AgProud: Harned’s Drive-In


Have you ever considered restaurants as a part of Agriculture? Celeste Harned gives us a peek at her experience on both sides of the fence. Oh and by the way, Celeste and her husband Aaron are new parents as of yesterday! So stop by her blog and give her a shout out or send well wishes her way on Twitter! This is another addition to my month-long series featuring diversity in agriculture. Why are YOU Agriculture Proud?

Growing up on a family beef cattle and show pig farm, my agricultural experience ended when we sold our livestock. When I married into the restaurant side of agriculture, my perspective changed completely.

My husband, Aaron’s family has owned and operated Harned’s Drive-In in Paducah, Ky. since 1955 and are famous for their pork bar-b-q, smoked ham, good old-fashioned burgers and chili dogs known as the “Paducah Dog.”

In their almost 60 years in the restaurant business, the Harned’s have seen a lot of changes in the food they serve.

Aaron and I with some of our show pig prospects at Laurent Family Farms

Aaron’s grandmother used to tell him stories about when farmers were raising hogs so fat that they had to trim inches of excess fat off of their pork shoulders before they could smoke them.

Thirty years later, Aaron talks about how impressed he is that today’s pork producers are able to consistently raise hogs that yield more pounds of product per shoulder than ever before.

Though restaurants and America’s family farms have seen many changes over the years, one thing remains constant: our success depends on each other.

As farmers, we depend on the restaurants and consumers who purchase and eat the meat we raise. As restaurant owners, Aaron’s family depends on family farmers across the country to produce high quality products for them to serve their customers.

Aaron and I feel blessed to be a part of both the farming and restaurant sides of agriculture.

We’re proud of the different roles we play in producing safe, great tasting food.

We’re expecting our first child later this month and we often wonder what side of agriculture she’ll someday find herself on.

Whether she decides to farm, work in the restaurant or pursue a completely different path, what’s most important to us is that we teach her to be just as proud to be a part of agriculture as we are.

Aaron with one of Harned’s Drive-In’s famous pork shoulders hot off the pit
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