Nominated by Anna Brakefield, Karah Skinner was honored at our 2023 Soul of the South Awards as our Farming & Agriculture category winner.


(Karah Skinner/Contributed)

Karah Skinner and The Skinner Family are the owners of Rock House Farms, LLC. in Fruithurst, Alabama. They started their journey wanting to feed their growing family with the healthiest meat they could provide. After filling their own freezer with homegrown beef and pork, they saw a great interest from their local community in meats for their families as well. What began as a “garage business” has grown into a retail farm store with shipments of their farm-to-table meats going out to homes all across the Southeastern United States. They are proud of their small farm and they work hard together as a family each day to manage their livestock properly and humanely resulting in high quality, nutrient dense meats.


Soul of the South Q&A

1) What was your “aha” moment/When did you decide that this was the industry for you?

In 2019, we had to make the decision to either grow our meat business or give it up. After a life-altering accident in 2019 where we lost our 4-year-old daughter and spent many months toiling over our purpose, we sold our multimillion-dollar poultry farm and bought a piece of land to build a house, open a farm store/shipping facility, and do our best to continue our growing meat business—but most importantly as mindful parents to our 5 children.

2) How did your upbringing/time spent in Alabama shape your career?

I have lived here for 25 of my 35 years, and Alabama is where I am rooted. It is the place where I have made the most connections and partnered with some amazing organizations and companies that have helped me grow as a small business owner, as a farmer, and as a person.

3) What keeps you moving forward in the industry? Do you have a quote or motto that you find resonates?

At the end of the day, the lifestyle that farming gives my family is what I always wanted and what started us on this journey to begin with. I have always said that even if I gave up my farm business, we would still have a small farm and that is the truth.

One of my favorite scriptures that I remind myself of often is Galatians 6:9 – “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”


(Karah Skinner/Contributed)

4) How has your nominator made a positive impact on your idea of/relationship to the industry?

Whenever I got the email that I had been nominated by Anna Brakefield, it reminded me (yet again) of why I look up to her so much. I have been inspired by Anna and by her work at Red Land Cotton for years and I have always been amazed at what she has done as a young woman in an agricultural business. It is an honor to be nominated, but especially to be nominated by Anna.

5) What would you consider your greatest professional accomplishment?

I am a woman in agriculture and a small business owner, and I love it and all that it entails, but my greatest accomplishment in life, and my favorite title above all of them is “mama”. Many years ago, I decided that I wanted to be at home with my children while they were small. I also became a farmer and a small business owner, and I was given several board positions in leadership and became a social media advocate for both my business and agriculture in general. Women often must give up what they want or a career that they love, but I get to do both.

6) What would you like to see more of in Alabama as it pertains to your industry?

I want kids to be taught about local agriculture. Not just if they choose to be involved in agriculture, but as a part of learning about life. Many organizations in this state are advocating for the education of our young people to know more. I would like to see us as a state bring agricultural knowledge into our school systems and teach children from a young age to have a healthy relationship with food and with the farmers that provide it to them.