The Valdosta Daily Times
Since 1989, Rickey Carter has been the proud owner of Nashville Tractor. Today, his once one-shop business has grown into three stores in two cities. Nashville Tractor opened its Kubota store in Nashville this past January. This new store, combined with a new, bigger location in Valdosta, has made for a lot of growth in the last few years for this locally owned business.
Carter was born and raised on a farm in Echols County. He said of his youth, “Farming and agriculture has always been a part of my life.” This inspired Carter to pursue a career in agriculture.
He attended Echols County High School before going to the University of Georgia to receive his bachelor’s of science in agriculture engineering in 1983.
Following his college graduation, Carter was interviewed for and took a job with Ford Motor Company.
“They called me and asked me to interview. I had no intentions of taking it because I had my mind made up and my assistantship set up for my master’s. They offered me the job, and coming as a man with no money, I took the job and they sent me to the tractor division,” Carter explained.
Carter worked for Ford as a service engineer for six-and-a-half years, moving all around the country. During that time he and his wife had their two sons. Having young children, Carter decided that constantly moving wasn’t the life he wanted for his family.
“We had no roots because we were moving every two years. My home kept pulling me back. I wanted to get back to my roots. I knew people here and had relationships with people here. This is where I wanted to raise my kids.”
At Nashville Tractor, their focus is on doing what they say.
“We just try to do what we say we are going to do. The biggest thing we have is our word,” Carter said. “Our motto here, and this is what we try to build on, is, ‘Hard work. Good ethics. Great service.’ I have a lot of great people working for me who do a great job for the company. Lee Boatenreiter runs the store in Valdosta. He’s been with us five years.”
Nashville Tractor offers a variety of products and services.
“Our main focus in two of our stores are New Holland tractors and equipment. Anywhere from 20 horsepower to 360 horsepower and the implements that go with that. So we are quite diverse there. We carry Valley Irrigation, KMC, short lines. ... Residential customers play a bigger role here than in Nashville.”
They also handle parts and services, sales and rentals at Nashville Tractor.
Carter loves being in this area and getting back to his roots. He shared his reasoning for moving back and starting Nashville Tractor, “The security of the familiar. I enjoy the people here and I’ve always enjoyed being around people. You develop a lot of relationships in the agriculture business. The life that I first dealt with in the corporate world, there was no roots. This is the only thing I knew and that’s the reason I got started in it.”
Carter added, “My family, my faith and my job. Those are what’s important.”
Carter and his wife, Lisa, have two sons, Alex and Steven. Alex, who is married to Barbara Jane, runs the Kubota store in Nashville. Steven, who is married to Erin, does marketing and design. Steven and Erin have one daughter, Delaney.
Nashville Tractor’s new Valdosta store is located at 4342 North Valdosta Road. It can be reached at (229) 242-9900; or found online at www.nashvilletractor.net