Farmers are known to work and care for the land, but sometimes they need a little help from the sky. That’s where T&M Aerial Spraying comes in.
Tommy Newkirk has been flying since the mid 90’s, and when farmers started asking if he would be willing to get involved with aerial application, Tommy answered that demand by taking an ag spraying course and getting his commercial license. T&M Aerial Spraying was born.
Based in Garland, NC, Tommy Newkirk and his family work with a lot of farmers throughout southeastern North Carolina. They also run Newkirk Machine and Welding. Since starting the aerial side of the business, things have really taken off (excuse the pun).
“We had been in business for some years, and it had begun to grow,” said Melissa Newkirk, owner of T&M Aerial Spraying and wife of Tommy. “We saw the need for larger airplanes.”
Being able to grow their business was important to not just the Newkirks, but to farmers in the area too.
“Time and efficiency are big with farming,” said Tommy. “When the bugs hit, you’ve got a window where when spraying has to be put on. A lot of farmers can’t get across their crops quickly enough, and that’s where the airplane really shines.”
Aerial application isn’t just about dumping chemicals from the air without a care. Everything is EPA approved and really enhances the growth of the crops, giving bigger yields.
Adam Brinkley, an Ag pilot with T&M Aerial Spraying said that some people get the wrong idea about aerial application when viewing the size of the tank. However, aerial applications are calculated and deliberate. “We may have 300-400 gallons of water and two to three ounces of chemicals to the acre, so it’s not a saturation of chemicals you’re just spraying out.” Those in the agricultural industry have a true desire to protect the land and produce quality food for consumers. The Newkirks have proven themselves as knowledgeable and responsible in the area, increasing the number of farmers they work with over the years and creating the need to expand the business.
A farmer referred the Newkirks to Cape Fear Farm Credit to talk about building their business and getting a loan. At the time, the Newkirks had already financed a plane with their bank. CFFC not only helped the Newkirks pay off their plane, but also continued the relationship to help them purchase two more planes and additional land. The Newkirks were also able to experience the benefits of patronage first-hand.
“If you are disciplined enough, and you give the money back to CFFC, it helps on your principal amount, paying it off and with your interest rate,” Melissa shared. “In addition to patronage, another thing that impressed us is that Cape Fear Farm Credit truly has a passion to help farmers like us and to improve the Ag industry as a whole.”
Individuals within the agriculture industry comes together to support each other and make improvements. Whether it is the Newkirks lending a hand from the sky, CFFC helping build a business, or farmers producing food… agriculture is a community and Cape Fear Farm Credit is honored to be a part of it.