COVINGTON, GA – (November 1, 2019) – Kelly Products, announced it recently established a wholesale foods division to sell its Rock House Farm brand foods as well as other new food brands the company plans to launch in 2020. Jeff Manley has been hired as president of the division.
Manley comes to Kelly Products after a long tenure at The Rock Ranch where he served as general manager. The Rock Ranch is a 1,500-acre agritourism and event property owned by Chick-fil-A. Manley established The Rock Ranch alongside the late S. Truett Cathy, and grew it to the thriving agritourism operation it is today, seeing more than 100,000 visitors each year.
Agriculture tourism was an emerging concept for the state of Georgia in the late 90s. Jeff gained a reputation of respect with the state’s Departments of Tourism and Agriculture and was asked to help with the conjoining of these two largest revenue generators. With the support of dozens of committed people and organizations, the Georgia Agri-tourism Association was born. Today Jeff continues to serve as an active member in state, regional and national Agri-tourism organizations as well as the Georgia Tourism Foundation. He also chairs the UGA College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council.
“While at The Rock Ranch, Jeff Manley helped to insert one of the first hyphens between Agriculture and Tourism in Georgia. As a result of his pioneering leadership, Agritourism has dropped the hyphen and is now a maturing industry that links farmers and consumers, fields and family tables together in so many creative ways,” said Gary Black, Georgia’s Agriculture Commissioner. “My friend is one great Georgian.”
Manley is well-suited for the new role with Kelly and excited about joining the Kelly Products’ leadership team.
“I’m ready to build something new,” said Manley, adding, “Keith Kelly’s business acumen, commitment to his people and faith in God sets him apart as a business leader and fuels his passion for excellence. I couldn’t leave my family business, The Rock Ranch and the Cathy family for anything less.”
Manley looks forward to continuing a close relationship with the Cathy family and his former colleagues at The Rock Ranch.
“Dan has always been one of my greatest cheerleaders. My children only know him as ‘Uncle Dan.’ He and I advise one another, pester each other, encourage one another, get angry, love, and pray for the other just as real brothers do. My job at The Rock Ranch has always taken a back seat to my devotion and commitment to the Cathy family.”
Dan Cathy offered these words in a press release recently. “On behalf of myself and my family, we are grateful for Jeff’s commitment to uniting families together at The Rock Ranch. We are excited about God’s new calling and direction for Jeff and his family’s life. He will continue to be an exemplary and selfless leader who seeks to positively impact all in which he is engaged. We extend our very best wishes and prayers for him today and in the future.”
Manley wishes to thank the many people that have been part of The Rock Ranch adventure these past 30 years, including his Chick-fil-A family and the many loyal guests and farm hands that he hopes will continue to visit the Ranch.
Manley was instrumental in establishing and growing The Rock Ranch’s cattle program. Kelly’s Rock House Farm in Leesburg, Georgia produces grassfed beef, pork and heirloom corn used to make grits and cornmeal. Its dairy division, Rock House Creamery in Newborn, GA produces creamline milk, chocolate milk, buttermilk, a variety of cheese and ice cream. The farm received its wholesale license in late 2016 and began wholesaling in early 2017.
Rock House Farm is now supplying product to retailers and restaurants in Athens and metro Atlanta, with plans to expand into new markets in 2020.
About Kelly Products
Headquartered in Covington, Georgia, Kelly Products, Inc. provides various segments of the chemical and agribusiness industries with essential information and automation solutions. Kelly Products’ business units help leading chemical companies formulate and bring winning products to market quickly; assist departments of agriculture with electronic data capture, data tracking and funds collection for greater efficiency; and support gardening and landscaping interests by providing a wealth of information and assistance that fosters results for homes and businesses. For more information, visit www.kelly-products.com.