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Farmer Daly Glenn charts his own course with support of AgSouth

Daly Glenn of Glenn Family Farms planted his first crops when he was just a junior in high school. Over the past 12 years, he has grown and expanded his farm with the help of AgSouth agents who, he says, are a blessing for their understanding of agriculture and willingness to take a chance on their clients.
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Andrea Whitfield and Daly Glenn discuss business on an AgSouth visit to Glenn Family Farms.

29 year-old Daly Glenn, owner and operator of Glenn Family Farms, LLC, has achieved success at a young age thanks to his diligence and tenacity. His business has grown exponentially since 2012 and continues to develop as Glenn focuses on the present, but also looks toward the future. AgSouth has been a supportive force working alongside Glenn for many years.

"I've been all about farming ever since I knew what it was," Glenn recalls. "My great granddaddy actually farmed all of this land, but he died when I was three, so it just skipped generations, and I guess I got bit by the bug."

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Daly Glenn, of Glenn Family Farms, LLC, in his packing shed.

Glenn, who started Glenn Family Farms, LLC, did not grow up in a farming family. He reignited his ancestors' love of cultivating soil when he was a teenager.

"I started it when I was a junior in high school when I grew my very first crop. It was peanuts and soybeans, right in these two fields right here," Glenn says.

During this time, Glenn sought the advice of experienced local farmers so he could learn as much as possible about the agricultural business. Greg Sikes, Jeff Deal, Chris Thompson, Eric Thompson, Kevin Hendrix, and Ben Hilliard became Glenn's mentors, teaching him about the art of agriculture.

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Cassie Justen (left), Daly Glenn, and Andrea Whitfield (right) stand outside of the packing shed AgSouth helped orchestrate.

Eventually, Glenn purchased land not far from his current location and rented another farm to grow his crops. His expertise and business began to grow over the next few years. He worked for and with other local farmers before making the decision to pursue farming as a livelihood.

"It's probably been eight years that I've been solely on my own working for myself," he explains.

In 2018, Glenn obtained an operating line of credit from AgSouth and began working relationships that still thrive today. After working with Cassie Justen, Relationship Manager/Lending Officer, on his operating line, Glenn determined it was best for him to also secure crop insurance at AgSouth to keep his business under one roof. In 2019, he began working with Andrea Whitfield for his insurance needs.

Glenn also grew cotton and corn. Five years ago, he decided to venture into produce, and now has an expansive field of watermelons.

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Glenn inspects a watermelon that is almost ready to enhance someone's summer barbecue.

After a few years, the decision became clear that Glenn needed to expand his crop on the acreage he had, or find another line of work. He consulted farming mentor and friend, Ben Hilliard. Glenn originally wanted to grow onions, but realized the challenges of attempting to join this established league as a relative rookie.

"I needed to have an opportunity to make more money on less acres," Glenn explains. "The only way to keep the ball rolling was to do something like this."

When the watermelon decision was made, Glenn made a plan. For the first year, he planned to grow some of his own watermelons. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, he was unable to plant.

Then, a unique circumstance occurred. A contact of Glenn's needed an additional 30 acres of melons that year and Glenn had exactly 30 acres available to plant. This was his foray into growing for huge distributors such as Walmart.

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Watermelons abound this time of year at Glenn Family Farms, LLC.

"It was all an act of God, really," he says of the opportunity.

Glenn, who was packing his watermelon harvest at Deal's shed, realized the need to expand his operation. Justen also helped Daly realize his dream of building his own packing shed, having an adequate operating budget, and purchasing equipment that would not only get the job done in the present, but allow Glenn to expand his business in years to come.

"One cool thing about Daly is he was just passionate about it," Justen says. "It's good working with someone who comes to the table, they've done their homework, they're knowledgeable about what they're doing . . . he's got a direction in which he wants to go, which makes me very confident in his ability because he's confident in himself."

Glenn is thankful for the agents at AgSouth who understand agriculture and are willing to take a chance on their clients.

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Cassie Justen (left), Daly Glenn, and Andrea Whitfield (right) in one of Glenn's watermelon fields.

"With Cassie, I have a game plan together. This is what I'm planting. We sit down; we do the numbers. It's very simple. That's the best part of it," Glenn says.

"As he's mentioned before, he does have resources, he does have those relationships with other farmers who are in the same commodity section that he's in, and he's not scared to ask them. He's not scared to reach out, and he's not scared to take a chance because that's what this is," Justen says. "The choice he made has been a good choice for him, a lot of hard work, and a lot of moving parts, but he's done a phenomenal job and especially with him being so young; it's impressive."

Glenn is mostly a one-man operation with the exception of harvest time. His biggest concern, making sure all of his crops were insured, was alleviated by AgSouth.

"Andrea's been a huge blessing to me. Watermelons don't have insurance like other crops," Glenn says.

Whitfield had to do her research since watermelons are not typically insured in this area.

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Cassie Justen (left), Daly Glenn, and Andrea Whitfield (right) amidst Glenn's harvest.

"Whole farm policies are unique and do not make sense for every operation," Whitfield explains. "The policy can be challenging to navigate because several years of documentation is required."

It took teamwork for Glenn, Justen, and Whitfield to put together the necessary plan to insure Glenn's watermelons on a whole farm policy.

Glenn's future goals include installing coolers for his harvested crops as well as plant onions, and continuing to develop what he and his wife, Carlee, will be able to pass down to their future children.

Glenn has advice for young farmers just starting out as he did over 12 years ago: "Take the risk, an educated risk. If you think you can do it, and you put in the work, you can do it."

AgSouth Farm Credit is located at 40 S. Main St, Statesboro, GA 30458. Visit www.agsouthfc.com for more information.