I recently had the opportunity to attend the 21st Annual Joint conference of The Corn Growers Association of North Carolina, The NC Cotton Producers Association, The NC Small Grain Growers Association and The NC Soybean Producers Association. The conference was held in New Bern, NC and while it was a little chilly for New Bern, I'll have to admit it was nice to feel outside temps around the 60 degree range for a change. It was also very nice to see and talk to our members, many of which I have not seen in a while.
The theme for the conference was "Building Partnerships." Although many awards were presented to individual producers from each of the commodity groups for outstanding yield achievement; it was clear from talking to those in attendance that it takes partnerships with many people to reach these levels of success.
I was invited to participate in a panel discussion centered on "Building Partnerships," along side Wade Byrd, a Bladen County farmer; Lowell G. Taylor, a CPA from Williamston, NC; and Rick Holder, a Gas and Fertilizer supplier form Kinston, NC. It was obvious from the discussion that agriculture is a relationship business. Just as we at Carolina Farm Credit strive to transform loaning money, a transaction, into a relationship building process; it is clear that other parts of the agriculture sector also recognize the need to do the same.
The key to building relationships is to begin by building "trust," a foundation on which all mutually beneficial relationships must be built. Once trust has been established, it is critical to maintain good communications so the relationship can thrive.
At Carolina Farm Credit, our employees and directors know and understand agriculture. Our desire is to build relationships with our customers that will span generations. A critical objective is to operate and manage our business in a way that allows us to be successful and stable to ensure we are here to serve our customers in difficult economic times as well as in the good times. Our pledge is to remain a customer focused company, building long term relationships, and to continue to meet this objective.
(Pictured: Rick Holder, Wade Byrd, Mike Morton and Lowell Taylor. Rick Holder, Wade Byrd and Mike Morton. Both photos were taken during the panel discussion, photo courtesy of Jim Haskins, AgriBusiness Communications Group)
To read more about Carolina Farm Credit, our members and the ag industry, check out issues of our Leader magazine—you can read them online.
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