Leadership

Our mission is to provide to deliver highly competitive funding, products, and services that empower our partners to support rural communities and American agriculture. Our leadership team ensures we adhere to that mission. Meet our Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

Executives

Tim Amerson

President and Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Amerson received a B.S. degree in business finance from the University of South Carolina and an MBA from Duke University. Prior to joining AgFirst in 1987, Mr. Amerson was employed by The National Bank of South Carolina. He serves on the AgFirst/FCBT Plan Sponsor Committee, AgFirst Plan Sponsor Committee, the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation Board of Directors (vice chairman of the board and chairman of the Compensation Committee) and the Farm Credit System Presidents’ Planning Committee (chairman of the Finance Committee and member of the Business Practices Committee). Mr. Amerson is a member of the AgFirst Executive Committee.

Charl Butler

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Butler earned a B.A. in economics from Wake Forest University and a Master of Accountancy from the University of South Carolina. He completed the Stonier Graduate School of Banking. He was employed by The National Bank of South Carolina as CFO prior to joining AgFirst in 2007. Mr. Butler serves on the board of the Farm Credit Captive Insurance Company as chairman, the AgFirst/FCBT Plan Fiduciary Committee as chairman, the Farm Credit System Disclosure Committee and the AgFirst Executive Committee.

Isvara Wilson

Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer

Ms. Wilson is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business with a B.S. in economics. She earned her Juris Doctor from Tulane University School of Law and is admitted to practice in New York, North Carolina, South Carolina and before the Supreme Court of the U.S. Prior to joining AgFirst in 2012, Ms. Wilson worked with Bank of America. She serves on the board of the Farm Credit Captive Insurance Company and on the AgFirst Executive Committee.

Will Brown

Senior Vice President and Chief Credit Officer

Mr. Brown received a B.A. in monetary economics and finance from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He joined AgFirst in 2017 and previously worked at First Citizens Bank of South Carolina, First Citizens Bank & Trust of North Carolina and Wachovia Bank. Mr. Brown serves on the Senior Management, Management Coordination, Asset/Liability Management, and Disclosure committees. He is chairman of the Loan Committee and Special Asset Management Committee.

Sam Esfahani

Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer

Mr. Esfahani has B.S. degrees in engineering from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland; and an M.S. in business from Central Michigan University. He joined AgFirst in 2017 and previously worked for Danske Bank in Copenhagen, Denmark; and PSCU, a credit union service provider in St. Petersburg, Fla. In addition to the Senior Management and Management Coordination committees, Mr. Esfahani serves on the Information Security and Business Continuity Committee and the Services and Technology Steering Committee for AgFirst.

Stephen Gilbert

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Gilbert received a B.S. in business administration with a major in accounting and a minor in economics from Syracuse University. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of South Carolina and a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). Prior to joining AgFirst in 2007, he was employed by Price Waterhouse LLP, Pirelli Cables and Systems North America, and Hanson Brick and Tile North America. Mr. Gilbert currently serves as chairman of the Disclosure Committee at AgFirst and is a member of the Senior Management, Management Coordination and Asset/Liability Management committees, as well as the Internal Control Over Financial Reporting (ICFR) Steering Committee. Mr. Gilbert is also a committee member of the Accounting Standards Work Group and the ICFR Work Group of the Farm Credit System.

Frances Griggs

Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Mrs. Griggs received a bachelor’s degree from Clemson University and a juris doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. Prior to joining AgFirst in 2013, she was the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Howden North America. She has previous experience as in-house counsel for insurance companies and as a litigator in private practice. Mrs. Griggs serves on the AgFirst Senior Management and Management Coordination committees. She also serves on the Asset/Liability Management, Disclosure and Executive Credit committees.

Dan LaFreniere

Chief Audit Executive

Mr. LaFreniere has a B.B.A. in accountancy from the University of Notre Dame. Before joining AgFirst in 2013, he worked for SCANA Corp. in Columbia, S.C.; The Coleman Co. Inc. in Lake City, S.C.; Baxter Healthcare Corp. in Deerfield, Ill.; and Deloitte and Touche in Chicago. He is an ex-officio member of the Bank’s Executive Committee.

