NC State Extension

Alumni & Testimonials

Brandon Batten, The Flying Farmer, LLC.

NC Tobacco and Sweet Potato, 2017

Brandon BattenThe business model canvas changed the way I think. As a farmer, I am hyper-focused on the production and efficiency of my operation, or the left side of the canvas. Shifting my focus to the right side of the canvas, to the value propositions and thinking about a way to give customers something before they know that they need it inspired me. As a farmer, engineer, and tech enthusiast, I decided to create Flying Farmer LLC to educate farmers about the drone industry and their applications in agriculture. I hope to position myself to provide these services when the industry is ready for them.

Collin, David, and Denise Blalock, David Blalock Farms, LLC.

NC Tobacco and Sweet Potato, 2017

David and Collin BlalockDavid and Collin Blalock working on their business model canvas during week two of the 2017 program.

Richard Chancy, Partner, Manager, Millstream Farms

NC Tobacco and Sweet Potato, 2017

Richard ChanceyThe insurance based risk management, and a lot of it is defining trends and market places, and learning how to understand other people like employees, relationships, and to find new market places. And try to become more of a price maker rather versus price taker as most people in agriculture are, especially in the farming industry.

Blayne Dixon, Manager, BFC

NC Tobacco and Sweet Potato, 2017

Blayne Dixon

Robert Fann, Partner, Fann Farms

NC Tobacco and Sweet Potato, 2017

Robert Fann

Archie Griffin, VP Griffin Farms, Inc.

NC Tobacco and Sweet Potato, 2017

Archie GrffinWe have been able to properly take a much deeper look into how our company is performing from a financial standpoint, our financial solvency and how we stand compared to others of a similar scale.

Matt Keen, Strickland Farming Group

NC Tobacco and Sweet Potato, 2017

Matt Keen (on right)

Billy McDaniel, Partner, Hickory Meadows Organics

NC Tobacco and Sweet Potato, 2017

Billy McDaniel

Peyton McDaniel, Partner, Hickory Meadows Organics

NC Tobacco and Sweet Potato, 2017

Peyton McDanielI’m thinking in a totally different way than I was when I first got here. It’s a combination of things that are making me look at things differently, I guess you’d say.

Pattie Mills, Co-owner, J.P. Davenport & Son

NC Tobacco and Sweet Potato, 2017

Pattie MillsWe spend so much time in the weeds every day, planning, or getting payroll done, taking care of the everyday business, that getting an opportunity to step away from that and think on more of a strategic level was a huge part of me wanting to take part of this program.

Bryan Salmons, Farm Pak Products

NC Tobacco and Sweet Potato, 2017

Bryan SalmonsThe people who are teaching the workshops don’t necessarily have farming backgrounds – they were mostly in public companies – and that puts a twist on it and makes you think outside the box. I also appreciate getting to meet people who are also working on tobacco and sweet potatoes but have a wide range of other crops.

Linwood Scott, VP, Scott Farms, Inc.

NC Tobacco and Sweet Potato, 2017

Linwood Scott

Thad Sharp IV, Farm Manager, Sharp Farms

NC Tobacco and Sweet Potato, 2017

Thad SharpWe have learned a lot of new avenues to investigate and to change the way we think about things before we make a decision. To prepare ourselves better by stretching out and learning more about what we’re actually doing and the things that we are providing for our customer. I’ve been farming for over twenty years and you get, not necessarily stuck in a rut, but you become firm in the way you handle things and make decisions.

Scott Strickland, Strickland Farming Group

NC Tobacco and Sweet Potato, 2017

Scott Strickland

Brandon and Clint Strickland, VP, Salemburg Gin & Cotton Company, Inc.

NC Tobacco and Sweet Potato, 2017

Clint and Brandon Strickland

Jeffery Tyson, President, Tyson Family Farms, Inc.

NC Tobacco and Sweet Potato, 2017

Jeff Tyson

Linwood Vick, Owner, Vick Family Farms

NC Tobacco and Sweet Potato, 2017

Lynwood Vick

Brandon Warren, President for the NC Pork Council Board of Directors, WF Partnership

NC Tobacco and Sweet Potato, 2017

Brandon WarrenThe Executive Farm Management Program was a great experience for me. It was great to meet new friends and see how they approach the problems and situations that arose in the case studies presented to us. I felt like the partnership between NC State and ECU strengthened the financial analysis part. They made it very clear and easy to follow. My favorite part were the video conferences we had with people from companies like Amazon and Phillip Morris. It allowed us to peek behind the curtain and find out their strategies for success and also think about possible market opportunities we hadn’t thought of yet.

Brian Warren, WF Partnership

NC Tobacco and Sweet Potato, 2017

Brian Warren

Wyatt Whitford, Partner, Whitford Farms, Inc.

NC Tobacco and Sweet Potato, 2017

Wyatt Whitford

Trey Wilson, Assistant Farm Manager, Ham Farms

NC Tobacco and Sweet Potato, 2017

Trey Wilson