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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to annemarie@southernfoodways.org.

< Back to Oral History project: Downtown Greenwood Farmers’ Market


Leann Hines

Leann Hines’ grandparents, Percy and Iva Haynes, farmed cotton and cattle just outside of Greenwood. They called their place Haynes Oak Ranch for the giant oak trees that covered the property. When Leann was a child, she loved to spend time at the farm. Horses were her passion. She grew up riding but would eventually land on a career as a labor and delivery nurse. When Leann’s grandparents died, her mother saved 80 acres of the farm for her. Leann turned the place into a horse farm and offered lessons and riding camps, while working full time at Greenwood Leflore Hospital. She didn’t care a flip about chickens.

In 2007, Leann fell ill. She was diagnosed with West Nile poliomyelitis and consigned to a wheelchair.

The next year, Leann and a friend set up a booth at the newly established Downtown Greenwood Farmers’ Market. Leann saw it as something to get her out of the house, but it ended up planting the seeds of inspiration. At that first market, customers kept asking for farm-fresh eggs, but no vendors had them. Leann decided right then and there to start raising chickens.

Today Leann operates Levee Run Farm, where she raises farm-fresh eggs, as well as pastured poultry of all kinds: chickens, quails, ducks, and turkeys. It took her a few decades to decide to like chickens, but now she can’t imagine doing anything else. “I’m living my dream,” she says with a smile.

Date of interview:

Amy Evans

Amy Evans

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


Alex Raij Txikito

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