Carolina Farm Credit Holds 22nd Annual Ag Leadership Institute


Carolina Farm Credit Holds 22nd Annual Ag Leadership Institute

STATESVILLE, NC – Carolina Farm Credit recently hosted its 22nd annual Agricultural Leadership Institute in Asheville, N.C. The institute, held at Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C., brought together and celebrated young, beginning, and small farmers. It was created to equip these farmers to meet the challenges of modern agriculture and encourages the sharing of ideas and networking within the industry.  This year’s participants were couples or individuals from farms across Carolina Farm Credit’s territory and were selected for their leadership and achievements.

The dynamic and interactive three-day seminar was led by Dr. David Kohl, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech and professional speaker, and Dr. Alex White, Virginia Tech Professor in the Department of Dairy Science. Dr. Kohl’s topics are designed to help participants meet the daily challenges of modern agriculture while maintaining balance between family business, family life, and personal life. Dr. White discussed the results of the DISC personality profiles that the attendees completed online prior to the event and offered suggestions on how to work and interact with different personalities.

Other speakers for the Institute included Vance C. Dalton, Jr., CEO of Carolina Farm Credit; Kyle Mayberry, Director of Agriculture at the Biltmore Estate; and Dr. Michael Hester, Director of the Pastoral Counseling and Growth Center in Asheville. The group enjoyed a reception and dinner at the Omni Grove Park Inn on Friday evening. On Saturday and Sunday, the group enjoyed breakfast and attended workshops and presentations.

"We had a very diverse and collaborative group this year,” said Vance C. Dalton, Jr., CEO of Carolina Farm Credit. "It was evident from their participation and interaction throughout the weekend that this group has a passion for agriculture and is committed to ensuring education remains an integral part of their future. Their dedication to learning renews my faith in the future of North Carolina Agriculture. Additionally, the relationships established within the group will hopefully provide opportunities to network with each other and collaborate to be more successful on their individual farms. At Carolina Farm Credit, we are committed to providing educational opportunities for young, beginning, and small farmers that will ensure the future success of North Carolina Agriculture and allow us to stay connected with our customers.”

Attendees of the 2022 conference were: Xavier & Monique Iglesias (Sparta, NC), Preston & Julia Bailey (Statesville, NC), Ethan Holland (Olin, NC), Paxton & Bryson Edney (Hendersonville, NC), Jorge Castaneda (Marion, NC), Kameron & Colby Buchanan (Hendersonville, NC), Fulvia & Maritza Estrada (Hickory, NC), Stephanie Frisbee (China Grove, NC), Brock & Jamie Myers (Linwood, NC), Dwain & Shakitha Johnson (Huntersville, NC), Robert & Angela Miller (Winston-Salem, NC), Robert & Cheryl Knight (Lawsonville, NC), Seth & Laura Kivett (Seagrove, NC), Michael & Adam Seawell (Carthage, NC), and Bailey & Jimmy Rayford (Westfield, IN).

A committee of Carolina Farm Credit employees also attended the conference as hosts, including Vance Dalton (Chief Executive Officer), Maggie Hamm (Chief Marketing Officer), Chad Puryear (Chief Lending Officer), Steve Leonard (Chief Credit Officer), Sarah Rachels (Chief Administrative Officer), Chris Scott (Chief Financial Officer), Wayne Higgins (Retired: SVP-Home Loans), Mitchel Pridmore (VP - Regional Lending Manager), Mark Robertson (VP - Regional Lending Manager), Lance Wardlaw (VP - Regional Lending Manager), Terry Motsinger (Marketing Assistant), Will Johnson (Marketing Specialist), Jocelyn Roten (Sr. Marketing Coordinator), Stacy Barker (Lender), Roger Davidson (Lender), Kathy Bunton (Lender), Bruce Arrington (Lender), James Conley (Lender), Brooks Owenby (Lender), Sam Stephens (Lender), Danelle Cutting         (Lender), Justin Halama (Lender), Rebecca Tarlton (Lender), Jacob Sawyers (Lender), Ellie Haven (Lender), Kyla Craven (Lender), Aaron Ayers (Lender), Lee Renegar (Lender), Ryan Bledsoe (Lender).

Carolina Farm Credit is a stockholder-owned cooperative that provides financing to full and part-time farmers, agricultural-related businesses, and 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 12,000 members with outstanding loans totaling more than $1.8 billion. The cooperative’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; Joseph A. Lail, Shelby; J. Eric McPherson, Snow Camp; Clark M. Newlin, Haw River; Leslie G. Sparks, DVM, Sparta; L. Kim Starnes, Salisbury; Dr. Alton Thompson, Summerfield.