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Cary Matthews
Cary Matthews, 1964-2022

IN LOVING MEMORY of our colleague and friend: This article was prepared prior to Cary Matthews’ unexpected passing on December 23, 2022. We are profoundly saddened by his loss. Cary was an exceptional team member, a positive soul, and a good man who will be greatly missed. We continue to extend prayers to the Matthews family.

In Step With:
Cary Matthews
Senior Vice President,
Chief Appraisal Officer

In this issue, we’re introducing you to Farm Credit Midsouth Senior Vice President Cary Matthews. In March, Cary will celebrate 14 years with our Association, joining the team in 2009.

A Jonesboro native, Cary did not grow up on a farm, but he did spend a lot of time on a cow calf operation— so much, in fact, that he now owns it! His day job finds him in appraising, a career he followed his older brother into after earning his undergraduate degree at Arkansas State University and graduating from the Barret School of Banking. He launched his own appraisal business in 1989.

As Cary tells his story, he began his career at a family- owned bank as a Loan Officer and Branch Manager. He remained there in positions of progressive responsibility through three mergers and was recruited to Farm Credit Midsouth as a Senior Staff Appraiser in 2009. From 2009 to 2012, he furthered his education, obtaining his ARA Designation with the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA), as well an Agricultural Designation from National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers. Afterward, Cary was promoted to Chief Appraisal Officer and Vice President at Farm Credit Midsouth. Cary prides himself in obtaining his Accredited Rural Appraiser (ARA) designation, and his Real Property Review Appraiser (RPRA) [ Fun fact: Cary and FCM Appraiser Bessie Richmond are the only two appraisers to currently hold both designations in the state. ] By 2014, Cary became Senior Vice President and a member of the Senior Management Team.

Much has changed in the agriculture industry over the course of Cary’s career. The most evident, he believes, has been the transition to much larger farms. Modern technology has changed crop inputs and harvest, creating higher yields as well.

“It’s important to know that farming is not about planting a seed and watching it grow,” Cary notes. “Farming is a business with farmers being heavily engaged in soil management, farm management and marketing at minimum.”

As Cary approaches 14 years with Farm Credit Midsouth, we asked for his thoughts on why so many Farm Credit team members seem to stick around a good, long time. He attributed that to good management, good work life balance, and the fact that Farm Credit is dedicated to its employees’ growth.

Cary certainly has a lot going on outside the office as well! The successful appraisal business he began in November 1989 in his living room, Matthews & Associates, Inc., is still going strong, having been managed by his wife Julie until his son took over in 2015. Cary was appointed by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson to two consecutive three-year terms on the Arkansas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board, where he finished his last two years as Chairman of the Board. He also served several terms on Jonesboro Regionals and has been a member of the Exchange Club of Jonesboro for more than 20 years.

Cary and Julie have been married 40 years and have two sons, Daniel and Houston, and four wonderful grandchildren. Daniel and his wife Audra are parents to Haley and Zoey; Houston and his wife Cesalee are parents to Ryker and Rhett. The family enjoys spending time at Lake Norfork and traveling, but best of all? Time spent with their grandchildren, of course.

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