Since he could walk, Gary Hendrix has been planting seeds on the family farm. Hendrix, president of the North Carolina Soybean Producers Association board of directors, is a third-generation farmer in Hoke County. Hendrix Farms was established in the 1930’s by his grandfather, and was later operated by Gary’s father, growing cotton, tobacco and raising hogs.
Once Hendrix finished his schooling at North Carolina State University’s Agricultural Institute, he returned to his 7,500-acre farm. Today you can find Hendrix, his wife Lynn, and their two oldest children on the farm growing corn, cotton, soybeans, peanuts, wheat and sometimes rapeseed. When Hendrix needs a pick-me-up during a long run in the combine, you can guarantee he is eating his favorite snack, peanut butter crackers.
Hendrix finds that his favorite part of farming is being able to watch the crops grow and change with the seasons. He acknowledges the risks and uncertainties that come with being a farmer, like the weather and markets, but has found that advancements in technology have allowed him to better assess his risks by helping to make things more predictable.
Looking into the future of farming, Hendrix sees change and opportunity. “Agriculture has unique opportunities for people to think outside the box,” says Hendrix. In a world where things are constantly changing, adaptability is key. Some advice he left for those interested in getting involved in farming was to do what you do best, enjoy what you do, find ways to mitigate your risk and be willing to partner with others.