Ag Biz Program Gives Farmers Resources to Build Their Farming Dreams
“Once I start, I want to keep building.”—Niccoya Dobson
Niccoya Dobson is a generation removed from farming, but that’s not stopping her from entering the agricultural industry. She has a dream and a plan to start growing crops by the end of this year.
“I’m excited about the entire process—to plan, to be able to see our crops grow, and excited about expanding. I know that once I get started, I’m going to continue to build,” she said.
That’s why she took not just Cape Fear Farm Credit’s Ag Biz Basics course but kept going and took the Planner course as well. She started learning and has just continued to build upon the basics.
An attorney by trade, Niccoya grew up in eastern North Carolina. Both sides of her family had farmers in their heritage. Her maternal grandfather would work in the fields, tending crops with his children, including Niccoya’s mother, after getting off work at a local base. On her dad’s side were loggers.
It was her family’s roots in agriculture that sparked her interest in the industry. After some research and Google searches, Niccoya found Cape Fear Farm Credit’s Ag Biz programs.
“I figured that before you just jump into becoming a farmer, you should probably know the basics of becoming a business,” Niccoya shared.
And so, Niccoya signed up for the Ag Biz Basics course and started building the foundations for her farming endeavors. She said that her biggest takeaway from the Basics course “was truly learning the basics and understanding what it really meant to be ready to run a business.”
A highlight of the course was the conference where she was able to network with both beginner and experienced farmers, in addition to others.
Niccoya decided that after taking the Basics course, it was a good idea to jump into the Planner course immediately after while the information she had already learned was still fresh. These in-depth modules gave Niccoya a firm foundation to start her farm.
“You can research a thousand things on Google but to be able to go through a module and understand ‘this is why’ and tailor it to the farming industry… I learned so much!” said Niccoya.
She also shared that being able to go through these modules at her own pace, was very helpful and encourages those who take the course to really build a relationship with your mentor.
“I would suggest the [Ag Biz Course] to any and everybody who has an interest in agriculture. A lot of the information I learned, I feel like you really have to know what you’re looking for in order to get that same material that is provided through the modules and Ag Biz program,” she added.
So, what’s next for Niccoya now that she has taken the Ag Biz Courses and built a solid foundation for her farm? The answer is simple: to keep building.
Niccoya hopes to grow crops and expand by partnering with Cape Fear Farm Credit. It isn’t easy for young and beginner farmers to break into the industry unless your family is still farming, but individuals like Niccoya are making it happen with the help of resources like the Ag Biz Courses. And one day, she hopes to help other young, or beginner farmers build their farming dreams.
“I hope that we bridge those gaps between individuals who have an interest in farming but don’t have the family background,” Niccoya said. “I hope that I can be a bridge for someone else who was just like me who may have had family involved in farming but wanted just didn’t know where to start. I hope that I can be that mentor.”
Niccoya didn’t start out in the agricultural industry, but once she watered those farming roots, soaked up knowledge, and made a point to connect with others, she’s hasn’t stopped growing. Those farming roots have only grown deeper. As she so aptly put it: “Once I start, I want to keep building.”
We at Cape Fear Farm Credit are so proud to have been able to help Niccoya and others build their farming endeavors by providing resources like the Ag Biz Courses.
To learn more about the Ag Biz Courses, click here.