Hometown: Fallston, NC
Size of Operation: 170,000 birds in eight broiler houses, 100 head of cattle
Years in Business: 24
Years Working with Farm Credit: 24
It almost seems that farming wasn't really a choice for Andy Elmore. In fact, he says that it's in his genes—he still works some of the same land his family has farmed for the past 200 years.
Beginning in 1968, Andy's dad started a Charolais herd with 15 Holstein dairy heifers by breeding them to a Charolais bull. Andy's own Charolais herd can be traced back to these original dairy heifers. Today Andy O Farms runs 100 head of commercial cows, along with the purebred Charolais herd.
In 2004, Andy diversified his farming operation by contracting with Case Farms, an integrated poultry company, and building six broiler houses. He quickly saw the need to expand and built an additional two houses, and his eight houses now accommodate approximately 170,000 broilers. The reason for the expansion was to enable his twin sons, Jason and Justin, to continue the family farming tradition. Today they are both married and manage Andy O Farms Poultry, LLC full-time. "It takes the involvement of the entire family to be successful," Andy says. His wife, Phyllis, keeps the farm books and manages the increasing amount of paperwork. Their daughter Leigh Ann takes responsibility for all the horses and she and her husband are there to help with major projects, from vaccinating and ear-tagging cattle to repairing facilities.
Having the next generation, with their superior understanding of technology, involved with the farm is a tremendous asset. "Everything is computerized now," Andy says. "Having sons who are not intimidated by new technology has really helped. Computerization within the poultry houses involves electronic monitoring and regulation of air flow, temperature, and light conditions, which significantly affect bird growth and development," Andy says. "If the system goes down, you have to work fast to avoid a disaster."
Andy has been able to evolve and expand his farming operation with help from Carolina Farm Credit. "Our relationship with Carolina Farm Credit has allowed us to diversify and grow our family farm as we have grown our family," he says. "We can rest easy knowing they'll be there to guide and assist us into the future." With plans to expand, the family continues to brainstorm ideas they believe will sustain them in today's changing world and complement their current operation.
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