Roots Run Deep - Steve Starling

My father walked away from a job in 1957 the moment he was informed he did not get the promotion he’d been promised. He bought a brand new Ford 860 tractor and a corn picker to pull behind it on his way home that day. My surprised grandfather stood shocked beside my dad as they stared up at the shiny new machines on the bed of a delivery truck. A conversation began…

Papa: Sure is a nice tractor.

Daddy: Biggest one Ford makes.

Papa: How’d you pay for it?

Daddy: I didn’t…they put it on your credit.

MF Starling became a full-time farmer that day and with the help of my mother, JoAnne, they farmed in the sandy soil of Sampson County where they’re still farming today. Corn, beans, wheat, hogs and a few cows all occupied our time growing up, but none of them like tobacco.  At one time or another at least half of Clement, NC has known what it was like to set, chop, top, sucker, crop, rack, put in or take out tobacco with MF and Joanne Starling.

They raised three boys with a respect for farming that carried them into their careers as a farmer, a Farm Credit guy, and one that was the agriculture advisor to the President. 

I’m Steve Starling, and I could find the gears in that 7610 Tobacco Special in my sleep. I’m AgCarolina Farm Credit’s relationship manager for Farm Credit EXPRESS, and I’m proud to say my family’s roots run deep in farming. I am incredibly thankful to have the opportunity to work with farm families and equipment dealers all over eastern North Carolina still today. 

Note: If this scenario had occurred today, I would have suggested he inquire with his tractor dealer about the Farm Credit EXPRESS program and save Papa the worry of putting it on his credit.

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