2020 Innovative Young Farmer Award Presented

Michelle Pace Davis was selected as the Innovative Young Farmer of the Year. 

RALEIGH, NC – The Farm Credit Associations of NC announce Michelle Pace Davis as the recipient of the 2020 Innovative Farmer of the Year Award presented at The Tobacco Farm Life Museum’s breakfast with the commissioner.

Michelle, her husband, Michael, and parents, Jerry and Deborah, operate Pace Family Farms in Archer Lodge.  The farm produces soybeans, wheat, strawberries, and other fresh vegetables.

Bryant Spivey, Johnston County Extension Director, nominated her for the Innovative Farmer of the Year Award.  He stated, “During times of downturn in the agriculture industry, we often look towards the next generation to be innovative.  It can take a younger person to look at problems and see new opportunities. This is what Michelle has done.  Facing the challenges of urban encroachment and rising costs to farm, Michelle has turned that into a growing farm enterprise for the next generation. What started with a few strawberries now allows Pace Family Farms the opportunity to bring agricultural awareness to a wave of newcomers.”

In addition to her work on the farm, Michelle is very involved in her community.  She is a recent graduate of the Agricultural Leadership and Development Program, and she serves on the Johnston County Farm Bureau board as the chair of the Johnston County Young Farmers and Ranchers, the JoCo Grows Committee, the Farm City Week Committee, and the Johnston County Extension Advisory Board. She is also active in the Clayton Chamber of Commerce and a member of Wendell Baptist Church.    

“It is an honor to be recognized as the Innovative Young Farmer of the Year by Farm Credit,” stated Davis.  “Agriculture has always been a passion of mine.  I grew up on the farm and spent summers working with my dad.  I am the sixth generation on our family farm and I am proud to continue a great legacy. There are many changes and challenges in farming today, however, we will continue to do our part in growing our crops and educating the public about agriculture.”

The CEOs of AgCarolina Farm Credit, Cape Fear Farm Credit, and Carolina Farm Credit are Dave Corum, Evan Kleinhans, and Vance Dalton respectively.  They issued the following joint statement regarding Davis: “It is an honor to be able to recognize Michelle Pace Davis as the 2020 Innovative Young Farmer of the Year.  We admire the leadership and value-based approach Michelle takes with her family, as a professional in the field of agriculture, and as a leader in her community.  We congratulate Michelle and her family for this award and look forward to their achievements in the future.”

AgCarolina Farm Credit is a farmer owned financial cooperative with headquarters in Raleigh. They are the leading provider of credit to farmers in central and eastern North Carolina. AgCarolina Farm Credit has over $1.4 billion in loans and commitments outstanding to nearly 3,300 North Carolina farmers. Loans are made to finance land, homes, farm buildings, operating expenses, livestock and equipment, as well as other purposes. Credit life insurance, appraisal services, and leasing are also available through AgCarolina Farm Credit.

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