Meet our Board of Directors
Brinson Lanier - Chairman
Brinson Lanier is President and the major stockholder of Grower’s Supply Company, Inc., Vice President of Growers Gin & Warehouse, Inc., and President of Growers Grain, Inc. all of Metter, Georgia. He is actively farming with an emphasis on cotton and hay production. Mr. Lanier’s previous associations have included being employed as a sales representative with Woolfolk Chemical Company, Thompson Hayward Chemical Company, and American Limestone Company. Mr. Lanier attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and the University of Georgia where he graduated with a B.S. degree in Agriculture. He has formerly served in the capacities of Chairman of the Board of the Hospital Authority of Candler County, Chairman of the Metter-Candler County Recreation Department, Chairman of the Metter-Candler Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Metter High School Booster Club, and Director of Metter Banking Company. He has served as President of the Agricultural Chemical Association of Georgia, President of Food Society Board. Currently, Mr. Lanier is serving as a director on the Pineland Telephone Coop Board and as Chairman of the Directors of the Pineland Cellular Corporation of Metter Georgia. He is a deacon and member of Metter Primitive Baptist Church.
William Keith Davis – Vice Chairman
Keith Davis is Vice President and stockholder of Florida Fertilizer Company, Inc., a family-owned business established in 1959. He has held this position since 1979. He is also Vice President of Florida Transport Enterprises, Inc. Mr. Davis has served on the Board of Florida Fertilizer and Agrichemical Association since 1990 and has been a member of the Executive Committee since 1998 and Chairman of the Board from 2003-2004. In addition, from 1992-2000 Mr. Davis was a member of the Peace River Basin Board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District. He has been a director of Independent Ag, Inc. since 1992 and is the current President. He is a citrus grower and member of Florida Citrus Mutual. Mr. Davis graduated from the University of Florida in 1979 with a B.S. in Agricultural Economics. He and his wife, Candis, reside in Wauchula, FL.
Ralph G. Evans
Ralph Evans is President and owner of R.W. Griffin Feed, Seed & Fertilizer, Inc. of Douglas, Georgia. R.W. Griffin, established in 1920, is a third generation agribusiness company operating a number of enterprises in the South Georgia area including farm stores, cotton gins and peanut buying points. In addition, Mr. Evans served as a director of The Fertilizer Institute, Washington, D.C. and currently serves as an officer and director of The First National Bank of Coffee County, a bank he assisted in organizing.
Jim Farley is the owner and president of Farley Farm Supply, Inc. in De Leon, Texas. Farley Farm Supply is a retail dealer and custom applicator of dry and liquid fertilizer, chemicals, and seed. It was organized in 1977 by Jim’s parents. Jim is a graduate of De Leon High School and Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education. He worked for Birdsong Peanuts for 6 years, before joining his parents in the family business. His parents retired in 1989. Jim operates a cow-calf operation and farms cotton and hay.
Jim has served 3 separate terms on the De Leon Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, the last two, as president. He has served two separate terms as chairman of the Comanche County Livestock Association, served as a member of the De Leon Peach and Melon Festival, served as Vice President of the Texas Peanut Producers Board, served as a board member of the De Leon Independent School District, and has served as Chairman of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service Leadership Advisory Board. He has received the De Leon Rural Citizen of the year, Comanche County Friend of 4-H, and De Leon FFA Honorary Lone Star Farmer award. Jim has been an Adult Sunday School Teacher at Rock Bluff Baptist Church from 1971 to the present time. Jim and his wife Martha have lived in the De Leon area all their lives.
A.K. “Dooie” Leach
Mr. Leach is the President of FCI, Inc. in Raeford, NC. He has been involved in agriculture for all of his professional life. His professional career in agriculture began as an operations manager for FCI’s fertilizer division in 1981 and he was elected President and CEO of FCI in 1988 after his father’s passing. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors of Hoke Cotton Warehouse and Storage, Inc., Cotton Transport Services, Inc. and 3-L Investments, Inc. Mr. Leach received a B.S. degree in Agricultural Economics from North Carolina State University in 1981 and a Masters in Business Administration from Elon College, Love School of Business in 1997. He is a graduate of the Philip Morris Agricultural Leadership and the National Cotton Council Leadership Development Programs. In addition to his professional activities, he is active in his church and community. Mr. Leach serves as an Elder on the Session of the Antioch Presbyterian Church and currently serves as chairman of the Raeford/Hoke Economic Development Commission and is the Assistant Scout Master of the Cape Fear Council, Scout Troop 410. Dooie is married to Leah Leach and they have five children.
