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Press Release

Carolina Farm Credit Holds 13th Annual Ag Leadership Institute

>PRWEB.COM Newswire

Statesville, NC (PRWEB) April 03, 2013

Carolina Farm Credit recently held its 13th annual Agricultural Leadership Institute in Asheville, NC at the Inn on Biltmore Estate. This educational conference brings together and celebrates young, beginning, small and minority 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 27 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 former Virginia Tech Professor in the Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics. Dr. Kohl focused on “Managing in the Great Super Cycle” and “Ten Golden Rules of Finance & Management.” His 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.

"We had a very diverse and extremely hard working group this year,” says Mike Morton, 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, small and minority farmers that will ensure the future success of North Carolina Agriculture and allow us to stay connected with our customers.”

Other speakers for the Institute included Mike Morton, CEO of Carolina Farm Credit; Dr. Ted Katsigianis, Vice President of Agriculture at the Biltmore Company; Ray Starling, General Counsel to the North Carolina Speaker of the House; 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 Deerpark restaurant on Friday evening that several state representatives and senators also attended. A bluegrass band from the Asheville area including Anthony Cole, Bryan Konsler, Randy Gardner, and Bill Yarborough provided entertainment at the reception. The group took a “Behind the Scenes” tour of the Biltmore Estate farming operation and a tour of the Biltmore House on Saturday.

The participants voted to send three outstanding couples to the North Carolina Cooperative Leadership Conference in Hiawassee, GA later this year. The three outstanding couples are Joshua & Disa Gantt, Lincolnton, NC; Matthew & Janet Guyer, Elkin, NC; Bart & Theresa Keller, Deep Gap, NC. Kyle & Maria Miller of Canton, NC were selected as an alternate couple.

Attendees of the 2013 conference were Ben & Kathy Brown, Pittsboro; Heath & Kelli Blake, Union Grove; Jesus Cisneros & Fulvia Estrada, Hickory; Sherrill & Jennifer Cody, Richfield; Joshua & Disa Gantt, Lincolnton; Matthew & Janet Guyer, Elkin; David Lee & April Johnson, Woodleaf; Bart & Theresa Keller, Deep Gap; HoKou & Mai Sia Vang Lo, Nebo; Kyle & Maria Miller, Canton; Samuel & Kathy Richardson, Oak Ridge; David & Stacey Talley, Albemarle; Alan Williams & Kristi Chambers, Oxford; Matthew Wood, Andrews.

Carolina Farm Credit serves over 8,800 members with loans outstanding totaling more than $1.3 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.

Directors for Carolina Farm Credit are Joseph A. Lail, Chairman, Shelby; Mark A. Bray, Vice-Chairman, Lawsonville; John M. Barnard, Statesville; E. Bernard Beck, Seagrove; W. Rex Bell, Statesville; David M. Coltrane, Pleasant Garden; Susie J. Gambill, Sparta; 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; L. Kim Starnes, Salisbury; Dr. Alton Thompson, Summerfield.

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