Release date: 2/16/2016
STATESVILLE, NC – The Farm Credit Associations of NC announce the recipient of the 2016 Innovative Farmer of the Year Award given by The Tobacco Farm Life Museum.
This year’s “Innovative Young Farmer of the Year” award winner is Robert Elliott. Robert sets himself apart with dedication and enthusiasm for agriculture.
Robert is owner/operator of Cypress Hall Farms of Louisburg in Franklin County. He began his farm with an interest in sustainable agriculture, 100 chickens, and 35 laying hens. From those humble beginnings, Robert’s motivation to succeed and provide high quality products for himself and his customers have enabled him to continually reinvest in his operation as it grows.
Aside from his innovative work on the farm, he is also extremely active in advocating for agriculture awareness. Robert serves as the President of the Franklin County Small Farmers Association. He is also involved as an active board member with United Way of Franklin County, a firefighter with Justice Volunteer Fire Department, and a mason.
Robert is also a proud veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. Being a veteran, Robert has a keen understanding of the challenges of assimilating to civilian life. This spring, he will unveil the Veteran’s Farm of North Carolina to engage veterans by training them how to grow, market, and sell all of their products.
In his nomination form, Robert stated, “I want to find a way to provide better food for myself and for the members of my community. I believe in the methods of sustainable agriculture and will continue them on my farm.”
“Farm Credit is proud to present the prestigious award to Robert Elliott” says Vance Dalton, Carolina Farm Credit’s President and CEO. “We salute Robert for his service to our country. We are also proud of his spirit, and commitment to agriculture. Farm Credit will continue to support those innovative-minded farmers in North Carolina.”
Carolina Farm Credit is a stockholder-owned cooperative providing 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 35 branch offices. Other financial services available are credit life insurance, appraisal services, leasing programs and financial planning.
For 100 years Farm Credit has been supporting rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services.
Carolina Farm Credit serves over 9,200 members with loans outstanding totaling more than $1.4 billion. The association’s territory covers the western half of North Carolina, with branch offices located in Albemarle, Asheboro, Asheville, Boone, Browns Summit, Burnsville, Carthage, Concord, Conover, Ellerbe, Graham, Hendersonville, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lenoir, Lexington, Lincolnton, Mocksville, Monroe, Murphy, 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 2015 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.
Directors for Carolina Farm Credit are L. Kim Starnes, Chairman, Salisbury; W. Rex Bell, Vice-Chairman, Statesville; John M. Barnard, Statesville; E. Bernard Beck, Seagrove; Mark A. Bray, Lawsonville; David M. Coltrane, Pleasant Garden; Susie J. Gambill, Sparta; Joseph A. Lail, Shelby; 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; Dr. Alton Thompson, Summerfield.
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