This month we are pleased to present Keith Caldwell for our Spotlight Feature. Keith hails from North Carolina and is a fervent and dedicated member of the agriculture industry. Keith has dedicated a great deal of his life to working and serving in ag, Keith is also committed to developing and furthering his knowledge and education to increase his personal impact in the industry. Please enjoy reading more about Keith and his sidekick Einstein in this month's Contractor Spotlight.
How did you get involved with DCI?
A friend of mine recommended I check out a project that was available to work on with DCI. I was hoping to get more involved in row crop agriculture, it all came together and was a good fit!
Tell us about your background:
I grew up on a soybean and small grain farm, helping my father with the farm until I graduated high school. I then attended my local community college, obtaining a Certificate in Horticulture. I went on to start my own lawn and garden business which was rewarding, however, I soon found myself wanting to return to row crop agriculture. After deciding to change career paths, I also determined that I wanted to broaden my education and professional status in the agriculture industry. While I was closing my business and phasing it out, I attended on-line and distance courses from N.C. State University in the field of Agronomy. After N.C. State, I soon returned to row crop agriculture, working with and advising farmers daily. Needless to say, I definitely felt right back at home and was happy to be in agriculture again!
What is the best thing about being a DCI Contractor?
I enjoy being able to meet and help such a vast group of farmers. I currently work on two projects, so the number of farmers I see and help is pretty large, which I love! I also think the ease and help I get from the Project Managers is really a big plus - you feel like you are part of a big family.
Tell us about your home and family.
I live in the small town of Newton, NC with my wonderful wife Cheryl and two stepsons, Micheal and Chase along with my little Jack Russell named Einstein ( Yes ... Back to the Future dog, I’m an 80’s kid!) I don’t live far from my family farm, I still help my father manage the farm and I feel blessed to be able to do so at this point in my life.
What do you drive while working?
My Chevrolet Silverado.
What was your first job?
My first job was picking up rocks and roots on my neighbor's farm - it was all freshly cleared, new ground, and was a lot of work!
What are your hobbies and interests?
Fishing of any kind - I love it all! I also collect old firearms.
What do you do the first hour of the morning?
I drink a cup of coffee and check emails.
What is your greatest achievement?
Obtaining my Certified Crop Adviser license and my Nutrient Management Specialist Accreditation
What are you ordering for your favorite meal?
What are your favorite sports teams and music groups?
NC State for sure!
What is the happiest memory of your life?
The happiest memory of my life was the time I spent at the beach with my mother and father when I was about 8 years old. It was one of my fondest memories with my mom and dad, my mom passed away from cancer a few years later, it is one of my last memories of us all together. My mom was a great person, she led me to Christ before she passed which was the greatest gift I ever received.
Tell us about your favorite pet.
Einstein, my little Jack Russell has been a lot of fun! He likes being my co-pilot on the family farm on the weekends and he absolutely loves to swim whenever he finds a river or lake!
What was the first concert you attended?
What three people (living or not) would you invite to a dinner party?
George Washington Carver, John Moses Browning, and Billy Graham
What historical figure do you admire most?
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Dairy Queen Ice Cream
What is something about yourself that most people are NOT aware of?
I always wanted to learn to play the piano, I’m actually starting to take some lessons.
Where in the world are you dying to visit?
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
If it is worth doing, then it is worth doing it right, so do your best!
Is there any more information that you would like to share?
I would just like to thank the farmers and the Good Lord for allowing me to do what I love!