James C. Liipfert, Jr.
James Liipfert is a partner and serves as a manager of A.M. Bickley Chemicals, Inc. of Marshallville, Georgia. He has held this position since May 1979. He serves as a Director of First South Bank of Fort Valley. Mr. Liipfert’s experience includes serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy from 1970-1972 and seven years with Woolfolk Chemical Works, Ltd. From 1972-1979. Mr. Liipfert’s past affiliations include President, Fort Valley Kiwanis Club, Board of Trustees of Westfield Schools, and the Marshallville City Council. He received a B.S. degree from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1970 and an M.S. degree from Georgia College in 1977.
Leo Phillips – Secretary
Leo Phillips is President and co-owner of Cochran Oil Mill & Ginnery, which was founded on July 1, 1904, and provides bulk fertilizers, seed, chemicals, gins, warehouses and buys cotton. Mr. Phillips is a director of the Central Georgia Banking Company and is a partner in the firm of Phillips and Phillips Attorneys At Law. He received a B.B.A., M.B.A. and J.D. degree from the University of Georgia.
Wade Castleberry began his career in agricultural business management with Farmers Supply Association in his home town of England, Arkansas in 1992. Since then he has held positions as President and CEO of Home Oil Company and General Manager of Delta Cotton Cooperative. Mr. Castleberry currently serves as president of Intense Ag, was past president ARKMO Delta, past Vice Chairman of Mississippi Valley Ag and served on the Agricultural Retailers Association and Arbryd Cotton Cooperative board. Wade Castleberry joined the Lawrence Group in July 2015 and took on the challenge of building a retail business from the ground up. He is President and a founding member of FarmSource Ag headquartered in Wilson, Arkansas. FarmSource Ag has several retail locations in Arkansas and Missouri. Wade is married to Brandy and they have four children, Anna, Ashlyn, Max, and Ellie.
Brian serves as the President and Chief Operating Officer at AG RX, a full-service retailer, based in Oxnard, CA. Prior to his current role, Brian worked for BASF—a German chemical company—from 2006 to 2015. During his nine years at BASF, Brian held a variety of positions including Business Manager of Strategic Accounts for termite, pest control, turf and ornamentals; Business Manager of Turf and Ornamentals; Business Manager of Professional Vegetation Management; and District Sales Manager for agricultural products in California, Arizona, Hawaii, and Southern Nevada.
Prior to working for BASF, Brian held several positions over a 13-year period with the J.R. Simplot Company—a privately held agribusiness company. He worked in both finance and agribusiness retail and held positions of Director of Planning and Analysis as well as the Director of Marketing and Product Management. During this time, he also served on the Tenkoz Board of Directors. Brian received an MBA from Idaho State University and a BS degree in Finance from Brigham Young University.
Brian grew up in Pocatello, ID. He is married to a wonderful woman (Michelle), and they have five children. Brian and his family live in Camarillo, CA.
Chris Kelly is a managing member of Kelly Seed Company, LLC. of Hartford, Alabama. Kelly Seed was established in 1980 and operates a wholesale seed company, a seed
blending and packaging facility, farm supply stores, fertilizer plants, and a seed coating plant. The Kelly family are also owners of Kelly Company, LLC, Coffee Gin
Company, LLC, Kelly Farms (since 1935) and Ag Fibers, LLC. Mr. Kelly attended Mississippi State University. Chris is married to Paisley Kelly and they have two children, Collier and Mary.
Neil Houff received a BS degree in Agriculture Education from Virginia Tech in 1985 and began working in agronomy for Houff Feed and Fertilizer Co. Inc., presently, Houff Corporation. Neil has held numerous positions in the company and became President in 2000. Houff Corporation is a diversified business comprised of five divisions; Fertilizer and Crop Protection, Bio-solids Land Application, Rail to Truck Transload, Poultry Products, and Seed. The agriculture portion of the business primarily services dairy, beef and poultry operations with their input needs for corn, soybeans, small grains, hay and pasture. Neil is an active member of Pleasant Valley Church of the Brethren where he has served in the roll of Board Member, Deacon, and Chairman of the Board. He also serves on the boards of The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bridgewater Retirement Community, Virginia Crop Production Association and I. D. M. Trucking. Neil is married to Sara Lapsley Houff and they are the parents of three sons; Samuel, Ben, and Will, all proud Virginia Tech Hokies!