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Mercer combines love
of farming with dedication to service

 

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent
 

  Henry County native Chase Mercer has never been afraid to get his hands dirty, having spent most of his life cultivating an affinity for agriculture.

Chase Mercer said his job at AgPro in McDonough has helped him to pass on his knowledge of farming to others.          Photo by Jason A. Smith

  These days, however, he devotes his time to meeting the needs of others who share that passion.

  “What I probably enjoy the most is the people that you meet,” said Mercer, 45, of McDonough. “There are people that enjoy working in the yard and farming. The farming community are honest people, and a tight-knit group, always willing to lend each other a hand.”

  Mercer works in sales at AgPro, a dealership in McDonough that specializes in tractors and lawn equipment. His job enables him to carry on his family’s passion for agriculture that has lasted for three generations.

  When asked what sparked his interest in farming, Mercer said it came naturally to him because of the way he was raised. His grandfather, Jim Mercer, built Mercer Truck & Tractor in downtown McDonough in 1969.

“My mom and dad worked in the dealership so I was there pretty much every day,” said Chase Mercer. “I enjoy the outdoors. I started putting together a lawn mower with my dad when I was about 10 years old. It’s neat to see how machinery has evolved in the course of what I do.”

  Mercer’s upbringing is also marked by a history of community involvement. Jim Mercer served as chairman of the board for the construction of what is now Piedmont Henry Hospital. Chase’s father, Jackie Mercer, was treasurer for the McDonough Lions Club and has been involved in other local civic organizations throughout his life.

  Chase Mercer worked as a parts manager at Mason Tractor for eight years before coming to AgPro four months ago. He said he has strived to emulate his grandfather’s emphasis on treating customers fairly – a philosophy he shares with the leadership at AgPro, which has locations in Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Arkansas.

  “I think it’s very important for a business to put their customers first, and to value what they need and want,” he said. “That’s how AgPro got to have 29 stores. They work more toward volume than margins. They’re very strong on service and customer satisfaction after the sale.”

  Chase Mercer acknowledged that Henry County has gone through its share of changes over years, some of which have affected the role that farming plays in the area. Whereas cotton farming was more prevalent in the county’s early days, he said, more people seem to look at farming as a hobby rather than a way of life.

  Still, he hopes to pass on his love of farming to his 10-year-old son, Jackson.

  “Right now, he’s into motorcycles, but we’re trying to get him switched over to tractors,” said Mercer.

  Luke Evans, 59, of Locust Grove, works in parts sales at AgPro, and voiced high praise for Mercer, calling him a “fine man.” In fact, Evans even suggested that his co-worker’s integrity would serve him well in an alternate career, if Mercer so chooses.

  “I’ve been trying to talk him into running for governor,” Evans joked, drawing a laugh from Mercer. “He has what it takes to make this state run.”

  Mercer’s response seemed to indicate that it isn’t likely he will have a future in politics. Nevertheless, he said it is his desire to be more involved in community activities in the coming years.

  He also wants to be known as an honest, fair and family-oriented person who is proud to call Henry County home.

  “I feel like I have strong ties to the community,” said Mercer. “Henry County is still a really good place to live. I guess I’m rooted here by family and friends.”

 

 

©Henry County Times, Inc.