Sounds of laughter and homemade blueberry cake greeted me as soon as I entered Long's Farm Supply store. Purchased in 2018, the Brookneal store is managed by the Long family of four, and a work family of several. President Theresa Long, Treasurer Bobby Long, and their daughters, Vice President Dottie Carwile and Secretary Cassie Long, offer services along with products for all of your farming, gardening, and lawn care needs. It is a lively space with workers buzzing about, phones ringing, and Dottie’s blonde toddler, Avery, greeting patrons with a toothy smile.
Growing up on tobacco and cattle farming, Bobby and Theresa are rooted in the world of agriculture and livestock production. Bobby also graduated from Virginia Tech with a Master’s in Crop Science and worked for the Department of Conservation while Theresa served as a unit administrative assistant (UAA) for the extension agency. When their daughters were young, the Longs purchased land to start raising cattle, beginning their daughter’s education and appreciation for agriculture and livestock production. Dottie and Cassie were involved with Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4 H programs showing their own cattle at livestock shows furthering their working knowledge. Dottie and Cassie went on to follow in their father's footsteps by attending Virginia Tech earning degrees in Animal Science with a concentration in livestock and minors in agribusiness. While in school they worked part-time for the previous store owner, Sheila Dodd, and when she decided to sell, a joke that Dottie should be the next boss led to a more serious conversation about the family purchasing it.
Now owners for three years, they have found enjoyment within their work and success even through the COVID-19 pandemic. “The community was extremely supportive and appreciative of the store remaining open because they wanted to shop local,” explained Bobby Long. The business was able to stay steady with an increased number of people looking for home projects to occupy their time during quarantine. The store offers an array of products from feed, seed, and fertilizer for farmers to lawn and gardening items for homeowners.
To the family, the most rewarding part of their job is using their education to serve their clients. “I really enjoy getting the producers what they need,” says Dottie with a smile. The diversity of education and experience within the store allows customers to receive professional consultations as well as the products needed to move through projects successfully. They also deliver farm supplies from Halifax to Farmville and even as far as Southill and North Carolina which is vital to the large Amish community in the area.
When the working day is done they enjoy cooking, hunting, fishing, spending time with family, and relaxing. When you visit Long's Farm Supply store expect to be greeted with a "How can I help you" attitude. So come on over and come on in! They are in it for the long hall.
By Darienne Skye Montgomery