YF&R Committee

Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee
John and Rachael Burt

John and Rachael were both raised on family farms in Fuquay-Varina. The Burt farm is a land grant from 1756 and traces 10 generations of farmers.

Rachael is an accomplished horse exhibitor, winning multiple honors over 15 years. John and Rachael are both graduates of NC State University; John with a B.S. in Agronomy and Commission in the Army National Guard, and Rachael with a B.A. in History.

John is a veteran, serving 2 tours in Iraq in an armored cavalry platoon, assisting in the capture of terrorists and the revitalization of farming in southwest Baghdad. After returning from Iraq, John and Rachael were married in 2010 and have 2 sons, John Duncan and Gunner James.

The 711 acre Burt farm has grown tobacco, row crops and maintained a cow/calf beef herd in the past; however they have transitioned to growing a variety of forages, boarding horses and expanding their cow/calf operation, to include finishing steers for slaughter.

John & Rachael enjoy participating in their county YF&R chapter, learning more about agriculture in their community and state, and sharing their knowledge and experiences with other agricultural enthusiasts. In addition to chairing their county chapter, John serves as his county's vice president and has served on his county's board of directors since 2012.

In their community, Rachael is active with Wake County ECA and both are members of Fellowship Bible Church where John serves as the treasurer. Together John & Rachael continue the family farming tradition and hope to one day pass it on to their children.

John Wesley Bowen II

Wesley Bowen lives in the Walnut Cove area of Stokes County. He graduated from N.C. State in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Extension Education and a minor in Animal Science. Wesley lives on his family farm that was purchased in 1995. Along with YF&R committee he is also a member of the Stokes County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, the North Carolina Hereford Association Board of Directors and the North Carolina Hereford Association Sale Committee.

Wesley grew up raising flue cured tobacco and horses. He became active raising and showing registered Hereford cattle in high school. After graduation from college he was employed with Duke Energy for three years and then with North Carolina Department of Agriculture for another three years. Wesley now owns and operates Trouble Creek Farm Inc. He built four layer houses with Mountaire Farms in the fall of 2014. He also has about thirty brood cows that are predominantly registered Herefords and raises about seventy five acres of grain.

Wesley also enjoys taking his horses trail riding, riding four wheelers, and coon hunting with his two dogs.

Josh and Stephanie Bowman

Josh and Stephanie Bowman live in Staley which is located in the northeastern part of Randolph County.

Josh and Stephanie farm with Josh's father and younger brother on Rockin' B Farm. Together they raise a herd of sixty Santa Gertrudis cattle, 200 pasture raised hogs, a herd of sixty Katahdin sheep, and one hundred goats on 175 acres. The family also runs a contract poultry operation with 10 Broiler houses, producing 1.5 million pounds of processed meat every eight weeks.

Josh is a graduate of NC State Agriculture Institute with degrees in Livestock and Poultry Management, General Agriculture, Agriculture Business Management, Field Crop Technology, and Pest Management.

Stephanie is a Special Education teacher at Eastern Randolph High School in Randolph County, and graduated from Greensboro College with a Bachelor's Degree in Special Education.

Josh and Stephanie along with other family members sell their pastured raised pork, lamb and beef at the Piedmont Triad Farmer's Market in Greensboro, NC throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall months. Josh and Stephanie are actively assisting Eastern Randolph High School FFA and Agriculture department with the expansion the school's farm operation.

Together they enjoy traveling, attending NC State Football games, reading (that's Stephanie's favorite past time), and spending time with family and friends.

Abby Hucks

Abby is from Nash County, NC. She has worked for Ag Carolina Farm Credit since 2011 as a Loan Officer in the Rocky Mount, NC branch.

Abby graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor's in Animal Science. She earned a Masters of Business Administration at ECU, graduating in December 2016.

Abby grew up in the agricultural industry and has had a love for it ever since. She's had hands-on experience raising cattle and goats through 4-H, and with swine through her previous work at the NCSU Swine Educational Unit.

Having always been good with numbers and finances, she has settled into her career at Farm Credit as a loan officer and enjoys being able to work with farmers to aid them in their business endeavors.

Abby is proud to serve the agricultural community and to have the opportunity to serve as a member of the NC Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers State Committee.

