Local Ag students tour Riverview Farms generic

In this file photo from 2017, local ag students tour Riverview Farms

The GWC issued the report highlighting 13 organizations or businesses that have accomplished important work to protect, preserve and restore Georgia’s water resources.

The family farm sits on 200-acres along  the banks of the Coosawattee River in northeastern Gordon County.

Riverview produces a wide variety of vegetables, heritage pork, and grass-fed beef. The family made a commitment to use organic farming techniques in 2000. The family took it a step further when it made the decision to operate the entire farm as a closed-loop, single-source farm that exceeds most organic growing standards.

All of the animals are bred, born and raised on the farm which grows everything that is fed to them. Riverview Farm also a herd of about 125 mama cows and hundreds of pigs, according to Charlotte Swancy.

She said the farm does utilize a natural buffer zone to protect the Coosawattee from run-off.

"We don't farm all the way up to the river, we fence our cattle off and the pigs are off as well," Swancy said.

The Clean 13 report salutes the family for keeping their cattle and hogs out of the Coosawattee River, leaving a natural buffer of trees and plants along the river and farming without chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides is just common sense. 

Joe Cook, advocacy director for the Coosa River Basin Initiative, one of the groups that makes up the coalition, said since the Swancy operation is an agricultural operation it is exempt from a lot of the regulations regarding buffers. He said that since the Swancys have decided to observe the buffer laws and fence their livestock away from the river, it has protected drinking water supplies for Calhoun and other communities downstream from their organic farm.

The Coosawattee River is home to federally-threatened goldline darters; downstream the river harbors rare species like freckled and trispot darters as well as the federally-endangered amber darter, all of which require clean, sediment-free water to feed and reproduce.

Riverview has established direct relationships with the families who purchase its crops through a subscription plan known as a Community Supported Agriculture program. Swancy said it just makes sense for farmers to be able to know who they are growing for.

"When you have customers buy a share, if you will, they prepay their shares for the season, you know who to grow for and how much to grow," Swancy said  "It really helps in the marketing of the produce and meats."

The farm is in the process of opening a butcher shop in the metro Atlanta area by sometime in October.