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Producing Excellence

Cheyenne Rhodes

Mount Jackson, VA

Sycamore Banks Farm

Products: Poultry and cattle

Size of Operation: 440,000 chickens annually; 50 cow/calf pairs

In Business Since: 2015

Farm Credit Partner: Farm Credit of the Virginias

Working with Farm Credit Since: 2015

As Baby Boomers exit the workforce, the next generation of agricultural producers and Farm Credit employees are taking to the farming life with enthusiasm. One of them, Cheyenne Rhodes, a Farm Credit of the Virginias (FCV) loan officer and local farm owner, brings optimism and commitment to all her endeavors—on the farm and in the office.

Cheyenne joined Farm Credit as an intern while studying Agribusiness Management at Virginia Tech. Following graduation from college, in 2014, she joined FCV as a full-time loan officer supporting customers wanting to buy rural property. “Working here combines my two passions in life: agriculture and helping people,” she says. “As a loan officer, I get to help others pursue their dreams in agriculture and rural living every day.”

Cheyenne and her husband, Titus, wasted no time pursuing their own agricultural dream, Sycamore Banks Farm, the 101-acre spread they bought in 2015.

“One hundred acres was more than we wanted to bite off, but we took a look and fell in love with it,” Cheyenne says. “People asked us if we were sure we wanted to do this, but for us it was more a confidence that we could. We’re passionate about it, and we’re not going to give up.”

Sycamore Banks Farm has 40 acres of pasture, 50 head of Angus cattle and 30 acres of crop ground used to grow soybeans and winter wheat. Two 22-year-old poultry houses needed new electronics and fans before Cheyenne and Titus could accept their first flock of chicks, which they raise for 35 days before selling the small broilers to the fast-food industry through contracts with George’s Food, Inc.

“As the number of people involved in farming is dwindling, and an alarming number of people don’t fully understand where their food comes from, we have the joy and the satisfaction of knowing that we’re helping to feed all those who have no idea what it takes to raise their food,” Cheyenne says.

Like many farmers, this dedication doesn’t come without a personal cost. Cheyenne and Titus have skipped weekend getaways and vacations with friends to focus on the management and improvement of Sycamore Banks.

“We don’t have a lot of extra time to spend off the farm. Our schedules, when we’re not at our other jobs, revolve around the work that needs to be done here, and usually there isn’t room for much else. We’ve adopted quite the work-eat-sleep mentality,” Cheyenne says. “But that doesn’t hinder us from wanting to do it.”

Download a PDF version of this story here.