Board of Directors

John S. Langford, Chair

Farm Credit of Central Florida

John S. Langford, Chairman of the Board is from Lakeland, Florida, and has been a citrus grower and citrus fruit dealer for 47 years.  Mr. Langford has also been a realtor for 34 years, specializing in agricultural lands.  He currently serves as a director on the boards of Farm Credit of Central Florida and the Lake Wales Citrus Growers Association. Mr. Langford obtained his B.A. degree from Emory University and his MBA from Harvard Business School.  Mr. Langford became a director in 2012 and his current term expires December 31, 2019.

Curtis R. Hancock Jr., Vice Chair

River Valley AgCredit, Compensation Committee

Curtis R. Hancock, Jr., Vice Chairman of the Board is from Fulton, Kentucky, and is owner and operator of Hancock Farms.  His operations consist of 1,400 acres of row crops, including corn, wheat and soybeans.  He serves on the board of River Valley ACA; the national Farm Credit Council, a trade organization; and Kentucky Small Grain Growers.  He is a former member of Hickman County Farm Bureau, the local Southern State Cooperative, and the Hickman County FSA.  Mr. Hancock received a BS in Agriculture from the University of Tennessee-Martin and a Master’s of Science in Ag Economics from the University of Tennessee.  Mr. Hancock became a director in 2013 and his current term expires December 31, 2020.  

Jack W. Bentley Jr.

AgGeorgia Farm Credit, Compensation Committee

Jack W. Bentley, Jr., a dairy farmer in Tignall, Georgia, owns and operates A&J Dairy, a 420 cow dairy that includes 668 acres of pasture, crops and timberland, and an additional 500 acres of leased farmland.  Mr. Bentley is a director of AgGeorgia Farm Credit, ACA, Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, American Dairy Association, the Wilkes County Farm Bureau, and Chairman of the local USDA Farm Service Agency.    Mr. Bentley has a BS in Ag Mechanics and Business from Clemson University and has attended numerous Leadership Institutes for Banking.  Mr. Bentley is the Board appointed member of both the AgFirst Plan Sponsor Committee and the AgFirst/FCBT Plan Sponsor Committee. Mr. Bentley became a director in 2010 and his current term expires December 31, 2017.

James “Jimmy” C. Carter Jr.

AgSouth Farm Credit, Governance Committee

James “Jimmy” C. Carter, Jr., owns and operates with his son, Southern Belle Farm, Inc., located in McDonough, Georgia. The 330-acre beef cattle and hay farm, includes fruit and vegetable crops, and agriculturally related educational activities.  Mr. Carter also operates a feed business from the farm and provides artificial insemination services and supplies for cattle.  Mr. Carter is a director of AgSouth Farm Credit, the national Farm Credit Council, a trade organization, and serves as chairman of the Henry County Water and Sewage Authority.  He is a representative on the Ocmulgee River Basin Advisory Council and serves as vice president of the Henry County Farm Bureau.  He is a member of the board for the Henry County Cattleman’s Association.  Mr. Carter has a BS in Agriculture and Master of Science from the University of Georgia.  Mr. Carter became a director in 2011 and his current term expires December 31, 2018.

Bonnie V. Hancock

Outside Director, Governance Committee

Bonnie V. Hancock, is Executive Director of the Enterprise Risk Management Initiative at North Carolina State University (NCSU).  She also teaches courses in financial management, enterprise risk management, strategy and financial statement analysis.  Prior to joining NCSU, she worked with Progress Energy, as senior vice president of finance and information technology and later as president of Progress Fuels, a subsidiary that produced and marketed gas, coal and synthetic fuels, and operated fuel terminals and ash management facilities.  Ms. Hancock has an Master’s of Science in taxation from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an accounting major from the College of William and Mary.  She lives in Wake Forest, North Carolina, and is a member of the boards of Powell Industries, designer and manufacturer of electrical equipment systems for industrial facilities, where she serves on the compensation committee; the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight, where she serves as chair of the audit committee; and the North Carolina Coastal Pines Girl Scout Council, where she serves as chair of the audit committee.  Ms. Hancock became a director in 2010 and her current term expires December 31, 2017.

