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Carolina Farm Credit holds 14th annual Ag Leadership Institute

Posted Saturday, March 29, 2014

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Asheville, NC - Carolina Farm Credit recently hosted its 14th 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 25 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, financial advisor and Virginia Tech Professor in the Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics. 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; Dr. Ted Katsigianis, Vice President of Agriculture at the Biltmore Estate; Tom Haarmann, Manager of Financial Services with Carolina Farm Credit; 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 Country Club on Friday evening that was attended by several elected officials and Carolina Farm Credit Board members. A bluegrass band from the Asheville area including David Lee, Bryan Konsler, Randy Gardner, and Bill Yarborough provided entertainment at the reception. The group took a tour of the Biltmore House and learned about their farms on Saturday.

"We had a very diverse and extremely hard working 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.”

The participants voted to send three outstanding couples/attendees to the North Carolina Cooperative Leadership Conference in Hiawassee, GA later this year. The three outstanding couples/participants are Jonas & Neelie Asbill, Asheboro; Jenaleigh Beatty, Sherrills Ford; Coy Beard & Brittany Watson, Lexington.

Attendees of the 2014 conference were Bryan Abramowski & Jason Roseman, Rockwell; Jonas & Neelie Asbill, Asheboro; Coy Beard & Brittany Watson, Lexington; Jenaleigh Beatty, Sherrills Ford; Casey & Ashley Collins, Siloam; Ryan & Beth Hargett, Peachland, Jamie & Ashley Lee, Shelby; Luke & Megan Mathis, Roaring River; Joe & Jessica Smith, Stony Point; Tommy Tran, Vanessa Tran, Henry Vu, & Kevin Vu, Mexia, T.X.; Tou Thai & Ginny Vang, Troy; Emily Williams & Julie Patton, Mocksville.

A committee of Carolina Farm Credit employees also attended the conference as hosts, including Kelly Adams, Controller; Michael Almond, Regional Lending Manager, Monroe; Ryan Bledsoe, Loan Officer, Yadkinville ; Kelly Bumgarner, Loan Officer, Taylorsville; Ben Cabaniss, Loan Officer, Lincolnton; Andrew Carey, Loan Officer Trainee, Mocksville; Jay Cook, Chief Lending Officer; Rob Crain, Capital Markets Manager; Vance C. Dalton, Jr., CEO; Tom Haarmann, Financial Services Manager; Maggie Hamm, Chief Marketing Officer; Gary Hastings, Regional Lending Manager, Shelby; Judy Hewitt, Marketing Administrative Assistant; Kerie Hildreth, Marketing Specialist; Chad Puryear, Chief Credit Officer; Matt Gutierrez, Loan Officer, Murphy; Melanie McLeod, Loan Officer, Ellerbe; Craig Pugh, Regional Lending Manager, Statesville; Terry Peterson, Loan Officer, Burnsville; Jody Smith, Loan Officer, Monroe; and Danny Snider, Principal Appraiser.

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 36 service centers. Other financial services available are credit life insurance, crop insurance, appraisal services, leasing programs and financial planning.

Carolina Farm Credit serves over 9,000 members with loans outstanding totaling more than $1.4 billion. The association’s territory covers the western half of North Carolina, with service centers located in Albemarle, Asheboro, Asheville, Boone, Browns Summit, Burnsville, Carthage, Concord, Ellerbe, Graham, Hendersonville, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lenoir, Lexington, Lincolnton, Marshall, Mocksville, Monroe, Murphy, Newton, Pilot Mountain, Roxboro, Rural Hall, Salisbury, Shelby, Siler City, Sparta, Spindale, Statesville, Taylorsville, Wadesboro, Waynesville, Wilkesboro, Yadkinville, and Yanceyville.

Carolina Farm Credit was recognized as a 2013 Best Employer in North Carolina. The list of the Best Employers in North Carolina was created by Business North Carolina, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) – NC State Council and Best Companies Group.

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

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Carolina Farm Credit holds 14th annual Ag Leadership Institute
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