Next Gen Ag: Twin Telepathy on the Farm

by | Feb 21, 2024

Next Gen Ag is a year long series that will run on our In The Field blog, Facebook page, Instagram page and Twitter account. Each Wednesday, we will highlight a young person pursuing a career in the agriculture industry. Individuals can be in high school, college, or recent graduates who are working to establish a career in agriculture. Stay tuned each week to meet some of our industry’s future leaders!

Twin telepathy is taken to a new level with Chris and Cody Stainback, aspiring farmers and agriculture industry workers from Henderson. Growing up on a fourth-generation family farm, both boys were raised with agriculture in their veins and have had a passion for it as long as either of them can remember. Not only are they both pursuing a degree in agriculture, but they also dream of one day working in the tobacco industry together.

From the time they were able to walk, Chris and Cody remember riding with their dad on the farm and helping him with the tobacco crop. “For nearly sixty years our family raised about 300 acres of tobacco,” Chris said, “so, my brother and I fell in love with the crop at a very young age.” Although the family stopped growing tobacco a few years ago, they continue to grow many acres of wheat, soybeans, and sorghum. “Even as kids, dad made us a part of the farm,” Cody said. “We had our own farm uniforms with our names and the logo on them. We thought we were something and nobody could touch us. We’ve always been proud to be here on the farm and that continues to this day.” The strong love of agriculture instilled in the Stainback boys by their father is what led both to pursue a career in the industry. “Farmers are the backbone of this country, and my father has always been my inspiration,” Cody said. “He taught us how to work hard for our dreams and always do our best in any situation.” A strong work ethic, attention to detail and personable demeanor are just a few of the qualities instilled in Chris and Cody by their father that will take them far in their agricultural careers.

Today, both Chris and Cody are working to obtain their Master’s degree in Crop Science at N.C. State University‘s Agronomy Program. Both boys have a strong tobacco science focus and bachelor’s degrees in Agriculture Science. “Agriculture is the most important industry in the world. It contributes a lot to our economy and distinguishes us from any other state,” Chris said. “After I graduate, I would like to work somewhere in the tobacco industry and help sustain it for years to come.” Growing up farming tobacco with their father gave both Chris and Cody a strong love for the crop and a desire to see it grow in importance for our state. “Our dream would be to bring it back to the family farm one day,” Cody said. “However, even if that doesn’t happen, as long as we are working in the tobacco industry on a farm, within a company or advising other farmers, we will be happy.”

Chris and Cody both graduate with their master’s degree in May and look forward to returning home to the family farm. “I think we have gone home nearly every weekend of college because the farm is our happy place,” Chris said. “We love working together with the rest of our family and seeing our crops come to harvest.” Although they both love working on the farm and in the field, the Stainback brothers’ favorite part of working in the agriculture industry is the culture, the people, and the harvest. “The agriculture industry is honestly one big family,” Cody said. “Everyone is open to suggestions, willing to help each other and passionate about what they do.” Chris also enjoys seeing the fruit of his labor at the end of a long season. “We work so hard on a crop all season long,” he said, “through ups and downs, challenges and successes, but to see it come to fruition and create a bountiful harvest is incredibly rewarding.” Like most farmers, Chris and Cody exude passion for the industry simply through conversation and look forward to each new project and challenge presented to them.

When asked if they would stay together for their careers in agriculture, the twins laughed before looking at each other and shrugging. “I don’t know if we will end up at the same company/farm or not, but I know that we won’t go far from each other,” Cody said. “We both would like to raise our future families on the family farm, so at the very least we will still live as neighbors on the same land.” Their agricultural bond is strong, but the bond of family and brotherhood is even stronger.

Chris and Cody’s advice to anyone seeking a career in the agriculture industry is to get involved, be confident and reach for your dreams. “Don’t let anyone discourage you and don’t be afraid to work hard,” they said. “Step out of the box and make connections because you never know where those relationships will take you. Have confidence and try new things. One of those things will lead to where you are meant to be within the industry.” We love the passion and excitement that both Chris and Cody exude for the industry and look forward to seeing where their agricultural careers take them!