Location: Harrisonburg, VA
Job Title: Farm Credit Express Program Manager
Tenure: 30 years
Briefly describe your involvement in FFA. I was an active member of the Lee-Davis FFA Chapter in Mechanicsville, VA for eight years. I had the privilege of serving as State FFA President, being a delegate to National Convention twice and running for National Office. I later served as President of the Young Farmers of VA - the adult extension of agriculture education. The VA FFA Foundation is a charity I'm passionate about and I have served on the Board of Directors for two terms.
Briefly describe your involvement in agriculture. Well, it would be more accurate to say I ‘play’ farm rather than actually farm. I own land but mainly help friends and family members with their farming operations.
List and describe any other clubs or organizations that you are actively involved in. I'm a member of the Spotswood Young Farmer Association and VA Farm Bureau. I have been active in the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce including two terms on the Board of Directors and leading the Farm Family Stewardship Award Committee for 20 years. I've represented FCV on the Shenandoah Valley Partnership Board of Directors the past eight years.
Tell us about your family. My family is my biggest blessing in life. I have a 30 year old son, a 22 year old daughter, a 12 year old son and two grandchildren.
Where did you grow up? I was born in Harrisonburg, VA. My dad got transferred to Richmond just after I was born, so I grew up in Mechanicsville. Most of my extended family lived around Harrisonburg so, in some ways, I felt like I had two homes.
Has anyone in particular in your family had a significant impact on you? I've been blessed with a wonderful extended family. My grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins have collectively been a huge influence. I can't narrow it down to just one person - I wouldn't be who I am today without the love, dedication and energy of my entire family.
What is your favorite song or artist? My favorite song is "The Dance" by Garth Brooks.
What is your favorite restaurant? I don't have a favorite restaurant, however any restaurant that serves a good steak or Italian food ranks high in my book.
Tell us about your hobbies. I like to hunt, fish, spend time at my mountain cabin, play music and take care of my land and my parents' mountain land.
Do you collect anything? I have two antique tractors I want to restore; one is a 1939 Farmall M that belonged to my great grandfather and the other is a 1953 Farmall Super M that belonged to my great uncle.
What is at the top of your bucket list? The top of my bucket list is to try hunting elk in the Rocky Mountains.
What was your dream job as a child? My dream job as a child was a racecar driver or musician.
What was your first job? Cleaning debris out of a house in downtown Richmond that had been gutted for remodeling was my first job. I was 14 and got paid $2.50/hour cash (don't tell the IRS or the child labor authorities...).
How do you define success? Success is different for everyone. For me, success is committing to be my best, be honest, be fair and be kind. I find everything else falls into place as long as I live up to those commitments.
What is the most interesting or favorite aspect of your job? I get to work with a lot of people in different equipment dealerships all over our territory. I enjoy the diversity and the challenge of taking care of so many great people who work at our dealerships.
What is your favorite thing about Farm Credit? We work with great people at Farm Credit and with our customer-owners. We work in the industry that feeds, clothes and provides building products for our country. You can't get better than that!
How has Farm Credit helped you with your career/professional development? Farm Credit has given me the opportunity to work in many different roles throughout my career. Training and professional development have always been a great benefit of working for Farm Credit.
What are your hopes for the ag industry? I hope the agriculture industry can maintain family farms in a profitable, viable way. I also hope our industry gets the credit it deserves for providing for our country and being great stewards of our natural resources.
What would you sing at karaoke night? If I were to sing at karaoke night, “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks would be my song of choice.