Season 9 - South Carolina Tree Farmers - Land of Legacy Series | Episode 4
February 4, 2021 | Randell Ewing
Up next in the Land of Legacy series, you’ll walk a mile in Randell Ewing’s shoes, as we travel with him to his own piece of heaven.
Randell Ewing, Sr. was a mill-worker for most of his life. He may not have had a college diploma or tons of money, but what he did have was a work ethic unlike any other. This led Randell to not only become a supervisor at Sonoco Products, but to also become a well-renowned and award-winning landowner in SC. His story began as most good stories do, with a few dollars in his pocket and a leap of faith. Although he started with just 10 acres of forest, Randell continued purchasing land over the years, and now owns about 4,300 acres total. It’s hard to believe Randell started with no prior knowledge of forestry, because now, he runs his Tree Farm like a well-oiled business with his son, Randell Ewing Jr.
Together, they continue working hard to create places that they are both extremely proud of, restoring what was previously poorly-managed land into beautiful, healthy forests that provide habitat for wildlife, clean water, carbon sequestration, and the perfect place for educating others just as he educated himself. Today, he shares his experiences and love of the land with other landowners, classroom teachers, students, Boy Scouts and more.
Because of this, he won a District SC Tree Farmer award, and later became the State SC Tree Farmer of the year in 1998. Randell’s love for his land is rooted deeply in family, and this passion inspired his son to continue his legacy. As you listen to his story, you, too may find yourself touched and inspired by Randell and his family, just as much as we were while making this episode.
Listen now, and share this series with others, who – like our SC Tree Farmers – love the land and put the family in family forestry!
[1:40] Where did the name for Randell’s farm, Indian Summer, come from?
[2:40] How did Randell get started in Tree Farming?
[5:50] Randell got his start on 15 acres and originally wanted to use it for hunting. However, he never actually hunted on it, instead he used it as a wildlife refuge.
[7:25] Randell shares a little bit about his wife, who has since passed on.
[10:35] Randell shows Tom and Emily some of the coolest artifacts he has collected on his farm.
[15:45] Randell dives into how he found out about Tree Farming.
[17:40] How did Randell and his son start working together?
[19:30] Randell was worried at first that the business would struggle if he brought his son in, but it has been a blessing.
[22:35] We hear a little bit from Randell’s son, Randell Jr.!
[26:35] Why is Randell so passionate about Tree Farming?
[29:25] It’s just common sense to plant trees! You’re helping the environment in a number of ways and prospering at the same time.
[30:10] A walk through the forest is almost like going to church for Randell.
[31:05] Randell Jr. shares a fond memory he had on his Dad’s farm.
[37:00] If you can’t look after your business, better hire someone to help you.
[41:05] Everything Randell has learned today has come from the Tree Farm program. There are a lot of programs and resources out there to help you as a woodlands owner!
[41:45] It’s important to be an advocate for trees, environment, and more, because the politicians in big cities aren’t aware of their importance. You have to let them know.
[45:15] What is Randell thankful for?
Forestry Association of South Carolina
South Carolina Forestry Commission
The Center for Heirs Property Preservation
Three generations of the Ewing Family, Randell Ewing Jr. (l-r), Randell Ewing, Sr. and Clay on Indian Summer Tree Farm in Darlington County, South Carolina
Emily Oakman, Director of Landowner Outreach, Forestry Education and Programs at Forestry Association of South Carolina and Producer of the Land of Legacy Series
Leadership Nature is a proud supporter of #forestproud, a diverse community of forest stewards.