Chad Miller

Chad and Stephanie reside in the town of N. Wilkesboro which sits in the foothills of North Carolina about an hour east of Boone. Chad and Stephanie were married on January 1, 2016 in Charleston, SC. The couple was blessed with their first child Harrison Miller on September 28, 2016.

Chad graduated from Appalachian State University in 2007 with a B.S. in Finance and Banking. He grew up on his family poultry farm. In 2012 Chad started Miller Farms of Wilkes and built six 45' x 600' broiler houses. Chad is currently finishing an expansion of four more broiler houses. He will then have a capacity of 330,000 broilers. Chad also helps manage his family poultry farm with his father who is semi-retired.

Stephanie also graduated from Appalachian State University in 2007 with a B.A. in Organizational Psychology and Art History. Stephanie is currently a Professional Development Manager at Lowe's Hardware corporate headquarters in Mooresville, NC. Stephanie also grew up in Wilkes County but does not come from a farming background and although her current job does not leave her much time to help out on the farm she enjoys helping out where she can.

Chad and Stephanie enjoy participating in Wilkes County Young Farmer and Rancher Program and spending their spare time with friends and family.

Patrick McLendon

Patrick was born and raised in Western North Carolina and attended Spartanburg Methodist College and Mercer University.

After college, Patrick moved to Washington DC and worked at an environmental law firm and then Georgetown University in the Risk Management office. Patrick moved back to WNC to serve in the AmeriCorps Project Conserve program and started working in Polk County with the Agricultural Economic Development office.

After his term ended Patrick became the first Director of the Mill Spring Agricultural Center and has been working there for five years helping promote local food and local farmers. Now Patrick serves as the Executive Director of Growing Rural Opportunities, a nonprofit dedicated to assisting farmers in the area.

Patrick also serves as President of Slow Food Foothills and is a founding member of the WNC Chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition.

Patrick owns and operates Blue Firefly Farm in Hendersonville, NC which raises layers primarily.

Candice and Jacob Morgan

Jacob and Candice live in the small, eastern NC town of Trenton in Jones County. Jacob graduated from NC State University in 2007 with a degree in Agronomy. In 2014, he graduated with his Master's degree, also from NC State University, in Extension Education. He currently works for NC State Extension and farms on the side. Candice graduated from Meredith College in 2007 with a degree in Psychology and Elementary Education. She received her Master's degree in Special Education from East Carolina University in 2012. Candice has recently started her own business, Salt Air Monograms, and stays home with their daughter, Ella Paityn.

Neither Jacob nor Candice grew up on a farm, though Jacob grew up in the small town of Winterville and scouted cotton and tobacco through high school. Candice, on the other hand, was raised on an "asphalt farm" in Cary, NC. After they got married in 2009, they moved to Vanceboro where Jacob's dream of farming started to become a reality. Morgan Meats began when one of Jacob's growers through Extension gave him a pig, which he hauled home in a dog box in the back of his truck. With absolutely no forethought having gone into this scenario, they scrambled to create somewhere for this pig to go. It's worth mentioning that they lived in a neighborhood....with a Home Owner's Association! After the first pig, they got two more…then three...then four. Then, they decided that their neighborhood setup was no longer going to be conducive to their needs. So, Jacob and Candice sold their house in 2013 (a little more quickly than expected) and began the hunt for land.

Four years after the conception of Morgan Meats, they are still on the hunt for the perfect piece of land and grow about 50 pigs a year. One of their goals is to build the farm debt free, which seems to be synonymous for slow. They currently sell at two Farmers Markets, two grocery stores, two restaurants, and to a CSA out of Raleigh.

Denton Spruill

Denton Spruill lives in Hertford County in a small town called Como, North Carolina. Denton farms beside his dad and uncle on a fifth generation farm.

The family farms in Southampton County, VA and Hertford County, NC consisting of corn, cotton, peanuts, soybeans, wheat, rapeseed, and tobacco.

Denton is a graduate of Pitt Community College and a member of Buckhorn Baptist Church. He enjoys spending his free time traveling, hunting, fishing, waterskiing and boating.

Troy and Catherine Ward

Troy and Catherine married in June 2009 and have a son named Dylan. They live in Troy's hometown of Williamston, NC. Troy grew up on a family farm that raised tobacco and peanuts. They also had a separate company that sold agricultural fertilizer and seed. The family eventually transitioned out of farming into the trucking industry.

