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Board Member Directory

Stephen E. (Ed) Emory, Chairman

Ed Emory is the retired County Extension Director with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Duplin County. He earned a B.S. in Horticulture and a M.Ed. in Agriculture and Extension Education both at N.C. State University. Ed currently helps direct the University of Mount Olive AgPrime cost-share program for farmers in 33 Eastern N.C. counties. He serves as the Vice-chair of the James Sprunt Community College Board of Trustees and he is a member of the N.C. Association of Community College Trustees Association Board of Directors. Ed also serves on the N.C. 4-H Development Fund Board of Directors with the N.C. Agricultural Foundation.

Thomas C. Hege, Vice Chairman

Thomas Christopher Hege (Thom) was born February 1, 1949 and grew up on a dairy farm in Northern Davidson County, NC with four brothers.  Thom was a Grange youth member, 4H member, State 4H Honor Club.  Thom received his FFA American Farmer Degree, graduated North Davidson High School in 1967.  Thom received his BS Ag Economics and BS Agricultural Engineering from NCSU in 1971.  US Army Reserve 1971-1977, Specialist Six.  Currently a partner with three brothers in Robana Farm LLC, a farm supply company serving a three county area and a farming operation covering two counties.  Previously and currently served on many college, county, district and state boards.  Trustee Davidson-Davie Community College and past Trustee Chairman.  Lake Thom-Lex Board (the water supply for cities of Thomasville and Lexington).  Davidson County Airport Authority, Local Agricultural Advisory Board, NC Agricultural Finance Authority, Trustee at Mount Olivet UMC.  Thom has been married for 50 years to Harriet Sink Hege.  He has two sons, Chris and Patrick, both NCSU graduates.  Chris is employed with Coastal Agri Business and Patrick having a Master’s from Wake Forest University and is self-employed.  Three grandchildren, Connor 13, Sophie 9 and Hudson 8.

Jeffrey Smith

Jeffrey Smith resides in Boonville, North Carolina, which is located in Yadkin County. He is married to Becky Smith and they have 2 daughters Amber, 26, and Heather, who was 32, who recently passed away. Jeffrey is a member of Deep Creek Friends Meeting.  As a 4th generation farmer ofSmith Farms, we grow 500 acres of tobacco, 1500 acres ofcorn, 1350 acres ofsoybeans, and 400 acres of barley. We also have 4 chicken houses and beef cattle. Jeffrey serves on the Yadkin County Planning and Zoning Board, the Yadkin County Board of Elections and the Agricultural Finance Authority. He has previously served on the Yadkin County FSA board. Currently a member of the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina and the Corn Growers Association of North Carolina. I am a Chairman onthe Farm and Labor Advisory Board forFarm Bureau.

Jessica Proctor

Keith Beavers

Keith Ray Beavers of Mount Olive is a fourth-generation farmer and has over 50 years of farming.  He was born and raised in the northern end of Duplin County.  He is the owner and operator of a 900-acre farm.

He and Glenda Britt Beavers have been married for 54 years.  He has two daughters, both NCSU graduates, Mrs. Jeanette Beavers Creech and Mrs. Annette Beavers LeBron and four grandchildren. 

Beavers was one of the first farmers to operate a stocker cattle operation and sell by the tractor-truck load lots on new nationwide video cattle auction.  He traveled over 27 countries around the world to promote the sale of tobacco for North Carolina tobacco farmers. 

He attended the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Executive Development Seminar for Tobacco Farms, NC State University Short Course on Modern Farming, East Carolina College and Graduated from Mount Olive High School.  He has held or currently holds positions with the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, Flue-cured Tobacco Cooperative Stabilization Corp. (U.S. Tobacco) and Tri-County EMC.  Member of Duplin County Farm Bureau, North Carolina Farm Bureau State Board member, Southern State Cooperative Board, Corn Growers Association of NC, Career Planning at James Sprunt Community College, University of Mount Olive Advisory Agriculture and NC Agricultural Finance Authority.  Beavers received the Melvin G. Cording Service to Agriculture Award for Duplin County.

Dr. Charles (Bruce) Williams

Charles Bruce Williams is an agricultural expert specializing in horticulture, and safe use of pesticides. He owns Lakeside Farm, Inc. which specializes in farming and timber businesses in Virginia and North Carolina.  Over 40 years, he has helped agribusinesses, associations, entrepreneurs, and smallholder farmers to improve horticultural production and post-harvest handling. Williams’ professional and personal pursuits have taken him to several countries around the world, including for implementing CNFA Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) volunteer assignments in Angola, Bolivia, Georgia, Kenya, Kosovo, Malawi, Moldova, Nicaragua, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine. The F2F volunteer assignments have been hosted by agricultural cooperatives, organic farmers, and government agriculture systems.

