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An Upstate icon is starting the new year in a new location, with big plans for the future.

Whispering Pines Stables has been a fixture on Adams Mill Road in Mauldin for almost three decades. Many families made Christmas at the Stables an annual tradition and were surprised when the farm announced on Facebook that this year’s event would be its last because the farm was closing.

In an earlier message, the farm’s owner Debbie Webster wrote, “I have struggled with this message as it is very hard for me to utter these words. We are closing Whispering Pines Stables in Mauldin.”

She went on to explain the farm was moving to create a bigger ministry and to give the farm’s animals a better way of life.

Though the farm will continue, it will do so in Oconee County. The new location means a time in transition, but it will lead to expanded programs and new adventures, Webster told Upstate Parent. The move means an incredible size expansion, from the 22 acres Webster had in Mauldin to 180 acres in Oconee County, complete with three ponds, rolling hills, creeks and more.

“I think it’s going to be a real blessing to the area,” Webster said.

Because the farm will be closer to Clemson University, Webster hopes to recruit students who can come to learn from the location’s many efforts, from equestrian ministry to dairy sheep to the largest 4H program in the state.

Webster said the transition has been in the planning stages for more than a year, though the process of finding and buying a new farm has brought with it some ups and downs.

“It’s not how I saw it, but that’s the thing about faith,” she said. “If you think you’ve got it all figured out, that doesn’t take much faith.”

Eventually, Webster hopes to expand operations to fully utilize the features of her new home, adding trail rides, expanding 4H and more. Her dairy sheep will benefit from fresh forage all year.

“It’s such a wonderful place for people and animals,” she said.

Keep up with the farm’s changes at http://www.wpstables.com and https://www.facebook.com/whisperingpines.sc.

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