Troy graduated from NCSU in 2004 with double Bachelor's Degrees in Agricultural & Environmental Technologies and Agricultural Business Management. After graduating, Troy began selling construction equipment in Eastern North Carolina.

Catherine graduated from ECU in 2008 with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. After graduating, Catherine worked as a Sales Representative for Alltel/Verizon Wireless as well as a Leasing Agent for The Pointe At Wimbledon apartment complex.

Troy and Catherine lived in South Florida for two years where he worked as a salesman for Bobcat of Palm Beach. Catherine worked for Boston National Title Company. Returning home to NC with a newborn son, Troy became an agricultural equipment salesman for Case IH at Lilley International in Williamston. Catherine was able to retain her job with Boston National Title and works remotely.

Troy and Catherine are in the process of restarting his family farm. They are doing so with the hopes and intentions of teaching their son about the work ethics, dependability and strong moral character that it takes to be a successful businessman in the agricultural field.

Jonathan and Tracy Williams

Jonathan and Tracy live in Sampson County in the community of Clement. They were married in 2008 and have two daughters, Aubrey and Emery and the family beagle named Buster.

Jonathan graduated from NC State University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science with a degree in Agricultural Business Management and a minor in Horticulture Science.

Tracy graduated from Fayetteville Tech Community College with an Associates of Science degree.

After graduation Jonathan returned home to join the family farm alongside his father. His farm consists of tobacco, sweet potatoes, and soybeans. He is directly involved with daily activities and responsibilities associated with the farm.

Tracy is employed with the United States Postal Service as a rural carrier and a full time mother to their two children.

Jonathan and Tracy are members of Union Grove Baptist Church. They enjoy spending time on the farm with Aubrey and Emery, and occasional trips to Topsail Island and the Virginia mountains.

Matthew and Mallory Wood

Matthew was born and raised in Andrews, North Carolina. Matthew works full time for his dad at Wood Farm, farming land that has been in their family for generations. Their primary crops are corn, soybeans, hay, and barley. The Woods also have a five acre pumpkin patch that supplies many varieties of pumpkins for fruit stands and farmers markets near and far.

Matthew is a 2011 graduate of Western Carolina University with a B.S. in Construction Management. Matthew became interested in the cattle business during his first year at Western Carolina University. Being pretty close to home, he came home on the weekends to work, save his money, and Circle W Livestock was born. He started small with just 13 feeder calves and has increased his head count every year. In just under eight years he has single handedly expanded his herd to 225 feeder calves. He also has 16 cows and one bull from Rocky Mount, NC.

Matthew met his wife Mallory in 2013 and they were married in June of 2014. Mallory attended North Carolina State University and graduated in 2009 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences. She works full time for Brightleaf Imaging, LLC, specializing in medical equipment sales. Matthew and Mallory reside in Andrews, North Carolina, just up the mountain from the farm with their Australian Shepherd, Ozzy.

John and Liza Layton

John and Liza Layton live in Chowan County, where both were born and raised in families connected to agriculture. They met in the summer of 2013 and were married in December 2016.

John was born into a farming family and is a sixth generation farmer. He now farms alongside his dad, Johnny and grandfather, Sherlon on the sandy lands of Rocky Hock, NC. Their operation includes 1,500 acres of cotton, peanuts, wheat, milo, and clary sage. John is a 2010 graduate of NC State University with a degree in Agriculture Business Management. John serves on the Chowan County Agriculture Extension Advisory Council.

Liza graduated from Elon University and is currently pursuing a dual master's program in Public Health and Environmental Health at East Carolina University. She works in community health at Vidant Bertie and Vidant Chowan hospitals. No stranger to agriculture, Liza's family has owned Edenton Tractor and Implement Company for nearly 50 years.

John and Liza are members of Edenton Baptist Church. In their spare time, they like to go to the beach, hang out with family and friends, and cheer on the Wolfpack. They enjoy spending time with their black lab, Rocky, who spends his days as "John's Farmhand."

Ryan and Leslie Askew

Ryan and Leslie Askew were married in October 2009 and now live in Jamesville, NC. They have a son, Caden, who is active in 4-H and Cub Scouts. They also welcomed a daughter, Emerson, in April 2016.

