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Jane Lee Rankin
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Share the inspiring story of a “solo” mom's pursuit of a dream to start an alpaca farm in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina.

At 37, Jane Lee Rankin receives news that upends her life: she's pregnant. Lee is a cancer survivor eighteen months in remission. Her boyfriend won't commit, and her father is unsupportive. When she decides to raise the baby by herself, Lee feels the scornful glances and judgmental whispers of her conservative hometown.


Armed only with a dream and a toddler, Lee marches into Banner Elk, North Carolina, a place where she knows no one, to start an alpaca farm. As a novice first-generation farmer, Lee faces nature's most potent setbacks, from disastrous weather events to attacks from predators. And yet, she forges on. 


With vivid storytelling, Farm Family features a cast of memorable animal characters-including alpacas, Millie, Celeste, Frosty, and Wildcard-and immerses readers into the not-always-pretty world of farming. 


At Apple Hill Farm, Lee trades fear for freedom. She trades disdain for dignity. She learns that her connection to animals is more vital than she knew, and with bravery and persistence, she creates a homea farm family.


Jane Lee Rankin is a farmer and the founder of Apple Hill Farm, an award-winning first-generation farm in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. Lee is an advocate for farmers through her leadership and involvement in the North Carolina Agritourism Networking Association. She frequently speaks about farm tourism and the benefits of diversifying farm portfolios at conferences locally and nationally. In 2021, Lee won runner-up for North Carolina Small Farmer of the Year.