Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee
Marty Wines - Committee Chairman
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.
Trid Copeland III - 2nd Year Member
Sidney "Trid" Copeland III is from Windsor, NC and is a 5th generation farmer in Bertie County. From a young age, Trid has been involved with his family farm working alongside his father. They raise tobacco, sage, cotton, wheat and soybeans. He is a 2015 NCSU Ag Institute graduate.
Trid enjoys traveling with family, socializing with friends, studying history, raising animals and the outdoors. He is a member of St. Thomas Episcopal.
Trid is happy to be a part of the Young Farmer and Rancher Community.
Austin & Maecy Douglas - 2nd Year Members
Austin & Maecy Douglas live in Washington, NC. They were married in 2013 at the shop of the Douglas farming operation. Austin is a loving stepfather to Maecy's son Garrett. Austin was born and raised in Beaufort County and is a 4th generation farmer for Douglas Farms. Austin farms alongside his father Timmy, where they tend 1300 acres of soybeans, wheat, corn, tobacco and also raise Angus beef cattle.
Maecy was not raised on a farm but has quickly grown to appreciate and love the agricultural field. Maecy is a 2005 graduate from East Carolina University with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Business Administration and works at Vidant Health as a Risk Analyst, but hopes to one day join Austin on the family's farm.
Austin currently serves as the YF&R Chair for Beaufort County. He is also a board member of the Beaufort County Farm Bureau. Maecy serves with Austin as the YF&R Secretary for Beaufort County. They enjoy spending time with family, helping Garrett with raising livestock for 4-H and family vacations in the off season. Even though tobacco season can be complicated and stressful, it is their favorite because Maecy and Garrett get to lend a hand in the field.
Brandon & Jessica Batten - 2nd Year Members
Brandon and Jessica Batten live in Johnston County in the Bentonville community. Brandon is a sixth-generation farmer and the third generation on his family's operation where he farms with his father and uncle as Triple B Farms, Inc. Brandon and his family produce tobacco, wheat, rye, soybeans, corn, and hay on 600 acres. They also have around 50 Angus cross beef cattle. Brandon has been part of the farm all his life, shadowing his father and grandfather from a very young age. In addition to the farm, Brandon recently started a drone business, Flying Farmer LLC, offering drone imaging and analysis services to other farmers.
Brandon is a graduate of NC State University with a BS in Biological and Agricultural Engineering (2008) and a Master's Degree in Agricultural Engineering (2010). Brandon and Jessica met while attending NC State where Jessica also earned a BS in Biological and Agricultural Engineering with a concentration in Environmental Engineering (2010). Jessica is originally from Fayetteville, NC and currently works for the City of Fayetteville as an Engineer.
Brandon and Jessica are members of the Johnston County Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher group and attend Pauline Baptist Church. Brandon is also a member of the Strickland Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department where he has served in various officer positions.
Brandon and Jessica have a son, Camden. He loves spending time on the farm and riding in the tractors and combine. They enjoy traveling and spending time together outdoors with their two dogs.
David Thomas - 2nd Year Member
David L. Thomas is from Timberlake, North Carolina which is located in Person County. His family grows tobacco, soybeans, corn, wheat, and operates an independent farrow to finish hog farm.
In 2014 David received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration: Agribusiness from the University of Mount Olive, where he was active in Collegiate FFA and Collegiate Young Farmers and Ranchers.
Still living on his family farm, David also works with U.S. Tobacco Cooperative in leaf procurement.
Nick Barber - 2nd Year Member
Nick Barber grew up in the close nit community of Jacobs Creek in the southern area of Rockingham County, North Carolina. Growing up Nick worked on surrounding tobacco farms within the community. He is currently employed by Carolina Environmental as a Heavy Equipment Operator. Aside from being an active member of the county Young Farmer & Rancher Committee, Nick is a member of the Duck's Unlimited where he is an avid supporter of conserving the wetlands and waterfowl in North Carolina. Nick is also a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans where he periodically participates in civil war reenactments. Nick is in the process of building a home on the family farm where he plans to begin a farm of his own. In his spare time he enjoys hunting, fishing, and hanging out with friends.
Holly & Justin Miller - 2nd Year Members
Justin and Holly Miller are both generational farmers from Davie County. After high school, they attended college and pursued other careers. They always dreamed of farming on their own, and wanted to raise their children on a farm to help teach them work ethic and the joys of growing up on a farm. They were married in 2007 and have two young sons; Malachi and Eden.