Ryan is originally a Washington County resident. He grew up and still works on his family's farm, Askew Farms. Askew Farms currently tends 1500 acres of tobacco, peanuts, corn, wheat, and soybeans. They also operate a nursery as well as a landscape and garden gift shop. Ryan graduated from Beaufort County Community College in 2005 with a degree in Industrial Maintenance and now serves 30 counties in Northeast NC as a grain moisture inspector with NCDA&CS.

Leslie is the Logistics Manager for Mainstreet Collection, a wholesale gift company based in Washington, NC, managing all foreign and domestic imports and exports for the company.

Ryan and Leslie started their own farming operation, Eastern Ground Farms, in 2013. They farm 225 acres of corn, soybeans, and wheat. They dream of growing their own farm and also taking over the family farm as a fourth generation farmer.

JR and Emily Odom

JR and Emily Odom are from Wayne County, and live and farm just outside of the town of Goldsboro. They have an eight year old boy James and a four year old girl Reese.

During high school, JR worked for another local farmer while building his own operation. Emily graduated from East Carolina University in 2005 and came home to marry a farmer. In 2009 they planted their first strawberry crop and Odom Farming Company was born. In 2010 they purchased JR's family farm and they turned it into a 40 acre agritourism farm, including strawberries, a summer CSA program, sunflowers, and a pumpkin patch and corn maze. Emily handles the day-to-day operation of the farm while JR works as a crop adjuster for companies in North and South Carolina.

JR and Emily are co-chairs of their county YF&R committee, and Emily serves as secretary of the women's committee. In 2012 she won the Outstanding Woman in Agriculture award from the Wayne County Community and Extension Association. JR is on the executive board of the Karl M Best Agriculture Leadership program and the advisory committee for the Sustainable Ag Program at Wayne Community College.

Wade and AJ Stanaland

Wade and A.J. Stanaland reside in Bladenboro, a "one-stop-light town" in the heart of Southeastern North Carolina with their 1 year old twins, Sawyer Jean and Weston. The Stanalands are both 5th generation farmers and proud North Carolina State graduates. A.J. was raised on a commercial cattle operation in Northwest and Wade grew up on a traditional row crop operation in Bladenboro.

Wade and A.J. currently raise corn, peanuts, soybeans, and occasionally cotton in Bladen, Brunswick and Columbus Counties. Aside from row crops, they operate an Angus Cattle herd as well as manage timberland raising Longleaf and Loblolly Pines. In 2014, A.J. and Wade partnered with AJ's parents and Wade's father to open a mining operation outside of Leland supplying Brunswick, Columbus and New Hanover counties with fill dirt, marl, sand and topsoil to meet the demands of the fast-paced development in the area.

Wade and A.J. enjoy being involved in Agriculture and enjoy promoting it when they can. A.J currently serves as the YF&R Chair for Brunswick County and holds a seat on their Farm Bureau Board. Wade is currently serving on the Executive Committee for the NC Peanut Growers Association as well as the Cotton Advisory Committee. He recently completed the two year Southern Peanut Growers Peanut Leadership Academy which brings growers, shellers, and processors together in order to explore the United States peanut industry.

Wade and A.J. enjoy spending time in Holden Beach, NC (when they aren't busy raising crops, cows and kids) where they enjoy fishing and boating. They also enjoy hunting, traveling, and spending time with Tatum and Barley, their Chocolate Lab and Boykin Spaniel.

Ryan and Marcy Beamon

Ryan Beamon is a graduate of NC State University with a degree in Ag business. Marcy Beamon is a graduate of NC A&T State University with a degree in agriculture education.

Ryan is a fourth generation farmer and farms alongside his father, Tommy, and older brother, Jason. Ryan and Marcy operate a row crop farm near Stantonsburg in Wilson County. Beamon Farms grows tobacco, soybeans, peanuts, sweet potatoes, coastal bermuda hay, and wheat. In addition to the row crops, they are a partner in Little Creek Produce, a sweet potato packaging and shipping company. Their potato crop is marketed, packed and shipped around the world from our facility.

The Beamon's are active members of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Fountain, NC. They have three small boys: Lane (5), Rhett (3), and Cole (1). In their spare time, the Beamon's enjoy anything outdoors that can be enjoyed with their boys, from hiking to hunting and fishing.