Dale R. Hershey

MidAtlantic Farm Credit, Governance Committee (Chair)

Dale R. Hershey, is from Manheim, Pennsylvania and is a partner in Hershey Brothers Dairy Farms, managing the operations’ real estate and cropping enterprises.  The operations include a dairy operation which milks 300 cows, raises 250 dairy replacements, and grows 650 acres of corn, alfalfa, soybeans, barley, and rye and grass hay. Beginning in 2017, the farming operation is being transitioned to a niece and nephew, and grandnephew. He serves on the board of directors of MidAtlantic Farm Credit, ACA, the National Farm Credit Council, and the Farm Credit Council Services.  He is a member of Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, the Pennsylvania Holstein Association, Lancaster County Blue Ribbon Commission for Agriculture and the Penn Township Agriculture Security Committee.  Mr. Hershey has a BS in Community Development and a Master’s of Science in Ag Economics and Rural Sociology from Penn State University.  In addition, he has taken special courses at Eastern Mennonite University.  Mr. Hershey became a director in 2008 and his current term expires December 31, 2019.

Walter C. Hopkins

MidAtlantic Farm Credit, Compensation Committee

Walter C. Hopkins,  is from Lewes, Delaware, and he along with his son operate a dairy and grain farm, Green Acres Farm, consisting of 600 cows, 500 replacement heifers and 1,000 acres of crops.  He is also manager of Lyons LLC, a land holding company.  He serves on the board of directors of MidAtlantic Farm Credit and is chair of both the AgFirst Plan Sponsor Committee and the AgFirst/FCBT Plan Sponsor Committee.  He is a member of Delaware Farm Bureau, Land O’ Lakes Cooperative, Genex Cooperative and Delaware Holstein Association.  Mr. Hopkins has a BS in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Delaware, and has attended several professional development programs. Mr. Hopkins became a director in 2013 and his current term expires December 31, 2020.

William K. Jackson

AgChoice Farm Credit, Risk Policy Committee (Chair)

William K. Jackson, from New Salem, Pennsylvania, is a partner in Jackson Farms, an 800-acre dairy that milks 160 registered Holsteins and grows corn and alfalfa.  He is president of Jackson Farms 2, LLC, a small dairy processing facility that produces milk and makes ice cream which are marketed to area stores and are also sold via an on-site convenience store.  He is also president of Jackson Farms 3, LLC and Jackson Farms Limited Partnership, which are involved in the production of natural gas.  He serves on the boards of AgChoice Farm Credit, ACA; the Fay Penn Economic Development Council; the Fayette County Fair Board; and the Penn State Fayette, Eberly Campus Advisory Board.  Mr. Jackson has a BS in Agricultural Business Management from Penn State University.  Mr. Jackson became a director in 2013 and his current term expires December 31, 2020.
 

S. Jerry Layman

AG CREDIT Agricultural Credit Association, Governance Committee

S. Jerry Layman, assists with Layman Farms LLC, a 3800 no-till corn and soybean operation, with his brother.  They also operate Layman Farm Drainage, a local agricultural tile installation business.  Mr. Layman currently serves as a Board member of AgCredit, ACA.  He represents AgCredit on the IARP Sponsoring Committee and represents the IARP group of associations on the AgFirst/FCBT Plan Sponsor Committee.  He is a member of American/Ohio Soybean Association, American/Ohio Corn/Wheat Growers Association, Hardin County Farm Bureau/American and Hardin County SWCD.  Mr. Layman is a stockholder in Heritage Farm Coop.  Mr. Layman has a BS in Agriculture Education from the Ohio State University and a MS of Education Leadership from the University of Dayton.  He became a director in 2015 and his current term expires in 2018.

