Uncovering the Weaver Family’s Journey as a Farming Family.

by | Jan 2024

RAY AND Elaine’s story began long before their own time. Their families had known each other for generations, but a twist of fate truly brought them together. As Elaine’s father worked a public job, Ray’s family managed a different calling — the family farm. Their paths diverged in upbringing, but their roots in Franklin County soil would become the foundation of their lasting bond.

“We’re right on the edge of the Coffee and Franklin County lines. Just 5 miles through the woods, I could be at my mom and daddy’s house. The families had always known each other,” Elaine recalled.

On a fateful day in August, on Ray’s 21st birthday, their paths converged in a wild turn of events. One of which was Mort Lloyd, a prospective congressman’s tragic airplane accident in 1974, which Ray spotted. Elaine’s mother invited Ray into their home to watch the news later that day. The rest, as they say, was history.

Their love blossomed rapidly, defying the modern pace of courtship. In just six months, they decided to embark on a lifelong journey together, a testament to the strength of their connection and the era in which they came of age. As they approach their 49th wedding anniversary, their strong partnership gives hope to couples navigating the complexities of marriage. 

“He is my true soulmate. And just to see the love that he has for the farm and the children and the love for God, I could not have been more blessed to have someone in my life like him,” said Elaine. 

For Ray and Elaine, farming was more than a profession; it was a calling passed down through generations. Their dedication to the land runs deep, with two Tennessee Century Farms to their name. Ray’s early exposure to the love of the land, inherited from his father, solidified his destiny as a steward of the farm. It was a destiny he embraced with open arms. 

“We’ve added lots and properties to it, but the original farm was handed down to my father. We go back further than 100 years ago. We go back to pre-Civil War.” 

While Ray worked the land and was recognized for his excellence in test demonstration farming in the ‘80s, Elaine chose a different path, guided by a childhood dream of becoming a schoolteacher. Her 38-year career in education was filled with the joy of witnessing young minds flourish. The sparkle in a child’s eye as they grasped a concept or read a word became her greatest reward. Her dedication and compassion extended to special needs children. 

“It was like a little light bulb covered over the head and the joy of seeing them learn and enjoy what you were doing. We tried to make teaching fun, and at that time, kindergarten was.” 

Their journey was not without its trials. Both Ray and Elaine faced intense battles with cancer and witnessed God create strength and resilience out of their weakness and pain. Through it all, they leaned on each other, finding solace in their shared faith and unwavering support. 

As Weaver Farms continues to thrive, a new generation steps into the fold. Their two sons, Jamie and John, bring fresh energy and a dedication to preserving the family legacy. Jamie, a graduate in animal science, is the driving force behind the farm’s continued success. John, a Methodist minister, is vital to the farm’s community involvement, bridging the gap between faith and agriculture. 

Ray and Elaine’s dedication to their community and the preservation of the land is evident. They are active members of various organizations, including the Soil Conservation Service and Farm Bureau, advocating for the importance of agriculture in everyday life. Their involvement extends to their church, Hillsboro Methodist Church, where their faith intertwines with their commitment to the land. 

For Ray and Elaine, “from the heart” is not just a theme but a way of life. Their love for each other, their family, their community, and the land itself resonates in every facet of their story. Through trials and triumphs, their commitment to one another and their shared values is the beating heart of Weaver Farms. 

“We’ve been married for 48 years, but I love her more than I did when we were first married. Through the years, you start with the physical attraction, and then it goes on to the mental attraction because you go through different stages of life. But you love each other more all the time,” said Ray. GN 

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