Farmer of the Year

Cary’s stewardship helped land him the prestigious Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Ag Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year award.

Cary with the new 5475.

Cary with the new 5475.

In October 2010, Cary was awarded the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Ag Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year. The honor recognizes the most accomplished farmer from 10 finalists who represent each state in the Expo’s region.

“We chose Cary because of the diversity he has on his farm, and because of his environmental efforts,” says Dr. Elwyn Deal, the panel’s lead judge. “He has set a blistering pace for others to follow.” The award included a $15,000 cash prize and use of a Massey Ferguson tractor of his choice.

Before the announcement, Cary read all the other farmers’ profiles and decided his chances for winning were slim. His wife concurred. They were driving to the Expo in Moultrie, Ga., and Cary said to her, “The next time we stop, I’m going to let you drive, so I can jot down a speech just in case.” Marcia replied, “I don’t think you need to waste your time.”

Despite little prep work on his speech, Cary opened by saying, “Ever since I was a little boy—old enough to walk—I wanted to be a cowboy. I wanted to ride a horse. I wanted to raise big, fat cattle. I wanted to take care of the land and wildlife, and respect it. And I wanted to do it with my family. That dream came true.”

For the past 13 years, Massey Ferguson has been a sponsor of the Farmer of the Year program, donating the use of a tractor to the farmer of the year.

Cary says of his new 5475: “It’s very dependable, and I like the visibility in the cab.” And he notes that the tractor, which is being serviced by Grove Equipment Service, Inc., in Bartow, Fla., allows him to change implements easily. Also, Cary drives the tractor on roads and highways a lot and appreciates the 5475’s T-shift control lever that allows him to accelerate quickly with the touch of a button. “Even when I’m pulling a trailer with tanks,” says Cary, “that tractor gets up and goes.”

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