At first glance, it might seem that Joe Mallard’s job with Southern AgCredit would keep him firmly planted indoors.
But look a little deeper, and you’re just as likely to see Mallard out crunching dirt with a row crop farmer as crunching numbers at an office desk. He’s senior development officer at the lending company’s corporate office in Ridgeland, but Mallard’s role has him out where agriculture is happening.
“Our mission is to improve the well-being and health of agriculture,” Mallard says of Southern AgCredit. “Part of my job is being out on the farm with someone, whether it be a row crop farmer in the Delta, on a timber farm in central Mississippi or on a poultry farm in south Mississippi.
“We interact with a real, live producer, and get to be an expert in the finance part of it. We get to know their business model and their family.”
Mallard grew up in the timber industry, and he majored in forestry and received his masters in agribusiness at Mississippi State University.
“It was sort of a natural step to get into ag lending,” he says.
With changing technology, lifestyles and business in general, careers in agriculture span far and wide.
Opportunities in the industry could as easily lead one to the city as to a pasture.