Lowcountry farm looks to future after COVID impacts

VIDEO: Lowcountry farm looks to future after COVID impacts

WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCSC) - A Lowcountry farm is looking ahead to the future and planning for long-term effects of COVID-19. Business will also depend on more people supporting local farms.

At Keegan-Filion Farm in Walterboro, owner Marc Filion says they raise chickens and hogs that are then butchered and sold for meat. They sell a variety of chicken cuts, pork cuts, sausage, and beef.

As a farm that mostly sold to restaurants, things changed when the pandemic hit.

"When the virus first hit and they shut down the restaurants, we lost about 80% of our business," Filion said. "Right now we are serving some restaurants and we are doing some home deliveries, as well as one farmers market plus selling here at the farm."

They are doing everything they can to make up for loss revenue including buying feed in bulk to keep costs down and grinding their own hog feed.

For the first time since 2006, they are also selling holiday hams instead of turkey. Filion said it made more sense to put the money towards his chickens rather than the birds that are only in demand for Thanksgiving.

Looking ahead he says they will probably rely on selling directly to families, but they may also have to scale down their operation.

"It's really easy to pull ourselves down, but it's going to be hard to gear back up and we have to remember that we can only gear down enough that we still cover expenses," Filion said. "We really need to get this pandemic behind us, do what needs to be done to get this thing turned around and back on the right track. Right now it is all a guessing game."

The farm needs more people to sell to directly, as well as people to help with their farmers market.

It is open on Mondays and Fridays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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