2018 Innovative Young Farmer Award

Child feeding grown cows

STATESVILLE, NC – The Farm Credit Associations of NC announce Justin and Holly Miller as the recipients of the 2018 Innovative Farmer of the Year Award presented at The Tobacco Farm Life Museum’s breakfast with the commissioner.

Justin and Holly both grew up on family farms, and Justin continued to farm traditional row crops until about 6 years ago when the couple began looking for ways to transition to more lucrative horticultural crops.

The couple owns and operates Cherry Hill Farm in Advance, North Carolina, where they grow soybeans, small grains, strawberries, summer and winter squash, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, lettuces, cabbage, broccoli, kale, green beans, and sweet corn.

“In the last six years, we’ve taken a 5th generation family farm that has not been used for anything other than grazing cattle and small grain production for the past two generations and transitioned it into a profitable produce farm.  Significant expansion has occurred in the past two years, and we have a great opportunity to continue that growth.” – Justin Miller

In addition to their work on the farm, the Millers are generous within their community.  Reaching out to others less fortunate with their donations of fruits and vegetables to local food pantries and churches.  They work to provide workshops for youth and adults to enhance understanding of the sources of food, and spend time mentoring other farmers.

The CEOs of AgCarolina Farm Credit, Cape Fear Farm Credit, and Carolina Farm Credit are Dave Corum, Brad Cornelius, and Vance Dalton respectively.  They issued the following joint statement regarding the Millers: “It is an honor to be able to recognize Justin and Holly as the 2018 Innovative Young Farmers of the Year.  We admire the leadership and value-based approach they take with their family, in their roles as professionals in the field of agriculture, and as they make a positive impact on their community.  We congratulate the Millers for this award and look forward to their achievements in the future.”

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;  Eric McPherson, Snow Camp; D. Kaleb Rathbone, Waynesville; Lewis E. Smith, Lincolnton; Vickie N. Smitherman, East Bend; Dr. Alton Thompson, Summerfield.