Fruit and vegetable producers Chalmers and Lori Anne Carr of Ridge Spring, S.C., have been named the 2017 winners of the Top Producer of the Year award. The husband-and-wife team are owners of Titan Farms, which produces peaches on 5,300 acres as well as peppers and broccoli on 870 acres.
“Chalmers and Lori Anne are first-generation farmers who have built an impressive operation on sound business principles and a defined approach to management,” notes Sara Schafer, Editor of Top Producer magazine. “They have adapted their business strategy to changing consumer trends and have strived to build a dedicated and engaged team.”
Chalmers and Lori Anne are owners and serve as president and vice president, respectively.They are a premier grower, packer and processor of peaches and vegetables in the eastern U.S., and they serve as the largest supplier to retailers such as Walmart, Harris Teeter and Wegmans.The Carrs employ 40 full-time employees and 630 H2A workers.
Sponsored by Bayer CropScience and Case IH, the Top Producer of the Year contest is in its 18th year and represents the best in the business of farming. Three finalists are chosen from among numerous applications by a panel of judges based on entrepreneurial originality, financial and business progress and industry and community leadership. Also honored as finalists during the annual Top Producer of the Year banquet held Wednesday night in Chicago were brothers Richard and Roderick Gumz of Gumz Farms in Endeavor, Wis.; and John Pagel of Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy in Kewaunee, Wis.
A total of 800 attendees participated in Farm Journal Media’s Top Producer Seminar, including more than 500 of the nation’s largest producers, representing over 4 million acres. Producers came to Chicago from 26 states.
“There is no other event in agriculture that attracts such a concentration of the nation’s top producers,” says Doug Catt, Vice President, Crop Division, Farm Journal Media. “In the span of a few days, Top Producer Seminar attendees hear from the industry’s best experts and network with like-minded producers, as well as sponsors.”
This year’s seminar theme, “Keep Calm, Farm On: Controlling Chaos in Uncertainty,” featured more than 30 different educational sessions for producers to hone their money, marketing and management skills and deal with today’s volatile farm economy.