2021-2022 Ag Biz Planner & Ag Biz Basics Participants Graduate

2021-2022 Ag Biz Planner & Ag Biz Basics Participants Graduate

STATESVILLE, NC – Vance C. Dalton, Jr., CEO of Carolina Farm Credit is pleased to announce the participants who recently graduated from the 13th annual Ag Biz Planner program and the 6th annual Ag Biz Basics program.

This year, the programs included a total of 50 participants from four Farm Credit Associations throughout North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. The graduating participants from Carolina Farm Credit were:


Michele & Christopher Paige from Banner Elk, NC

Jamie & Jonathan Simmons from Jamestown, NC

Harry Halpin from Chapel Hill, NC

Marquis & Ashley Johnson from Charlotte, NC


Darrell Kind & Brittani Kelly from Harrisburg, NC

Melissa & Ronald Kidd, Jr. from Seagrove, NC

Melanie & Sam Gibson from Yanceyville, NC

Timothy & Tameka Gadson from Snow Camp, NC

Logan Jones from Lexington, NC

Sierra & Stephen Bryant from Bakersville, NC

Ava & Neal Morgan from Leicester, NC

The Farm Credit University (FCU) Ag Biz Planner and Ag Biz Basics programs are developed and led by Dr. David Kohl, Professor Emeritus from Virginia Tech. Dr. Kohl is considered an agricultural finance and business management expert. The courses teach young, beginning, small, veteran, and/or minority farmers new business skills to successfully manage and grow their farming 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 their participants worked through the material, leading to the creation of a business plan for their farms. The mentors this year were Daniel Brown from the Jefferson branch, Addie Thornley from the Brown Summit branch, Bill Miller from the Graham branch, Meredith Willis from the Lincolnton branch, Danelle Cutting from the Salisbury Branch, Kyla Craven from the Carthage branch, Megan Patton from the Yanceyville branch, Sarah Justice from the Lexington branch, Jeremy Ballard from the Burnsville branch, and Kate Burger from the Asheville branch.

The course recently concluded with a virtual conference in January where the participants shared their business plans and had a chance to network with other participants and Dr. Kohl.  The conference also featured presentations from Dr. Alex White – Dairy Science Professor at Virginia Tech, who spoke on the importance of sound personal finances.

“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, small, and minority 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 Credit’s Ag Biz Planner and Ag Biz Basics programs and to apply, please visit our website.

Carolina Farm Credit is a stockholder-owned cooperative that provides financing to full and part-time farmers and agricultural-related businesses and provides financing for the construction and purchase of homes in 54 counties through 29 branch offices. Appraisal and Leasing services are also available.

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

Carolina Farm Credit serves over 11,500 members with loans outstanding totaling more than $1.7 billion.  The association’s territory covers the western half of North Carolina, with branch offices located in Albemarle, Asheboro, Asheville, Browns Summit, Burnsville, Carthage, Conover, Ellerbe, Graham, Hendersonville, Jefferson, Lenoir, Lexington, Lincolnton, Monroe, Murphy, Pilot Mountain, Roxboro, Rural Hall, Salisbury, Shelby, Siler City, Sparta, Spindale, Statesville, Taylorsville, Wilkesboro, Yadkinville, and Yanceyville.

Directors for Carolina Farm Credit are Vickie N. Smitherman, Chair, East Bend: D. Kaleb Rathbone, Vice-Chair, Waynesville; John M. Barnard, Statesville; E. Bernard Beck, Seagrove; W. Rex Bell, Statesville; Mark A. Bray, Lawsonville; Andrew W. Burleson, New London; David M. Coltrane, Pleasant Garden; Dan A. Hunsucker, Conover; Leslie G. Sparks, DVM, Sparta; Joseph A. Lail, Shelby; Clark M. Newlin, Haw River; Eric McPherson, Snow Camp; L. Kim Starnes, Salisbury; Dr. Alton Thompson, Summerfield.