Hometown: King, NC
Size of Operation: 20,000 birds in two chicken houses, 40+ head of cattle
Years in Business: 23
Years Working with Farm Credit: 25
After growing up separately on their families' tobacco farms, Brad and Vickie Newsome got together and established their own poultry and cattle operation as well as a family, which includes three daughters who are expected to become the sixth generation in this long-time farm family.
The Newsome's farm is situated on the same land that Vickie's great-great-grandfather owned, an 87-acre spread that now supports two chicken houses with 20,000 laying hens. Their eggs are contracted to Perdue to be hatched, raised, processed and sold around the country. The Newsomes also raise 40 or so head of cattle that they sell at local livestock markets.
The contract with Perdue actually initiated their transition from tobacco into poultry and cattle, a process that also included changing over their acreage from tobacco to hay that's used for feed. Their current operation facilitates the family working together on the farm, and provides a better outlook for their daughters' future farming career. In fact, building on the initial changeover is a story of hard work by everyone in the family: Vickie works full-time on the farm, with strong help from Brad who also has an off-farm position at a crop insurance company, and daughters McKayla, Madeline and Meredith also contribute when they're not in school.
Over their farming career, the Newsomes have built a strong relationship with Carolina Farm Credit. "Carolina Farm Credit understands our business, so they understand our needs," they say. "They have taken chances with us and trusted us over the years. We wouldn't be where we are without them."
Working together, both within the family and with their Farm Credit team, has not only helped them build a financially successful business, it's also enabled them to build an award-winning enterprise. They earned Perdue's Top Breeder/Producer of the Year award in 1999, 2005 and 2010. They also took second place in the 2009 North Carolina Division of Soil and Water Conservation's "Conservation Farm Family" competition, and in 2011 they won a second place U.S. Poultry & Egg Association's "Family Farm Environmental Excellence" award, an award for which they were nominated by Perdue.
The Newsomes have embraced conservation from the time they established their farm, and their current efforts span both their poultry and cattle operations—chickens and chicken litter are composted, with the compost used on their land, and soil and groundwater are protected from the impact of the cattle.
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