S. Alan Marsh

First South Farm Credit, Governance Committee

S. Alan Marsh, is a third-generation farmer, and partner in Marsh Farms in Madison, Alabama. His operation consists of 3,000 acres of row crops, including cotton, soybeans, wheat and corn.  Mr. Marsh is a director of First South Farm Credit, ACA where he currently serves as Chairman of the Sub-Chapter T Committee and the Governance Committee.  Mr. Marsh is a director of Limestone County Farmers Federation, and is president and stockholder of South Limestone Co-op Gin, an Association borrower.  He is also an advisory board member for Staplecotn, a cotton cooperative association. Mr. Marsh received a Business Management Certification from Stratford Career Institute and has attended numerous special courses/clinics/workshops/seminars on director training, marketing, scouting, irrigation, pesticides and farm safety.  Mr. Marsh became a director in 2010 and his current term expires December 31, 2017.  

James L. May

Central Kentucky Ag Credit, Audit Committee

James L. May, is owner and operator of Mayhaven Farm in Waynesburg, Kentucky, where he owns 750 acres and leases another 300 acres.  His farming program consists of a 150 beef cow herd, and a back grounding program of 200 head of feeder cattle.  The operation also includes 100 acres of alfalfa hay, 500 acres of corn and soybeans, and 100 acres of wheat. He also operates Mayhaven Seed Sales, an agricultural seed sales business.   He currently serves as a member of the Central Kentucky Ag Credit board, Lincoln County Extension Council, and the Lincoln County Farm Bureau Board. He is a former director of the Lincoln County Ag Development Board and the local cattleman’s association. Mr. May has a BS in Agricultural Economics from the University of Kentucky and has attended special courses for farm managers and rural appraisers.  Mr. May became a director in 2006 and his current term expires December 31, 2017.

Fred R. Moore Jr.

MidAtlantic Farm Credit, Audit Committee

Fred R. Moore, Jr., is from Eden, Maryland.  He is president of Fred R. Moore & Son, Inc. d/b/a Collins Wharf Sod, a turf and grain operation which grows sod (turf), corn, soybeans and wheat on 650 acres.  He is also partner of F&E Properties, LLC, a rental business.  He currently serves on the boards of MidAtlantic Farm Credit, Wicomico Soil Conservation District and Wicomico County Farm Bureau.  In addition, he is a member of the FFA Alumni Association and currently serves as an active life member of the Allen Volunteer Fire Company.  Mr. Moore has a BS from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.  He became a director in 2014, and his term expires December 31, 2017.

James M. Norsworthy III.

First South Farm Credit, Risk Policy Committee

James M. Norsworthy, III, from Jackson, Louisiana runs 100 Cedars Cattle Farm, a 145-head cow-calf operation.  He also has a commercial hay operation with 125 acres in Alicia Bermuda hay and 150 acres in Bahia Grass hay and manages a 500 acre pine and hardwood timber operation. He is a member of the board of directors of First South Farm Credit, ACA.  He is a member of Feliciana Farm Bureau, East Feliciana Cattlemen’s Association, American Angus Association and the Feliciana Forestry Association. Mr. Norsworthy is a member of the Centreville Academy Board of Directors and served as a former mayor of the town of Jackson, Louisiana.  Mr. Norsworthy has a BS of Vo Ag Education from Louisiana State University.  Mr. Norsworthy became a director in 2008 and his current term expires December 31, 2019.

Katherine A. Pace

Outside Director, Audit Committee

Katherine A. Pace, from Orlando, Florida, is a certified public accountant and principal of Family Business Consulting, LLC, which provides financial and strategic planning for closely held businesses.  Prior to forming her company, she was a tax partner with KPMG, LLP, an audit, tax and advisory service firm, from 1985-2005.  While at KPMG, her practice included a variety of cooperative and agribusiness clients as well as participation in trade associations such as the National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives.  Ms. Pace obtained her B.S. degree in accounting from Furman University.    She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and current and past member and director of numerous trade and charitable organizations.  Ms. Pace is the board designated financial expert.  Ms. Pace became a director in 2006 and her current term expires December 31, 2019.

Thomas E. Porter Jr.

