Hoken and Robeson Counties, North Carolina
After Hurricane Mathew hit, Mary Ballard was left in a difficult situation and in need of support.
Mary Ballard operates Ballard Farms in Hoken and Robeson County, North Carolina, and owns 550,000 chickens across 20 poultry houses.
As a beginning farmer, Mary needed a lender who understood what it would take to start a poultry operation. That’s why she took her business to Farm Credit. “I chose Cape Fear Farm Credit as my lending institution because, in the beginning, they were fully aware of what it would take to get me up and running. They were familiar with the business already.”
Support when it matters most
Mary has grown and evolved as a farmer and Farm Credit has been there to support her as she’s honed her skills and expanded her business. Since 2007, Mary expanded the farm three different times and built composters and litter sheds. She said, “Farm Credit understands and makes the process very easy.”
In 2016, Hurricane Mathew hit. And it hit hard. All 20 of Mary’s poultry houses were flooded, leaving her in a difficult situation and in need of support. After witnessing the devastating impact first hand, Mary’s loan officer was quick to offer assistance, “whatever you need, you let me know and we will get it to you.”
Sense of kinship
Farm Credit worked alongside Mary as she put her farm put back together and got the operation back up and running. Mary feels a sense of kinship with her partners at Farm Credit – from understanding her needs as a beginning farmer to supporting her expansion and growth to providing support when times are tough, Mary knows she can trust her lender. “Farm Credit has been able to retain my business because I feel that there is a fellowship there, I feel as if they are an extension of my family.”