Kara and Peyton Holland

Peyton and Kara Holland live in the southeastern corner of Chatham County in the community of New Hill.

Kara's family has been in the animal feed and lawn/garden business for 25+ years. After building their feed business in Michigan, they sold their business to purchase Pittsboro Feed in Pittsboro, North Carolina. Shortly thereafter, Peyton & Kara met at the feed store while she was working and were married five years later!

Kara is a graduate of North Carolina State University with a B.S. in Agriculture Education with a concentration in animal science. She became an agricultural teacher and worked in the crop protection industry before going back to the family feed store. She is now the manager of their newest addition, Pittsboro Pet Supply. Peyton is a graduate of North Carolina State University with a B.S. in Business Management and Master's degrees in Global Innovation Management and Business Administration. He is currently the Executive Director for SkillsUSA North Carolina and is a youth motivational speaker/ leadership trainer. Peyton grew up raising pumpkins and gourds with his family, in addition to maintaining a large summer garden. When he is home from his travels he assists his father at the sawmill.

During their free time, Peyton enjoys traveling and working around their log home. Kara enjoys quilting and raising their small flock of laying hens. Both have been very involved in starting Chatham County's YF&R chapter and promoting career & technical education.

Benjamin Watts

Ben and Mariah Watts live in Rowan County. They have a son, Aiden (6) and daughter, Aislinn (1).

Ben is the manager for the family owned Southern States store, LL Goodnight & Sons. Mariah is a CNA at the local hospital. Ben and his brother, Nathaniel, have 85 acres of fescue they square bale for the local horse industry. They have 12 brood cows located on 35 acres of pasture. Ben graduated from NC State in 2007.

The family enjoys spending time working on the farm. During the non-busy season they enjoy fishing and skiing. Ben is a deacon at their church.

Darius Jones

Living in the Bamboo community of Watauga County, Darius Jones works as the fifth generation family farmer. Over the years the Boone farm transitioned from dairy production to what is now home to registered Herefords. Growing up, Darius and his father worked together to raise commercial cattle. In 2010, Darius took the reins and transitioned the farm from commercial cow/calf to a purebred Hereford operation. He now owns and operates the business as Jones Boys Cattle Company.

Throughout high school, Darius was active in showing commercial and Hereford cattle. After his graduation in 2014, he attended college for a short time focusing on business management. He later accepted a full-time position at Boone Rent-All Inc. Darius has been active in the state and local Cattleman's Associations, North Carolina Hereford Association, National Hereford Association and National Cattleman's Association. In 2016, he was named Watauga County Cattleman of the Year.

Darius enjoys spending his free time with family, friends, and his girlfriend who will be attending NC State University's College of Veterinary Medicine in the fall of 2017.

Nathan and Anna Simpson

Nathan and Anna were married on September 19, 2015 and live in Shelby, NC.

Nathan graduated from high school in 2009, with a desire to farm. In 2011 he started his six house poultry farm with Case Farms. Anna graduated and is a vet assistant at Boulevard Animal Hospital in Shelby, NC. Nathan and Anna help Nathan's grandfather grow haylage for his cows and for public.

In their free time they enjoy bow hunting, fishing and just being on the farm together. They hope to raise their future children on the farm.

Marty Wines

Marty Wines is a native of Buncombe County and lives on a fourth generation farm located 15 miles outside of Asheville in the small town of Leicester. On the family farm they raise beef cattle and sheep, while also mowing around 100 acres of hay.

Marty is a current student at AB Tech College majoring in business management also working two jobs, one in agriculture sales, and also in agriculture marketing selling local and global food products.

Marty became interested in the cattle and sheep industry at an early age on the family farm. He began showing at the age of 11 staring with market sheep while also raising and selling club lambs. After gaining experience with showing he decided to start showing market cattle. His biggest accomplishments were winning the breeding sheep show at the NC Mountain State fair and also winning the market steer show at the NC State fair in 2014.

Marty was a NC State FFA officer from 2014-2015 serving over 20,000 youth enrolled in agriculture education. He traveled over 60,000 miles speaking on agriculture, leadership, and youth development.

Marty plans to stay in the agricultural industry raising cattle and working with marketing to promote the industry. He looks forward to working with Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher program and promoting agriculture.

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