With a little bit of gumption and a whole lot of faith, Mr. Riley Coker opened the doors of Coker Feed Mill on December 10, 1949. He had been diagnosed with a crippling condition and with help from his wife Mabel, his brother-in-law James E. “Shine” Smith, and his young children, Mr. Riley successfully made the transition from farmer to businessman. He started out shelling corn, using a generator to run the mill and shooting the shucks across the road for the cows. Opening day was well after corn came off, and the family didn’t know if they’d have a single customer. His girls still remember the tears in their father’s eyes as they opened the doors to tractors, cars, and wagons lined up in all directions as far as the eye could see. Mr. Riley was known to be a man of great integrity, always rounding the pennies to the benefit of the customer and not able to rest a moment if he thought he had done someone wrong. Mr. Riley’s son Brantley took over the business from his Uncle Shine in 1981. When many other small local mills were closing their doors, he and his wife Gay took that heritage of faith and gumption and expanded the business to be the staple for livestock and equine nutrition that it is today. They started the Amber Grains and Carolina Pride lines in the mid-1980’s and took equine nutrition to the next level in 2001 with Amber Grains Elite horse feeds. The feeds they make continue to improve as nutritional science evolves, but the strong moral compass that has always guided their creation is the same. The company, guided by third generation ownership and an amazing staff hailing from Wayne, Greene, Pitt, and Lenoir Counties, has a strong vision to see rural communities thrive through roots in agriculture. Amber – Brantley and Gay’s daughter – and her husband Laurence are committed to serving the small farms and agricultural communities of NC. With backgrounds in education and community service, they believe in the goodness and beauty of this green earth and hope to help the business flourish from its roots. All members of the CFM team serve every day with the same values in heart and in mind. Because all people matter, all of our interaction matter too. We strive always to act with self awareness, gumption, and efficiency, always with the customer and our mission in mind, always with continuous care. With industry-leading quality and corporate integrity, with farm partnerships across North Carolina, and with 75+ years of experience in innovation, CFM now distributes its products and its values throughout central and eastern North Carolina. In fulfilling our mission to provide the Best Value Feed Solutions in our region, we can truly create and help others create Goodness. In doing so we seek to build and expand upon the independent agriculture and husbandry foundations of our North Carolinian heritage, for this generation and the next. Feeding Farms, Feeding Families, Feeding Our Future.
“May our hands always reach for the earth. May our eyes always look to the heavens. May we flourish with love and life, each day and each season, among all good things in between.”