Sale City, Georgia
When Susan Sapp married Joe all those years ago, she had little idea that her life would take her to the country where to raise her family, manage her farm and make her home.
Tucked into a small corner of Mitchell County, Georgia, Susan, Joe and their two sons each operate a piece of the family land where they grow mostly peanuts and cotton.
What matters is that the work gets done
As a woman in agriculture, Susan prides herself on her independence. Over the years, she has learned to speak her mind and clearly articulate her expectations. “I’m not tough,” she said. “I just expect that people would treat me, as a woman, the same way they would treat a man.”
Perhaps Susan’s fortitude comes from years working out in the fields. “The reality is that, unless you’re out there in the field, it’s hard to understand what a farmer is up against,” she said. “I’m out there and I’ve learned that gender doesn’t matter in getting the work done.”
Today, Susan is proud of her accomplishments, proud of the life she and Joe have built for themselves, their children and their grandchildren. “I’ve had to learn it all the hard way,” she said. “I didn’t come up on a farm. I know that we’ve worked hard for what we have.”
Partnership with Farm Credit
When looking for someone to help finance their operation, Susan and Joe turned to Southwest Georgia Farm Credit. “We'd much rather own our land, which means that we had to find somebody that was willing to do a long-term loan on a farm entity, somebody who understands the farmer on the land,” Susan said. And Southwest Georgia Farm Credit was that someone for the Sapps.
“Sometimes, when we go to other financial institutions, we find that they can't really relate back to what our paperwork looks like,” Susan said. Farm Credit, on the other hand, is dedicated to supporting rural communities and agriculture and Susan found that her partners at Farm Credit really understood her business and what she and Joe wanted for their land.
“Southwest Georgia Farm Credit is more geared to the farmer,” Susan said. “They're more geared to thinking about what the farmer needs.”
A version of this story originally appeared in Wiregrass Land & Living magazine.