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A Moment To Remember Michael Lenagar

On July 19, 2011, staff members around the Chamber were saddened to hear the news that Michael Lenagar, founder of Neola Farms, had passed away. During the filming of the Neola Farms movement of The Soundtrack Project, all of us came to appreciate not only the man, but his dream for his family and the place he called home. Some of those most closely associated with the project take a moment to reflect on the life of a true Memphis original:

I first met Michael on a beautiful Saturday morning at the farmer’s market. I knew The Chamber was working with him on The SoundTrack project, so I was interested in making a connection. His warmth, passion and spirit was immediately evident as our conversation unfolded …. I felt like I had known this gentle man for years! I must admit, my favorite SoundTrack piece is his. It truly captures the spirit of Michael. I count Michael as a new friend and I will miss him. We are all blessed to have known him, and I will personally cherish his video story for years to come.

- John Duncan

Sometimes you meet people who are very, very special human beings - Mike was one of those people. When I would buy my ground beef  from Mike at the Farmers Market on Saturdays, I always felt like I had to put as much love and affection into cooking it as he did in raising the cattle. I always gave him the credit when I got compliments on the meal. Mike was, in so many ways, an inspiration and will be missed not only by his family and friends, but also by the business community in and around Memphis.

- Jeanne Bleu

Michael Lenagar was truly one-of-a-kind, and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to spend so much time on the farm with Michael and Charline documenting his business and lifestyle. This spring, and YouTube recognized the Neola Farms project as one of 25 Ads Worth Spreading in the world - all due to Michael's original voice, wisdom and passion. I counted Michael as a friend and will deeply miss him.

- Lance Murphey

Michael was an American original. He harbored a tremendous love for his family, and was among the most generous people I've ever met. He was kind, patient and trusting. Lance Murphey, Jonathan Kirkscey and I got to spend a lot of time with him, and we all became friends with him and Charline as we worked. I'm now even more grateful for that time. Each time we rode away from Neola Farms, the conversation among us always ran along the lines of, "That guy is really something else." He was unique, truly. I'll miss him.
- John Hubbell

Listen to the story of Michael Lenagar and Neola Farms, in his own words.

Posted: 8/2/2011 9:53:25 AM | with 1 comments
Filed under: agriculture, cows, farms, lenager, memoriam, memphis, michael, neola, respect, treasure

James Obie Lenagar
Thanks Guys, Your production made Charline and Mike very proud. Thanks again. James
12/6/2011 11:46:17 AM

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The latest news from the Greater Memphis Chamber. For more information, contact Director of Communications Christina Meek at (901) 543-3504 ( or Communications Specialist Jenny C. Fish at (901) 543-3558 (