By Amanda Sebolt
Nickajack Farms is a family owned and operated farm that specializes in farming, events and their local Fall Festival. In 2003 the Sebolt family took a leap into the agriculture world. Joe and Debbie Sebolt own and operate Nickajack Farms located in North Lawrence, Ohio on State Route 93.
They have three daughters, Rebecca, Amanda, and Jessica who grew up on the farm and now help run the operation. The family is passionate about not only educating people about agriculture, but allowing people to enjoy Nickajack Farms as much as they do.
Debbie started her career as a teacher, and applied those skills and her passion to educate children about agriculture. As she watched her three daughters grow up learning the importance of agriculture, Debbie knew she had to continue to pass these agricultural lessons on to others in her community. It was at that time they chose to start field trips to teach people about agriculture.
Joe loved the agricultural side of the farm and found his passion in growing pumpkins. Starting with just a small one row planter, the Sebolts chose to plant one acre of pumpkins and sell them by the road. Soon the festival grew and they bought a tent and added games, like gourd golf and the rubber ducky races. In 2015, Joe and Debbie decided to stop boarding horses and move more towards education, events and focus on Fall Festival improvements. The festival took over what was to be a horse barn and is now the Mane Barn; 15 years later the festival has left the road stand and is now leaving the Mane Barn.
The Fall Festival at Nickajack Farms has family fun for everyone. You can visit our non-pay area to purchase pumpkins, play pumpkin bowling, see our toddler straw maze and enjoy many photo opportunities.
You also can enjoy lunch or a snack at the farmers café. Erik and his staff are always happy to provide home-cooked goodies. We have additional activities like the corn cannons and a train ride to pick your own pumpkin from the patch.
If you decide to spend the day at Nickajack, there is an admission fee of $10 for the full farm adventure. This includes access to the farms seven-acre corn maze, 25-minute hayride, Farmer Joe’s Barnyard animals, peddle carts, rascals round up, and much more.
We also offer pony rides for $6. The Nickajack family is always working on improvements and new fun activities for their fans. For the 2019 season we will have a new barn to house our gift shop. We will also have many entertainers this year, as well as some new attractions which includes Strides Slides.
It has been a groundbreaking summer in 2019 at Nickajack Farms. Literally ground breaking. The new building to house Fall Festival was under construction and should be ready in August. This building will be completed in stages over the next few years.
The family hopes that in the next three to five years they can construct a building or buildings specific to their customers’ needs. This includes a hay ride loading dock, private rooms with bonfire pits, and a greenhouse-type structure for pumpkins. The Sebolts are very excited about this new change and are hoping this new building will bring new opportunities for growth. The Mane Barn will be open throughout the fall festival for weddings and special events.
Also, to promote the new setup, they have come up with a few new special days at the farm. One, being the Harvest Festival. Throughout the day on October 12, along with all the regular Fall Festival fun, there will be demonstrations, square dancers and extra activities. In the evening there will be a dinner/dance to celebrate the harvest season.
There will also be special days that fans have seen before, like horsepower day, farmer Joe’s birthday celebration, and flashlight mazes. New this year, Nickajack will have pet adoption days. Partnering with adoption groups, the farm will be promoting adopting dogs and cats.
The Nickajack family is very excited for the 15th season of the Fall Festival. The dedicated fans have brought the farm so far, and the family plans to continue to grow, improve and teach people about agriculture in Ohio. Check out the Nickajack Farms website, www.nickajackfarms.com, for dates and more information.