2017 Ag Biz and Ag Biz Basics Participants Graduate

Pony sprinting through snow

STATESVILLE, NC – Vance C. Dalton, Jr., CEO of Carolina Farm Credit announces that the participants of the 8th Annual Ag Biz Planner program and the 2nd annual Ag Biz Basics for Farmer Veterans program recently graduated.

The programs included a total of 40 participants from five Farm Credit associations throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. The graduating participants from Carolina Farm Credit were:

  • Mary Beth Miller and Brock Philips from Kannapolis
  • Reida and Paul Hudson from Shelby
  • Grace Summers of Browns Summit
  • Chris Westmorland from Huntersville
  • Benjamin Grimes of Hurdle Mills
  • Clint and Brandy Beck of Seagrove
  • Jeremy and Deanna Smith from Cornelius

The Farm Credit University (FCU) Ag Biz Planner and Ag Biz Basics programs were developed and led by Dr. David Kohl, a retired Virginia Tech agricultural finance and business management expert, and teaches young, beginning and small farmers new business skills to successfully manage and grow their operations.

In addition to the online course, participants had a close mentoring relationship with a Carolina Farm Credit loan officer that served as coach and facilitator as they worked through the course, leading to the creation of a business plan for their farm. The mentors this year were Libby Watson of the Salisbury branch, Suzette Smith from the Shelby branch, Wanda Harris from Browns Summit, Kyla Craven from the Siler City branch, Jennifer Minton from Statesville, Carey Owens from the Graham branch, and Brent Warren from the Statesville branch.

The course recently concluded with a conference in Raleigh where the participants shared their business plans and had a chance to meet and network with other participants and Dr. Kohl.  The conference also featured presentations from Dr. Alex White who spoke on the importance of sound personal finance.

“Our Ag Biz Planner and Ag Biz Basics programs are two more ways that Carolina Farm Credit helps support agriculture and the rural communities in which we live and serve.  The programs allow young, beginning, and small farmers the opportunity to learn many valuable lessons that will help make their businesses successful,” says Vance C. Dalton, Jr., CEO, Carolina Farm Credit.

To learn more about Carolina Farm Credits Ag Biz Planner program and to apply, please visit our website.

Carolina Farm Credit is a stockholder-owned cooperative providing financing to full and part-time farmers and agricultural-related businesses and also provides financing for the construction and purchase of homes in 54 counties through 32 branch offices.  Other financial services available are credit life insurance, appraisal services, leasing programs and financial planning.

For 100 years Farm Credit has been supporting rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services. 

Carolina Farm Credit serves over 10,000 members with loans outstanding totaling more than $1.4 billion.  The association’s territory covers the western half of North Carolina, with branch offices located in Albemarle, Asheboro, Asheville, Boone, Browns Summit, Burnsville, Carthage, Concord, Conover, Ellerbe, Graham, Hendersonville, Jefferson, Lenoir, Lexington, Lincolnton, Monroe, Murphy, Pilot Mountain, Roxboro, Rural Hall, Salisbury, Shelby, Siler City, Sparta, Spindale, Statesville, Taylorsville, Waynesville, Wilkesboro, Yadkinville, and Yanceyville.

Directors for Carolina Farm Credit are L. Kim Starnes, Chairman, Salisbury; W. Rex Bell, Vice-Chairman, Statesville; John M. Barnard, Statesville; E. Bernard Beck, Seagrove; Mark A. Bray, Lawsonville; David M. Coltrane, Pleasant Garden; Susie J. Gambill, Sparta; Joseph A. Lail, Shelby; Clark M. Newlin, Haw River; Thomas E. Porter, Jr., Concord; J. Eric McPherson, Snow Camp; D. Kaleb Rathbone, Waynesville; Lewis E. Smith, Lincolnton; Vickie N. Smitherman, East Bend; Dr. Alton Thompson, Summerfield.