YF&R Committee

Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee
Hunter & Heather Casey

Hunter and Heather were married on June 25th, 2011 and live in Pikeville, NC. Hunter graduated in 2010 and Heather in 2011 from North Carolina State University, both with degrees in Horticultural Science.

They both work at Casey Nursery, Inc. in Goldsboro, NC, which is owned by Hunter's father, Lee Casey. Hunter is the fourth generation to work in the family business started by his great-grandfather in 1927. Casey Nursery, Inc. is a wholesale nursery that grows trees, shrubs, and a variety of plant material to supply landscape companies and retail garden centers.

Hunter and Heather attend Pleasant Grove Free Will Baptist Church in Pikeville. In their free time, they enjoy hunting, fishing, camping and spending time with friends and family.

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 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.

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.

Matt and Lindsay Gay

Matt and Lindsay live in Walstonburg on the family farm. Walstonburg is located in Greene County, which is just west of Greenville.

Matt is a sixth generation farmer and currently farms alongside his father, Mike. Lindsay is a graduate of East Carolina University and is a 1st grade teacher for Greene County Schools.

The farming operation includes row crops (corn, beans, wheat, cotton, tobacco and sweet potatoes), a hog operation for Murphy Brown and owning/ operating Walstonburg Milling Company.

Matt and Lindsay are members of Howell Swamp Free Will Baptist Church. They enjoy fishing in their spare time, Wolfpack ball games and their puppy Finn.

Channing and Hannah Gooden

Channing and Hannah Gooden are from Bladen County. They have three children-Anna, Witt, and Baylor.

Their farm consists of about 500 acres of pasture, hay, some row crops, and produce, including strawberries and sweet corn. The Gooden’s also have 16 swine finishing houses, 4 pig nurseries, 2 turkey brooder houses, and about 275 head of cows.

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 is currently pursuing a Masters of Business Administration at ECU. 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.

Landon and Autumn Hunter

Landon and Autumn Hunter, along with their Weimaraner, Ellie, live happily in Yadkinville, which is located in Yadkin County. Together they celebrated their first year of marriage in October of 2014.

Landon works on the farm that has been in his family for over four generations. The Hunters, together with Landon’s father, grow burley and flue cured tobacco, soybeans, seed and silage corn, wheat, and raise cattle.

Autumn works for North Carolina Baptist Hospital as a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), as well as helping Landon on the farm, as needed. The Hunters have recently started attending Collide Church and are proud to be part of its congregation.

Landon and Autumn include being co-chairs of the Young Farmer and Rancher Committee in Yadkin County as part of their professional duties. In their free time, the Hunter’s enjoy hunting, fishing, and spending time with their family and friends.

Jacob Lester

Jacob lives and works on the family farm he grew up on. He farms alongside of his father on the farm that has been in the Lester family as a King's Charter granted in the 1700's.

Jacob graduated from Rockingham County Senior High School in 2009. He then graduated from North Carolina State University in 2013 with a degree in Political Science and minors in both business administration and economics. Along with being actively involved in Farm Bureau, Jacob is on the Soil and Water Conservation Voluntary Agricultural Advisory Board. In his free time Jacob enjoys movies, TV shows, reading books, watching baseball, and spending time with friends and family.

Lester Farms is located in the small town of Bethany, which is in southern Rockingham County. The family pets are Tucker, Marley, and Blondie. The newest editions to the farm are two Jersey milk cows named Millie and Mia. The farm consists mainly of the production of grains, corn, soybeans, wheat, and milo along with a cattle operation and a small vegetable garden.

Tyler and Heather Lineberger

Tyler and Heather were married September 2012 and live in Dallas, NC on the century old Lineberger family farm.

Tyler is an entrepreneur and owns his own landscaping, grading, and concrete business. He, alongside of his brother Kyle and his father Leon, farm over 700 acres. The trio raises predominately beef cattle and hay within both Gaston and Lincoln counties.

