For some, the Christmas spirit only comes once a year, but for Kari Sanderson Hobbs and her family, it is a year-long affair. Manager of Sanderson Farms – Wreaths & Garland in Four Oaks, Kari has always had a love for agriculture and grew up learning about the industry from her parents. In fact, she credits most of her success today to her being raised in agriculture. “Growing up on a farm has been the most important thing in developing my work ethic and my character,” she said, “because it is the epitome of hard work.”
In 1986, Kari’s parents, Kenneth and Vickey Sanderson, started farming Choose-N-Cut Christmas trees in addition to their row crop operation, Sanderson Farming. After growing trees for a few years, the Sanderson’s switched mostly to wreath and garland making, and Kari’s brother, Matt, continues to operate the row crop farm. “Today, the farm truly is a family affair,” Kari said. “We spend a lot of time together and are able to play off of each other’s strengths and weaknesses to get the job done.”
Although Kari worked as a school teacher for ten years, there was always a part of her soul that was longing to be back on the family farm. “I’ve been on this farm my entire life and I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands,” she said, “so wreath making has always clicked for me. I’ve never been happier than working on this farm with my family.”
A typical day on the farm depends on season and time of year, but always includes a variety of activities for Kari and her family. In the fall, you can find them making corn shuck wreaths with husks from Matt’s corn harvest. They also make cotton wreaths and eucalyptus wreaths seasonally. Other daily tasks include training employees, shipping products, managing website/social media, taking orders, completing payroll, and more.
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