Carolina Farm Credit, Risk Policy Committee

Thomas E. Porter, Jr., is from Concord, North Carolina, where he is president of Porter Farms Inc. It consists of 1000 acres containing a 2200 sow farrow to wean swine operation, 4 pullet houses and 4 layer houses and a 400 head, cow / calf operation. He also manages and agritourism business on his farm.  He currently serves on the Carolina Farm Credit board of directors, the Cabarrus County Ag advisory board, President of Cabarrus County Farm Bureau, Chairman of Cabarrus County Extension advisory board. He is also a member of the NC Poultry Federation and serves on the Commissioners Circle for the NC Commissioner of Agriculture.  He became a director in 2014, and his term expires December 31, 2017.

William T. Robinson

AgSouth Farm Credit, Audit Committee (Chair)

William T. Robinson, is from St. Matthews, South Carolina, where he is the owner operator of Robinson Family Farm which consists of hay, cattle, and timber.  Mr. Robinson is currently employed as the Executive Director for The SEFA Group, an engineering, construction, and transportation company.  He retired from Santee Cooper, South Carolina's state owned electric and water utility, in the department of Treasury and Corporate Financial Planning.  He is a member of the Orangeburg Area Cattleman’s Association, South Carolina Farm Bureau, and serves on the Parent Advisory Council for Wofford College, South Carolina Palmetto AgriBusiness Council, and the Lexington County Chamber of Commerce.   Mr. Robinson obtained a BS and MS degree in Civil Engineering from Clemson University and a MBA from Charleston Southern University.  He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of AgSouth Farm Credit, ACA and serves on the Executive and Compensation committee.  Mr. Robinson is a member of the AgFirst Benefits Plan Sponsor Committee and the AgFirst/FCBT Benefits Plan Sponsor Committee.  He became a director in 2016 and his term expires December 31, 2019.

Robert H. Spiers Jr.

Colonial Farm Credit, Risk Policy Committee

Robert H. Spiers, Jr., is a full-time farmer, with a tobacco, corn, soybeans, milo, and wheat operation on 1,600 acres in Dinwiddie County, Virginia. He currently serves on the boards of Colonial Farm Credit, ACA, the national Farm Credit Council, a trade organization, Tobacco Associates, Inc., promotes export of US tobacco, and Dinwiddie County Farm Bureau.  He is also a governor appointed director on the Virginia Flue-cured Tobacco Board, and the Virginia Tobacco Revitalization Commission.  He has been active on a number of Virginia Farm Bureau advisory committees.  Mr. Spiers has a BS in Ag Economics from Virginia Tech University.  He is Vice Chair of the AgFirst Plan Sponsor Committee and a member of the AgFirst/FCBT Plan Sponsor Committee. Mr. Spiers became a director in 2006 and his current term expires December 31, 2017.

Michael T. “Bo” Stone

Cape Fear Farm Credit, Compensation Committee (Chair)

Michael T. “Bo” Stone, owns and operates a 2700 acre row crop farm with his wife and parents producing corn, wheat, and soybeans.  They operate a swine finishing operation under contract with Murphy Brown and own a 65 head cow/calf herd.  The family grows 2.5 acres of strawberries and 5 acres of sweet corn to sell at their roadside stand.  The family also manages approximately 600 acres of timber.  Mr. Stone is a director of Cape Fear Farm Credit, a director of Southeastern Health hospital, and a director of Dillon Christian School.  He is member of North Carolina Farm Bureau.  Mr. Stone has a BS in Ag Business Management with a minor in Animal Science and a MS in Agriculture from NC State University.  He became a director in 2015 and his current term expires in 2018.

Ellis W. Taylor

AgCarolina Farm Credit, Audit Committee

Ellis W. Taylor, 47, from Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, is an owner/operator of a row crop operation, Mush Island Farms, LLC, which consists of cotton, soybeans, wheat, corn and timber.  He also is part owner of Roanoke Cotton Company, LLC, which operates three cotton gins and a warehouse.  He is a director on the boards of AgCarolina Farm Credit, ACA, Farm Credit Federal Funding Corporation,  and Northampton County Farm Bureau.  Mr. Taylor has a BS in Agronomy, a BS in Ag Business Management and a Master’s of Economics from North Carolina State University.  Mr. Taylor became a director in 2012 and his current term expires December 31, 2019.