Heather graduated from Gardner-Webb University and now works as the Marketing and Education Manager at Historic Latta Plantation. Her work includes a focus on marketing for the historic sites agro-tourism educational programs for children within the Charlotte-metro area.

Together the couple enjoys traveling, boating, and spending time on the farm with friends and family. This year is sure to bring many exciting changes to the Linebergers as they are anticipating the arrival of their first child, a boy, in early March.

Drew and Bailey Medlin

Drew and Bailey Medlin are from Monroe, North Carolina (Union County) which is just east of Charlotte. They are newlyweds and were married on September 6, 2014.

Drew is a third generation farmer and works with his dad on their family farm where they grow corn, soybeans and wheat. He is a graduate of NC State and has a degree in Agriculture. Bailey grew up in a farm family, so being a farmer’s wife has come as second nature to her.

She works for Carolina Farm Credit as a branch office coordinator. She has a B.S. degree in management from Wingate University and is currently pursuing her master’s degree at Wingate.

The couple heads up the Young Farmer and Rancher Committee in Union County, and Drew serves as the Union County Farm Bureau Board’s Second Vice President. Drew also serves on the North Carolina Small Grains Board.

Drew and Bailey enjoy spending time with family and friends, being active in their church, walking, traveling, going to concerts, spending time at the beach and lake and can be seen on the farm nearly every weekend!

Chad and Stephanie 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 recently married on January 1, 2016 in Charleston SC.

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 adding four more broiler houses he will then have a capacity of 330,000 broilers. Chad also helps manage his family poultry farm with his Dad 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 back ground 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 the Wilkes County Young Farmer and Rancher Program and spending their spare time with friends and family.

Josh Miller

Josh Miller lives in the Sandbanks area of Gates County. Josh farms with his dad and uncle on a 4,000 acre row crop farm. They grow cotton, soybeans, peanuts and wheat. Josh is an 8th generation farmer.

Josh graduated in 2011 from the NCSU Agricultural Institute with a degree in Field Crops Technology.

He is on the Gates County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, the NCFB Peanut Advisory Committee, and the Gates County Cooperative Extension Ag Advisory Committee.

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 also earned his Master’s Degree in Extension Education from NC State University. 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 Owners Association! After the first pig, they got two more…then three...then four. They decided that their neighborhood setup was no longer going to be conducive to their needs. Four years after the conception of Morgan Meats, they are still on the hunt for the perfect piece of land, raising pigs on the ground on land that their dear friends (Trent and Rebecca Scott) have generously let them use, and growing 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.

Daniel and Debbie Spruill

Daniel and Debbie are from Columbia, NC and live and work on Scuppernong Farm along with Daniel's parents, Harry and Sharon. They have been married for two and a half years and have a beautiful and energetic daughter, Savannah. After studying crop science at North Carolina State University, Daniel returned home to join his family on the farm in 2009. Debbie, who attended East Carolina University for a double degree in elementary and reading education, left the teaching field to join the farm in 2013.

On their farm located in Tyrrell County, which has remained in Daniel's family for four generations, they cultivate 4,400 acres of soft red winter wheat, field corn, and double crop soybeans. For the past twenty years, Scuppernong Farm has practiced 100% no-till. More recently, the farm has begun to use the latest technological advances in agriculture including GPS, swath control, data mapping, and prescription applications and seeding rates.

Daniel, Debbie, and Savannah attend Soundside Missionary Baptist Church. They are members of the Tyrrell County Farm Bureau where Daniel currently serves on the board. When not farming, Daniel is an avid deer and duck hunter. In her spare time, Debbie enjoys working on her personal business, Grits & Grace Photography. Savannah loves keeping her parents busy running around the farm and chasing after her kitty, Seymour and her dog, Frank.

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 in 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 new born 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 5 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 8 years he has single handedly expanded his herd to 225 feeder calves. He also has 16 cows and 1 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.

Kevin and Hannah Worley

Kevin and Hannah live in Buncombe County.

Hannah is a National Board Certified math teacher.

Kevin is a full time farrier and also operates a carriage service doing weddings and other special events. He also produces and sells hay and grass fed beef.

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