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Producing Excellence

Maykia Yang & Jim Xiong

Carthage, NC

Operation: NewLife Farm, Rising Sons Farm & Elite Farm

Products Raised/Grown: Broiler chickens

Size of Operation: 12 Houses

In Business Since: 2002

Farm Credit Partner: Carolina Farm Credit

Working with Farm Credit Since: 2005

Young and beginning farmers come to agriculture for any number of reasons. For Jim Xiong, it was a surprising aftereffect of the 9/11 tragedy that put him in a position to pursue a long-time dream.

Jim lost his job with a private airline repair hub in Phoenix after 9/11 when demand for services dropped. Deciding what to do next brought him to North Carolina where he had family working in the poultry industry. Jim had always wanted to be a farmer, so after visiting his family and learning more, Jim and his wife, Maykia Yang, decided to move to the state and start their own poultry operation.

With no background in farming, they of course had a lot to learn, and Carolina Farm Credit was there to help. "They told us about things we knew nothing about, things we didn't even know existed,” Jim says. “They really helped us. They have been more like a partner in our success than a financial institution.

Jim and Maykia’s determination and willingness to learn have paid off: They now have 12 large poultry houses and a contract with Mountaire, one of the top chicken processing companies. They’ve also purchased land with her sister and cousin where they have poultry operations as well, 28 between them.

The couple also gives back to the community all that they can, particularly the local Hmong community, most of whom are involved in the poultry industry. For example, they provide training and translations for non-English speaking Hmong growers through RAFI USA, an organization that cultivates markets, policies and communities that support thriving, socially just and environmentally sound family farms. They also work with the United Hmong Organization to facilitate trainings and the Hmong Helping Hmong Growers Organization during disastrous or catastrophic situations.

Download a PDF version of this story here.