November 28, 2023
“I couldn’t wait for the school week to be over” said Blalock. “It meant I got to spend Saturday working on the farm with Dad”. Some Saturday’s were spent in the field driving a tractor or scouting crops. Other times you could catch him hauling grain or heading to sell tobacco at the market. No matter what his weekend looked like, Collin knew he wanted farming to be a part of his future.
“Farm Credit made available the necessary resources for my family to be able to farm and put food on our tables. I knew Farm Credit was the place I wanted to work for, the people I wanted to surround myself with, and the customers I wanted to serve. Ever since I was a little kid I said, “If I don’t farm, I want to work at Farm Credit”.
Collin serves as a loan officer in the Smithfield branch. In this role, he is able to build relationships with his customers and help them achieve their dreams. He credits the farm as well as starting his own business, Collin’s Produce, to his success as a loan officer. “It taught me life lessons that I couldn’t learn anywhere else.” Lessons about finances, managing employees, marketing, sales, and communication, are among the many lessons learned during his time on the farm.
“I started Collins Produce in 2012 when I was 15 years old. I grew 1/3rd of an acre of peas that I sold to family and friends. It was the hardest I had ever worked, doing everything essentially by hand. From there I expanded to nearly 60 acres of produce and cut flowers. I sold to grocery stores, restaurants, wholesalers, farmers markets, florist, and the public. Collin’s Produce is still something I operate on a part time basis with my wife, Ashley.”
Collin and his wife Ashley currently host agritourism events and grow cut flowers for the public to enjoy. While reflecting on his childhood growing up on the farm, Collin expressed how much he loved the opportunity to grow up on a farm. “There is truly nothing like it and I will cherish these memories as long as I live.” His time and passion for being on the farm has grown even more after the birth of their now nine month old daughter, Alaina. “Taking her to the farm to walk, see the cows, and watch tractors work the fields puts a whole new meaning on life. I want to preserve the farm so she can have the same experiences that I had growing up and learn the same life lessons that I learned.”
Whether on or off the farm, Collin continues to share his love of agriculture and serving others. As an avid NC State Wolfpack fan, one of his favorite ways of doing this is by serving his watermelons to NC State athletes.
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