In 2011 they had the opportunity to lease part of the fifth generation Miller family farm. First growing grain, then expanded into a variety of produce and strawberries. They attended and graduated from NC Farm School with NC Cooperative Extension in 2015. This helped them to learn more about the business and marketing side of farming. After earning their GAP certification in 2016 they began selling wholesale produce. They are also recipients of the 2018 Innovative Young Farmer of the Year Award by Farm Credit.
Justin and Holly sell their produce at local Farmers Markets, have a CSA program, a "You Pick" strawberry operation, and continue to expand their wholesale operation. They host 4H and JR Master Gardener groups out at the farm to learn more about farming and where their food comes from. Now they are buying the family farm and restoring the original Miller Family home place. They look forward to continuing to grow their operation and one day passing it on to their boys.
Outside the farm they are active in their church and enjoy spending time with their family at the beach, camping, hunting and fishing. Their core values consist of faith, family and farming.
Joshua & Mayghan Watson - 2nd Year Members
Josh and Mayghan Watson live in Siloam, NC and were married in 2008. They have two daughters Lily and Ella. Josh grew up farming with his dad growing tobacco and raising cattle. In high school, Josh's Ag teacher encouraged him to grow vegetables. Josh planted his first acre of tomatoes between his junior and senior year of high school and realized that was where his passion in agriculture would be. Josh attended NC State University for Agribusiness Management and continued to grow his operation adding acreage each year.
Mayghan attended Lees-McRae College and obtained a Bachelor's degree in elementary education. She taught third grade for 4 years before deciding to stay home to raise their children and add an agritourism operation to their family farm which includes a corn maze, pick-your-own pumpkin patch, pizza farm, and various other educational activities for students and families.
Josh now raises around 70 acres of produce, including squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, broccoli, green beans, corn, okra, and pumpkins. In the summer, Mayghan operates a roadside stand at their farm and travels to local farmers' markets, and in the fall, the Watson's operate their agritourism operation hosting school field trips during the week and opening to the public on the weekends.
Josh is the chairperson for the Surry County Young Farmers and Ranchers group and serves on the advisory committee for the fruit and vegetable growers. Mayghan serves on the advisory committee for agritourism. Josh and Mayghan were selected as finalists for the Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award in 2017.
Russell & Tara Hedrick - 2nd Year Members
Russell Hedrick is a first generation farmer that has a dedication to growing some of the finest grain and livestock in the Southeast. After forming JRH Grain Farms, his exceptional use of new technologies and cover crops led him to being awarded the NC Innovative Young Farmer of the Year by the NC Agriculture Commissioner, Steve Troxler in 2014. Russell has been a featured producer in the Farm Press Magazine for maximizing his cover crop benefits, National No-till Farmer for integration of cattle onto covers and The Haney test for reducing fertilizer inputs on cash crops. His operation has grown through hard work to nearly 800 acres. Russell's operation focuses on maximizing profits and direct consumer marketing for all their products, including corn, soybeans, wheat, barley, pasture beef and pork. He has recently partnered with Foothills Distillery, who is producing the first Bourbon in North Carolina since prohibition. Russell enjoys time on the farm with his daughter, Emmalynn, while teaching the next generation about regenerative agriculture and the value of hard work.
Jean Marie & Jerred Nix - 2nd Year Members
Jean Marie and Jerred live in Henderson County. They got married in the summer of 2017 and have one daughter, Victoria. Jerred graduated from NC State in 2008. He farms full-time with his father growing about 120 acres of apples and plans to operate a packing house full-time by the end of 2018. He has been on the Henderson County Farm Bureau board since 2010, formed the YF&R Committee and sits as Chair as well as serving as Vice President of Henderson County Farm Bureau. He also has served on the Blue Ridge Apple grower board since 2009 and served as President for two years and is currently Vice President. This past year, Jerred was elected to the Henderson County Soil and Water board as a Supervisor.
Jean Marie is a Registered Nurse at a local Rehabilitation Hospital specialized in strokes and brain injuries. She is currently going back to further her education in nursing in hopes of being a Nurse Practitioner. She returned to her family farm in 2011 as a sixth-generation farmer of Henderson County and took over the operation after the passing of her father. They are currently transitioning a mainly wholesale farm into a retail farm market. Now partnering with her mother and Jerred, they mainly grow apples, peaches, plums, berries and seasonal vegetables.
Their daughter Victoria is a wonderful and carefree child. She is a good student academically, loves church and to dance. She has traveled with her dance group to participate in the Big Balloon Parade and Holiday Bowl half time show in San Diego, the Orange Bowl half time show in Miami, Carnival Cruise Ship Elation and Disney at World Market place. As a family, in our free time we enjoy spending time together vacationing at the beach, hunting, watching Jerred play music and attending the NFR in Las Vegas.