As a F2F Ambassador, Williams will support CNFA to engage with local stakeholders such as private companies, industry associations, farmers, and other agribusiness experts in his community to join the F2F program as first-time volunteers. In his role as an advocate of F2F, Williams will share his personal experience working on various volunteer assignments over the past 25 years.

Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Randolph Macon College, Ashland, Virginia, and a Master of Science in Horticulture and a Doctor of Philosophy from Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama. He also completed 24 semester hours graduate course work in Field Biology at the University of Virginia, Mountain Lake Biological Station, Virginia. Williams also holds Professional Certifications and Licenses in horticulture, pesticide handling, and landscaping instruction.

He is a board member for several organizations, including North Carolina (NC) Agricultural Finance Authority, NC Plan Conservation Board, and Lakeside Farms Incorporated.

Howard Williams

Grew up in north Iredell County on a dairy farm.  Attended North Carolina State University, graduating with honors in 1969 with a degree in Agriculture Economics.  Attended Wake Forest University Law School on a Babcock Scholarship and was on the Board of Editors for the Law Review. 

While working in the Office of Chief Counsel, Treasury Department, in Washington, D.C. attended George Washington University Law School and received a Master of Law in Taxation with Highest Honors. 

Returned to Greensboro, North Carolina in 1976, joining the firm of Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard.  Elected partner in 1980 and continues to practice law today.  Practice area is primarily taxation and corporate law.  Named one the “America’s Best Lawyers” for the past 30 years.  Member of the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Tax Section for more than 20 years. Member of the American Bar Association and North Carolina Bar Association.

Active in civic affairs in Greensboro and former President of the Downtown Kiwanis Club and director of the Community Foundation of Greensboro.  Current President of the Country Club of North Carolina Foundation.

Former North Carolina State FFA President in 1964-65 and National FFA President 1965-66.  A member of the Board of Directors of the North Carolina FFA Endowment.  Previous member of the 4-H Development.

Keith Purvis

Keith Purvis started his agricultural career with Dale Bone Farms in Nash county NC in 1999. We grew, harvested, packed, shipped and sold melons, cucumbers, sweet potatoes and squash. In 2004, Keith joined L&M Companies in Raleigh, NC. L&M is a national grower/shipper of melons, eastern vegetables, potatoes, onions and tropicals. Keith worked with growers and customers all over the United States. In 2012, my wife and I bought Greenville Produce Company in Greenville, NC. We are a regional distributor in eastern North Carolina. We work with local farmers to supply fresh fruits and vegetables to restaurants, schools and grocery stores. Keith was born and raised in Washington NC and proud to call eastern North Carolina his home!

Phillip Farland

Phillip Farland was born and raised in Duplin County.  He attended Shaw University and earned a BA degree in Business Administration.  Upon graduation from the University, he was employed by USDA – Farm Service Agency (formerly Agriculture Stabilization Conservation Service).  This agency provided financial and price support assistance for farmers that produce agricultural crops.

He has held a number of positions within the agency such as Executive Director of McDowell County, Director of the Divisions of Production Adjustment and Conservation in the state office and was later appointed as State Executive Director by President Clinton.  He was also employed by NCDA small farm division.

Phillip feels one of his most rewarding tasks in his career is when he was the State Coordinator of President Obama’s Strike Force.  The initiative to bring USDA programs administered by Rural Development, Natural Resource Conservation Service and Farm Service Agency Programs to farmers and others across the state targeting poverty and hunger.

He is married to Theresa and they have one son Phillip Brian.

N. David Smith, Deputy Commissioner

N. David Smith is the Chief Deputy Commissioner for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. As Chief Deputy Commissioner, he is responsible for the core business functions of the department. Smith began his career with the department in 1972.

Smith received his B.S. degree in biological and agricultural engineering from North Carolina State University in 1972. He has been the chief deputy commissioner of agriculture for the past sixteen years.

In 2005 Smith was named to a one-year term as Chairman of the Board of ASTM International, a globally recognized leader in the development and publication of international voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, systems and services. Prior to being named Chairman of the Board, Smith served as chairman of ASTM Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants from 1994 until 1999. He is well versed in developing voluntary consensus standards and how to get individuals with differing opinions to achieve a common goal.

Smith has also served as chairman of the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM). He has held numerous other positions in the NCWM as well as serving in leadership positions with other professional organizations.

Commissioner Steve Troxler, (Ex Officio)



NC Agricultural Finance Authority
Address: 1101 Spring Forest Rd., Suite 150, Raleigh NC, 27615-5843
Phone:919-790-3949  FAX:919-790-3954

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