Brandon Batten has received the 2017 Innovative Young Farmer of the Year Award from the Tobacco Farm Life Museum.
The Farm Credit Associations of North Carolina present the award, which recognizes young farmers who embrace the challenges of modern agriculture through creative thinking, technology and adaptability.
Batten is a Four Oaks native and sixth-generation farmer in southern Johnston County. He is a partner in the family business, Triple B Farms, which produces flue-cured tobacco, corn, soybeans, wheat and Bermuda hay on 600 acres. The farm also has 40 head of Angus-mix beef cattle.
Batten is a 2008 graduate of N.C. State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biological and agricultural engineering. He completed his master’s degree in agricultural engineering from NCSU is 2010. He said his education had given him extensive contacts with many producers and experts in agriculture.
Aside from his work on the farm, he is husband to Jessica and father to Camden. A member of Pauline Baptist Church and a captain with the Strickland’s Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department, he takes part in the Johnston County Young Farmer and Rancher Program and is a member of the Johnston County Agribusiness Council. He is a supporter of the Johnston County Cooperative Extension Service and a county representative to the N.C. Farm Bureau’s Farm Labor State Advisory Committee.
In his nomination form, Batten wrote: “By being involved in the community and agricultural organizations, I can advocate for farm interests and give a first-hand perspective on current issues. These contributions, through farm-level research and utilizing technologies and advancements in agriculture, can help our industry to remain strong.”
The chief executives of AgCarolina Farm Credit, Cape Fear Farm Credit and Carolina Farm Credit are, respectively, Dave Corum, Brad Cornelius, and Vance Dalton. They issued the following statement regarding Batten: “It is an honor to be able to recognize Brandon Batten as the 2017 Innovative Young Farmer of the Year. We admire the leadership and value-based approach he takes with his family, in his role as a professional in the field of agriculture and as he makes a positive impact on his community. We congratulate Brandon for this award and look forward to his achievements in the future.”
The Farm Credit Associations of North Carolina are AgCarolina Farm Credit, Cape Fear Farm Credit, and Carolina Farm Credit. They are farmer-owned financial cooperatives with headquarters in Raleigh, Fayetteville and Statesville, respectively.
They are the leading providers of credit to farmers in North Carolina. The associations have more than $3.5 billion in loans and commitments outstanding to more than 14,500 North Carolina farmers. Loans are made to finance land, homes, farm buildings, operating expenses, livestock and equipment. Credit life insurance, crop insurance, appraisal service and leasing are also available through the Farm Credit Associations.