In North Carolina, “down on the farm” has big meaning. The state’s agriculture industry has an economic impact of approximately $12.5 billion dollars a year – approximately 50,000 farms spread across 8.4 million acres, each farm averaging 168 acres in size – you get the idea.
Nexsen Pruet client, Triple J Produce, Inc., is a family owned and operated farm in Wilson County, North Carolina. The farm produces a diverse line of crops and takes great pride in producing quality fresh produce. Their largest crop is sweet potatoes, regularly growing over 1,600 acres of both conventional and organic year-round. Overall, Triple J Produce farms more than 5,000 acres (1,000 of those certified organic) and has a 100,000 square foot packing facility for packaging sweet potatoes and a wide variety of crops under its brands Buckhorn Sweets and Organic Sweets.
Much like Triple J Produce, many North Carolina farms were started as small family run operations, but with changes in the industry, including growth, regulation and catastrophic natural disasters, they have been forced to restructure to survive.
In 2015, Triple J Produce faced significant litigation involving employees motivated by the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC). Dan Boyce, Triple J Produce’s client team leader, along with the assistance of labor and employment attorney William Floyd, guided the farm through successful resolution of the labor dispute. Nexsen Pruet has continued its relationship with Triple J Produce, providing valuable guidance on immigration matters, inquiries by regulatory agencies, workers compensation claims, and best practices for business operation. This ongoing work includes transactional and litigation matters related to vendors contracts and employment matters including a jury trial.
Dan Boyce says, “Agricultural is one of the largest industries in North Carolina. You cannot travel Eastern North Carolina without driving past a farm ready for harvest or shop at local grocers that carry North Carolina grown produce. Because agricultural is so critical to a healthy economy in North Carolina, it is also important to Nexsen Pruet. Our team is proud to support the interests of farming operations who believe in honest and ethical sourcing of crops. Triple J Produce is a perfect example of a “homegrown company” that is making a significant impact on the national and international market.”
President of Triple J Produce, Joey Hocutt recalls, "It was April 2015 and I thought I was about to lose my company in one of the most stressful times in my life. Dan Boyce of Nexsen Pruet stepped in with his team of lawyers and his right hand woman Brenna Crosser (Paralegal), and saved my companies. Not only did they save my companies, they educated me on things I should have known to make me more successful. There was never a time then and still to this day that I can’t pick up the phone or send an email that Dan and his team aren’t there to help me.”