Fayetteville, North Carolina
The Gillis family grew tobacco in North Carolina for more than six generations -- until a major change hit their industry.
From tobacco to tourism
The 2005 "tobacco buyout" meant that John Sr., John Jr. and William Gillis would have to quickly diversify to keep their family's operation alive. Support from Cape Fear Farm Credit helped them make those changes, transforming their family farm into a local agritourism destination. Today, the GIllis family offers everything from school tours to homemade ice cream.
In good times and bad
When it comes to Cape Fear Farm Credit's role the Gillis' growth, William said they "helped us identify an opportunity and take advantage of it."
"You never know when you're gonna have a really bad year," added John Jr. "That's when it's really important to have a good partnership. Cape Fear Farm Credit has helped us overcome some of those challenges."