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Carroll woman to appear on 'Tough Grit' show

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By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

WYTHEVILLE — The RFD-TV show “Tough Grit” will feature the Erica Greer of Austinville giving advice, all the while clad in her red work vest, on the proper ways to work with sheep.
Greer, store manager for the Wytheville Tractor Supply, is a resident of the Carroll side of Austinville.
The show, a partnership between the retail chain and Grit Magazine  — yes, the same Grit that used to depend on youth to sell subscriptions door-to-door — provides tips on all the chores rural Americans face on a regular basis.
The show’s format involves two contestants taking on tasks while assisted by Grit’s editor-in-chief, Hank Will, and a selection of Tractor Supply store managers.

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For April 15’s episode, 1993 Carroll County High School graduate Erica Greer will act as Tractor Supply’s expert as two FFA students compete on sheep shearing and herding techniques.
“It combines expert information with humor to help viewers complete common rural-based DIY projects correctly and safely,” as the Tough Grit website puts it. “To demonstrate the projects, contestants from Team GRIT and Team Tractor Supply compete in hands-on challenges to win up to $1,000 in Tractor Supply gift cards.”
Other episode topics include gardening tips for beginners, growing corn, vegetable companion planting chart, planting cold weather crops, growing sweet potatoes, canning and preserving garden harvests and more.
“Just all the things that you do outside,” Greer noted.
All Tractor Supply store managers got a survey to fill in with their skills to identify candidates to serve as the chain’s experts on the television show.
Greer, who lives on a farm, has quite the resume when it comes to “country skills,” as the Tough Grit website calls them.
At home, Greer tends to several horses, cattle, chickens and one goat; and grows corn and alfalfa for the livestock. She also helps friends Brian and Georgia Grim with catching their sheep that need shearing. “I’m pretty well rounded when it comes to the farm stuff.”
She filled out the paperwork, but felt the chances that she would be selected were fairly slim.
“I didn’t even tell anybody  \ I didn’t tell my team or my family,” Greer recalled.
She didn’t expect that call back.
“I said, ‘Really? Me?’” she recalled. “I think they probably didn’t have many people with much experience with sheep.”
As a result, Greer flew out to Lawrence, Kansas, for three days to shoot on a farm there.
“It was the flattest place I’ve ever been in my life,” she joked.
The show producers and the Grit representatives were down to earth people, she said.
The challenges involved shearing and herding. “We just sort of helped the kids. I think the kids knew as much as we did, to be honest.”
Mop the herding dog also impressed her with his sheep tending skills.
Greer has no other plans to appear on TV. She feels that she found a good fit with Tractor Supply, after managing pet stores for 15 years and then becoming assistant manager at the Galax store.
Three years ago, Greer opened the Wytheville store as manager.
She’s noticed the retail chain’s pet department has been growing and Tractor Supply has been doing well in general reaching their customers.
Greer sees herself managing her store for years to come. “Until I can retire and do farming full time.”

“Tough Grit" airs Mondays at 7 p.m. on RFD-TV.  For those who don’t have RFD-TV, www.toughgrit.com posts the shows for viewing after they air on the television channel.