Ag Spotlight: SLO County Farm Supply Company
Meet Cara Crye and SLO County Farm Supply Co.
Cara Crye, President/CEO of SLO County Farm Supply, grew up watching her grandfather farm and ranch on the Central Coast. She followed in his footsteps by joining her local 4-H and FFA.
In 1996 she joined the team at Farm Supply, working in various roles for 26 years. She became the CEO in 2017.
Formed in 1950, Farm Supply is a unique Central Coast business because it’s a farmer-owned cooperative. The five locations, from Paso Robles to Buellton, sell everything farmers and ranchers need to run their operation. This includes feed, fertilizer, seed, fencing materials, clothing, and supplies for livestock, horses, and pets. They also have a nursery and a full-service pump department for rural customers with wells!
So what is an average day like for Cara?
"Every day is different at Farm Supply, which I really enjoy!” she said. “From meeting with staff, to participating on community boards, store visits, customer relations, leading special projects for the company, it varies from day to day."
But what ties everything together is Farm Supply’s core values to be deeply rooted in the community.
"We are passionate about supporting youth in agriculture through 4-H, FFA and school gardens. We participate at our local fairs supporting junior livestock exhibitors by providing supplies, hosting a fun, educational event to kick off the fair and purchase animals at the auction," Crye said.
"We also feel strongly about bringing free education to the community. We host multiple clinics throughout the year, from raising backyard chickens to growing a succulent garden. Our Great Pumpkin Contest in downtown SLO's Mission Plaza is a community favorite as well!" she said.
As we all know, people rely on the ag industry for food. Likewise, farmers and ranchers rely on Farm Supply for the products they need to run their operations.
"The greatest benefit is being a part of an industry that affects every single human being in a positive way multiple times a day," President/CEO Cara Crye said. "As a sales and service cooperative, we take our responsibility seriously on how our members rely on us for their livelihood"But the farming and ranching lifestyle also comes with its difficulties.
"The greatest challenge is the unknowns agriculture is faced with: weather, supply chain, labor, consumers. It's a lot to manage."