Family, hard work, and banking relationships all key to farmer’s ‘journey’

Alan Smith describes his career in farming as a “lifelong journey.”

And he describes Waypoint Bank – Eustis and its predecessor as a companion on his journey for as long as he can remember.

Alan grew up in a farming family, working on his parents’ farm in Dawson County before launching his own operation with his first crop in 1982. “I have been a customer at the Eustis branch of the bank long before it was Waypoint,” he explains. “I have used the bank in Eustis since my childhood.”

Alan says he picked out his career path at an early age, when he recognized “that farming was what I was born to do.” He said he learned to embrace the farming life and the value of hard work through participating in 4-H and his summer jobs.

Building a business and honoring a legacy

After graduating from Southeast Community College, Alan struck out on his own. Today, he is the owner-operator of Schmied Farm near Eustis, where he grows corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, and oats and runs a cow-calf operation. He works the land he’s purchasing with the help of Waypoint Bank – Eustis and also leases acreage from six other landowners. 

Alan chose the name Schmied Farm to recognize his family’s German heritage and because it gives him a more unique title than Smith. Both Alan’s and his wife Christel’s families immigrated from Germany. Her father came in 1959 from northern Germany, and Alan’s paternal grandfather came to the United States from southwest Germany in 1883 before settling in Eustis in 1885. The original name of Schmied became Smith “somewhere along the way,” he says.

Farming is a family – and community – affair

Alan’s co-workers in his food and fiber business include Christel, son Morgan, Morgan’s wife Bailey, and grandson Micah. Another of Alan’s sons – Ethan – lives in Fort Worth, Texas, where he works for the agribusiness consulting company Pinion. Ethan and his wife Lauren are parents of two daughters, Colette and Violet. 

In addition to farming, education is also part of the family tradition. Christel recently retired after 35 years of teaching, and Bailey is in her sixth year of teaching for Eustis Farnam Public Schools (EFPS). Alan is also a member of the EFPS school board.

As a lifelong resident of the Eustis area, Alan is connected to his community in many ways, including his work on the school board, being a member of the Lions Club, and as an active member of his church. Those roles mean that when he’s not farming, Alan says he often finds himself standing “next to the same people that help you bank.” And he believes those relationships make a difference. 

“I would recommend Waypoint Bank to everyone,” he adds. “We need good people in our communities to assist everyone from our youth to all the businesses that make our small towns thrive.”

Cover photo: The Alan and Christel Smith family L-R Ethan, Colette, Lauren with Violet Brewing, Christel, Alan, Bailey, Micah, and Morgan.

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