Carolina Farm Credit, former EDC chairman make national newsletter
SALISBURY — Carolina Farm Credit in Salisbury and a former chairman of the Rowan County Economic Development Commission are featured this month on the front page of a national newsletter, “Farm Credit Lease Release.”
The article and photos tell the story of Carolina Farm Credit’s long-term partnership with Metrolina Greenhouses in Huntersville, a family-owned business and the largest single-site heated greenhouse production facility in the United States. The business sells millions of flowers every year to Lowe’s, Walmart and other retailers.
Carolina Farm Credit remains Metrolina’s only financial services provider with a line of loans, leases and crop insurance.
“We have a great relationship with them because they understand farming,” CEO Art Vanwingerden says in the article. “They get that there are economic cycles: We spend a lot of money and then the money comes back to us three or four months after that.
“Carolina Farm Credit knows what we’re trying to do, and they’ve been with us through our biggest expansion.”
In 1994, James Taylor, former EDC chairman and Carolina Farm Credit’s vice president and senior relationship manager, began pursuing Metrolina. After five phone calls, Taylor finally made contact and 90 days later, he signed Metrolina as a client.
Taylor is credited with maintaining the relationship during the past 19 years.
“Carolina Farm Credit’s success with Metrolina is due to James, who got us in the door when others tried but weren’t successful,” says Ron Joines, vice president and leasing manager for Carolina Farm Credit. “He’s more than the relationship manager, he’s a trusted adviser on their financial matters.”
Carolina Farm Credit has drawn up truck and tractor leases for OTM Transport, a subsidiary of Metrolina. During the greenhouses’ busy time — March 15 through June 1 — as many as 120 trucks per day transport products to retailers in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.
While Carolina Farm Credit’s primary purpose is to extend credit, the company has been taking steps to increase the leasing portion of the business.
The company is located at 2810 Statesville Boulevard and can be reached at 704-637-2380.