Hey everybody! I am Elizabeth Fritze and I am an intern at Carolina Farm Credit’s Sparta Branch. I am a rising senior at Virginia Tech studying Agribusiness Management and Communication.
I was raised on a beef cattle farm in a rural, agricultural community in Grayson County, Virginia. Although agriculture had always been significant in my life, it took many years for me to realize that I could turn my passion into a career! Thankfully, Virginia Tech showed me the vast opportunities that awaited me within the agricultural community and I could not be happier!
I have only experienced the Farm Credit atmosphere for about two weeks now, but after the first day, I knew that it was a great fit for me! I quickly realized that their motto, “The Three F’s-Faith, Family, Farm Credit,” was more than just a catchy phrase—it is a way of life. Personally, I believe that they could easily add a fourth F—FOOD! This company knows how to feed its employees! I was told that instead of gaining the “freshman fifteen” in college, most employees gain the “Farm Credit fifteen” after working here for a year! The bottom line is, Carolina Farm Credit genuinely cares about its employees and their happiness, and thankfully for us, they show their generosity in the form of food!
Throughout my short time here, I have worked with energized, insightful employees who are more than willing to let me ask them numerous senseless questions and help me learn the basics of banking! I have been given the opportunity to work through loan packages, complete routine cattle inspections, and interact with farmers to learn more about their operation. It has been very interesting for me to see what happens in the background while a loan is being processed.
I was able to travel to Stokes and Surry County with Darin Young and Lance Wardlaw to perform a routine customer visit to Mark Bray’s farm. Mark has been on Carolina Farm Credit’s board of directors for 14 years. When we arrived on his farm, we had to wait a few minutes before Mark made it to us from the hay field. He had been harvesting his hay crop all day and was eager to return before it began to rain. As we toured around his farm, he was the first to jump out of the truck to open the gates and you could recognize his passion for his livestock as he told us stories about various cows. It was very humbling for me to witness the manner that Mark interacted with us because he was so down to earth.
Typically, when most people think of directors of a bank, they picture someone in a polished suit, who is harsh and power-driven. This stereotype is most definitely not the case for Farm Credit’s directors. Each director is a farmer themselves, who can appreciate the struggle that producers face on a daily basis; therefore, allowing them to make proper decisions to help steer Carolina Farm Credit in the right direction to reach its goals.
Although I have only been working for this organization two weeks, I can already tell that it is a good fit for me. I am anxious to continue my summer here because I know I will gain endless, valuable knowledge from my cohorts about not only banking, but also life advice that I can carry with me throughout my days!
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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