the strawberries and does the seeding for the scale back flowers. Austin’s roles are additional technical. He items up the strawberry topic and runs the irrigation and environmental controls.

The Wrenn family has made many enhancements on the farm, along with rebuilding numerous the 1800s farmhouse they reside in, nevertheless they’re not stopping there. They plan to shortly assemble a model new storefront, make greenhouse enhancements and enhance their acreage for scale back flowers.

Christina and Austin moreover hope to start touring as soon as extra after inserting it on preserve whereas renovating the farm, with the U.Okay., Costa Rica, Israel and the Azores on the prime of their guidelines.