Justin Somers is the face to Farm Bureau for many Yadkin County residents, a role model for his youth group and a hero in the eyes of his daughter.
Somers spent half of his life growing up in Yadkin County before moving to Davidson County where he graduated from Ledford High School and went on to North Carolina State University to pursue an associate’s degree in poultry science and agriculture business management.
His passion for agriculture began at an early age with lessons that he learned from his grandparents.
“My Papaw Somers is where I feel like my desire to be a part of the agricultural lifestyle came from,” Somers said. “Mamaw and Papaw grew tobacco before I was born, but by the time that I came along they were mostly just gardening a very large garden. Papaw taught the importance of if you’re going to do something you need to do it right.”
Somers has always held a passion for Yadkin County as well.
“I love it here,” Somers said. “Even when I didn’t live here this has always been home.”
And that is just what Somers did: he returned to Yadkin County in 2004 and started working for Perdue Chicken as a breeder flock supervisor.
“I have supervision over 25 land houses on 10 farms in Yadkin and Stokes counties,” Somers said. “I have to see those farms every week. I get to go with the grower and work together so that Purdue is profitable and the grower is profitable.”
He expanded his involved in the Yadkin County community by taking on the position of youth director at Longtown United Methodist Church in 2005. In this position he leads anywhere from 10 to 15 pre-teens and teens in fellowship, mission trips and bible study.
“They’re a pleasure and a blessing to be around most of the time,” Somer said with a laugh. “You know how teenagers are. We have a good time. We’ve been on several mission trips to do tornado cleanup and rebuilding projects with Samarian’s Purse. Most of the time we just join in fellowship and have a good time.”
In 2007 Somers made two major steps in his life. He married his wife Lindsey and joined the board of directors at Farm Bureau.
“When I was at NC State I had a desire to serve the agricultural community,” Somers said. “My second year there I met Larry Wooten who is the state president of the NC Farm Bureau Federation, and he talked a good talk and made me want to get involved with the organization when I got out of school. I think we do a lot of good for the agriculture community in counties across the state and across the country.”
In 2010 Somers had several changes in his life. He welcomed the birth of his baby girl Julia Grace, and he took on his title of president of Farm Bureau.
Somers said that his life definitely changed after becoming a father. His daughter, who is 2, supplies him with plenty of joy and non-stop laughter, he said.
He shared a story of a Farm Bureau meeting where she stole the show.
“At our annual meeting last year we were finished and were giving away door prizes at the end. We usually let the kids come up and draw the numbers and call them out,” Somers said. “She took the microphone acted real bashful and she held the microphone real low and said the number, but I told her she had to say it into the microphone. She put the microphone up to her mouth and she rolled her eyes around to me and said, “my butt itches.”
Somers said that he enjoys taking Julia Grace with him wherever he goes and he cannot imagine a world without her now.
“Everybody always says you’re life will never be the same after you have kids and that’s true but it’s hard to say specifically what’s different because I don’t remember what life was like before I just know what life is like now,” Somers said.
Somers says that he hopes to further develop his own farm and be able to farm full-time in the future. He also wants to strive for the kind of marriage his grandparents had.
“I am still young and have a lot of life ahead of me, I hope, but I am content with my life,” Somers said. “I hope to see organizations that I am a part of and lead continue to thrive and fulfill their mission and grow to reach more people.
I have a family that I love and that loves me and supports me in what I do, I live in a great place, I’m able to provide for my family and have a great bunch of close friends. Who could ask for more?”
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at email@example.com.