Roots Run Deep - Hunter Sutton
“I’m from a place where the ditches seem a little deeper, the land’s a little flatter, and the farms are bigger. The farmers around here tend the blackest, darkest, most mineral filled soil in the world called the Blacklands. If you’ve never seen it, you might not believe it, but if you could imagine the sand on a beach at one end of the spectrum, then this soil is at the other. Dirt like coffee grounds, except darker.
This change in the land begins around the little town of Pantego. Two major things run through Pantego – Highway 264 and the Pungo River. Two other things we’re blessed with here in Beaufort County are family and farmers.
Everybody around here knows my ‘Pops’, Stuart Ricks. He’s a farmer, business owner, and the mayor of Pantego. Pops seems to have never met a stranger, and he’s always on the go from one job to the next, whether he’s on the farm or clearing and grading land.
It was his father, Mr. Eddie Ricks, that taught me how to change the battery terminals on his first tractor, the 1965 John Deere 2510 behind us in this photo. I remember standing beside him as his hands moved instinctively about the side of the tractor, into his toolbox, and back. A stroke left him with optic nerve atrophy resulting in him being blind, but he still kept going doing maintenance on the tractor and teaching me all sorts of things you can’t learn in a classroom. Things like respect, hard work, remaining humble, and fearing nothing but God himself.
I take those and many more lessons used on the farm into my role as a loan officer in the Swan Quarter branch of AgCarolina Farm Credit.
I’m Hunter Sutton from Pantego, and my roots run deep!”
Pictured (left to right): Bobbie Jo Ricks, Stuart Ricks, Hunter Sutton, Lauren Kellie Ricks, and Marshall Ricks