Ag Biz and Ag Biz Basics Participants Graduate

picture of meeting attendees

STATESVILLE, NC – Vance C. Dalton, Jr., CEO of Carolina Farm Credit is pleased to announce the participants who recently graduated from the 11th annual Ag Biz Planner program and the 4th annual Ag Biz Basics program.

This year, the programs included a total of 54 participants from five Farm Credit Associations throughout North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. The graduating participants from Carolina Farm Credit were:

Derek and Sherrie Turner from Walnut Cove, NC
Travis Covington from Mebane, NC
Olin Austin from Wingate, NC
Catherine and Rick Topel from Waynesville, NC
Ryan Elliott from Roxboro, NC
Eyra and Jimmy Johnson from Cedar Grove, NC
Amy Ferriss and Hunter Jensen from Black Mountain, NC
Timothy and Tameka Gadson from Snow Camp, NC
Heather Gillespie from Asheville, NC
Carolyn and Bruce Evans from Flat Rock, NC
Kathryn Palmes from Statesville, NC

The Farm Credit University (FCU) Ag Biz Planner and Ag Biz Basics programs were 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 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 Jody Smith from the Monroe branch, Scott Lee from the Statesville branch, Blair Robertson from the Graham branch, Tim Merritt from the Rural Hall branch, Danielle Cornwell from the Asheville Branch, Judy Wilkerson from the Yanceyville branch, Carey Owens from the Graham branch, Bruce Arrington from the Asheville branch, James Conley from the Spindale branch, and Brooks Owenby from the Hendersonville 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 (Professor at Virginia Tech) who spoke on the importance of sound personal finance, Bette Brand (USDA Administrator of Rural Business – Cooperative Service) who spoke on the programs offered to Young/Beginning/Small farmers by USDA, and Ray Starling (NC Chamber General Counsel & President of the NC Chamber Legal Institute) who spoke on the importance of staying connected to your local legislative and government members. 

“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 and Ag Biz Basics programs 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 30 branch offices. Other financial services available are credit life insurance, appraisal services, leasing programs, and financial planning.

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

Carolina Farm Credit serves over 10,500 members with loans outstanding totaling more than $1.6 billion. The association’s territory covers the western half of North Carolina, with branch offices located in Albemarle, Asheboro, Asheville, 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, Wilkesboro, Yadkinville, and Yanceyville.
Directors for Carolina Farm Credit are David M. Coltrane, Chairman, Pleasant Garden; Vickie N. Smitherman, Vice-Chair, East Bend; John M. Barnard, Statesville; E. Bernard Beck, Seagrove; W. Rex Bell, Statesville; Mark A. Bray, Lawsonville; 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; L. Kim Starnes, Salisbury; Leslie G. Sparks DVM, Sparta; Dr. Alton Thompson, Summerfield.