Anna Kern is #MadeForKnoxville.

Cradled by beautiful pastures on her family’s farm, Anna wants to invite everyone to experience healing in nature.

Cultivating and caring for the land runs deep in Anna’s blood; rather than farming, she forged her own path to honor her family’s legacy. As she seeks connectedness within herself and for others, Anna invites people to a space where all are welcome to experience the healing powers of being on the land. 

“I created Strong Stock Farm Events LLC with that in mind: a vision of healing ourselves, each other, and the land.”

In Their Own Words…

As an 8th generation Knoxville nature enthusiast and conservationist, I believe that access to nature should not be a privilege, but rather a right for everyone. My dad, George Kern, and aunt, Martha Kern, are currently the sole proprietors of Knox County’s oldest and longest running family farm. Established in 1791, Strong Stock Farm consists of 1,000 acres of rolling pastures and woodlands along several miles of the Holston River. My aunt and uncle, John Niceley, run a grass-fed beef operation on the land and my cousins, Carrie & David Pittenger, have sheep on the land. This is sacred land and I am proud to be a part of a family that honors and respects the land like my aunt, uncle, cousins, and dad have done, as well as my ancestors and the native people before them.

What led to entrepreneurship:

I have deep respect for the farming profession and as we began discussing succession plans about a decade ago, I quickly realized that farming was not my niche. My passion lies in gathering people together and cultivating spaces that encourage folks to slow down and connect with themselves and each other. I created Strong Stock Farm Events LLC with that in mind, a vision of healing ourselves, each other, and the land to nourish, educate, and uplift our community. Part of my mission is connecting with and elevating local entrepreneurs through providing a space for them to facilitate workshops that have a similar healing vision. My goal is to continue to create a space that feels inclusive, accessible, and empowers folks from all backgrounds to feel comfortable in the outdoors.

Lessons learned:

The importance of showing up, even (especially) when it feels overwhelming and unclear. Showing up doesn’t have to be a wild, extensive act. It can look like small, consistent actions. I am also continuing to learn the mental gymnastics it takes to run your own business. There are deeply ingrained mindsets and beliefs that are in the undercurrent of what we do in the entrepreneurial world. Part of my journey has been to raise awareness around these perspectives, question if they are true or not, and actively work to confront them to ensure they do not evolve into self limiting beliefs. My experience receiving coaching with Booth Andrews and being a member of KEC’s CoStarters Program have been a critical part of unraveling these lessons and bringing them to light.


Interested in sharing your “Made for Knoxville” story? Submit here! 

Read another story →