Carolina Farm Credit Employees Participate in Cleveland County Potato Project

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The employees of the Carolina Farm Credit Shelby service center harvested 5,000 pounds of potatoes on June 29th to donate to the Cleveland County Potato Project.

Shelby staff on planting day; Top row, left to right: Kamron Kerr, Paul Matheny, Brandy Swink, Suzette Smith. Bottom row, left to right: Michael Hamrick, Miles Hamrick, Tonie Turner, Gary Hastings

Once again we were ‘blessed’ to ‘provide taters for the table’ by reaching out to those less fortunate in our local communities with another source of food.

The employees of the Carolina Farm Credit Shelby service center harvested 5,000 pounds of potatoes on June 29th to donate to the Cleveland County Potato Project.

The employees of the Carolina Farm Credit Shelby service center volunteered their time to plant, cultivate, and harvest the potatoes. They planted 850 pounds of potatoes on March 22 on an acre of land donated by the Randolph Family in Boiling Springs. Despite a flood on May 6th, they were able to harvest 5,000 pounds of potatoes on June 29th. They were helped by several Carolina Farm Credit employees from nearby service centers, the Randolph family, Cleveland County Potato Project Volunteers, and family members.

This is the second year that the staff of the Shelby service center has participated in the Potato Project. Gary Hastings, Regional Lending Manager in Shelby says, “Being connected with the Cleveland County Potato Project for a second straight year proved to be another adventure with Mother Nature. While last year’s late spring frost, insects and record temperatures caused problems, the floods posed another concern for this years’ crop. With heavy rains during the early spring growing season, 90% of our field was inundated with water and the crop was once again threatened. However, the water receded with only minimal losses and a crop exceeding our expectations was harvested. Once again we were ‘blessed’ to ‘provide taters for the table’ by reaching out to those less fortunate in our local communities with another source of food.”

The Cleveland County Potato Project began in 2010 after Doug Sharp and Bill Horn wanted to help fill the needs of people in Cleveland County and developed the idea to grow potatoes to feed the hungry. The program consists of volunteers who donate land, time, and funds to plant, grow, harvest, and donate potatoes. When the potatoes are harvested, they are donated to Kings Mountain Crisis Ministry, Salvation Army, Greater Cleveland County Baptist Association, and U-Can.

The Shelby service center staff includes Bryan Drum, Loan Officer; Miles Hamrick, Loan Officer; Suzette Smith, Loan Officer; Brandy Swink, Service Center Coordinator; Tonie Turner, Loan Assistant; and Michael Hamrick, Home Loan Specialist. The office is supervised by Gary Hastings, Regional Lending Manager.

Carolina Farm Credit is a stockholder-owned cooperative providing short, intermediate, and long-term 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 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.

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. Carolina Farm Credit is the 5th Best Employer in North Carolina in the small to medium-sized company category.

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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Kerie Hildreth
Carolina Farm Credit
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