COLUMBIA, SC – AgFirst Farm Credit Bank stockholders have elected two new directors and re-elected a current director to four-year terms. All three will begin their terms on the Board of Directors for the Columbia-based bank Jan. 1, 2019, and will serve until Dec. 31, 2022.
Thomas E. Porter Jr. of Concord, N.C., and Jack W. Bentley Jr. of Tignall, Ga., are newly elected to the board; however, both have served on the board previously. Michael T. “Bo” Stone of Rowland, N.C., was re-elected.
AgFirst is a cooperative that provides funding and technology services to banks that serve farmers and rural communities in the Eastern part of the United States and Puerto Rico.
Thomas E. Porter Jr. grew his business, Porter Farms Inc., from the ground up with the help of Farm Credit. He started with five cows on rented land and now owns and runs a 1,000-acre farm consisting of a 2,200-sow farrow-to-wean hog operation; a poultry operation with four layer houses and four pullet houses; and a 350-head cow/calf backgrounding operation. He and his family recently added an agritourism business, The Farm at Brusharbor LLC. Porter has won numerous farming and environmental awards. He has North Carolina general contractor and plumbing licenses. Porter is a director of Carolina Farm Credit, a board member of the North Carolina Poultry Federation and president of Cabarrus County Farm Bureau.
Jack W. Bentley Jr. has worked as a dairy farmer, beef cattle farmer and timber proprietor in Tignall, Ga., for nearly four decades. He started A&J Dairy after graduating from Clemson University with a bachelor’s degree in ag mechanization and business. His operations now consist of more than 1,100 acres of crops, pastures and timberland, as well as 400 dairy cows and 400 replacement heifers. Bentley has served on Farm Credit boards for more than 30 years. He is a director with AgGeorgia Farm Credit and has served on a wide range of committees. He also completed the Director Leadership Institutes for Banking and is a certified tax assessor. He is vice chairman of the board for the American Dairy Alliance and serves on a range of other agriculture-related boards.
Michael T. “Bo” Stone runs a diverse agricultural operation in Rowland, N.C. His operations, P&S Farms Inc. and Bo Stone Farms LLC, consist of 2,500 acres of row crops, a 70-cow beef herd and six finishing floors finishing 10,000 hogs annually. He also grows strawberries and sweet corn to sell at a roadside stand. He is a director of Cape Fear Farm Credit and the Farm Credit Council and serves several other agricultural organizations. Stone received his bachelor’s degree in ag business management with a minor in animal science and his masters in agriculture from N.C. State University. He has completed several leadership programs. Stone is the national spokesman for the agriculture industry for the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance and has won numerous agricultural awards, including the Southeastern Ag Expo N.C. Farmer of the Year.
AgFirst has 17 directors who use their experience and expertise to help further the mission of Farm Credit: Supporting rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services, today and tomorrow.
AgFirst Farm Credit Bank is one of four banks that make up the nationwide Farm Credit System and is the largest financial institution headquartered in South Carolina. Farm Credit has supported rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services for more than 100 years. AgFirst is a cooperative providing funding and/or services to 20 Associations in 18 states and Puerto Rico.