He has been active in the Berrien County Young Farmers Association. He serves on the board of the Alapaha Soil & Water Conservation District. He has taken part in the Philip Morris Agricultural Leadership Development Program and was named as a Philip Morris Tobacco Farmer of the Year for Georgia.

He has also served on the board and as president of the Georgia Tobacco Growers Association.

In addition, he enjoys hunting turkeys and is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation. He and his family also support local 4-H and FFA livestock shows.

His wife Judy, a teacher at Berrien Middle School, has taught seventh grade for 30 years. She was named Teacher of the Year four times. She has been selected for Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers six times.

She teaches Sunday school at their church and is a member of the Georgia Association of Educators and the National Education Association.

Judy spends her spare time filling out paperwork for the farm.

Carlos and Judy have no children but are close to their nieces and nephews. “Our family has worked together to make this farm work,” says Carlos. “We are blessed to have them because they know what to do and when to do it.”

“Farming has been a good life for me,” says Vickers. “And I’m open to wherever the Good Lord leads us in our next farming venture. Maybe Judy will come up with another crop for us to grow.”

Steve Brown with the Georgia Cooperative Extension Service is state coordinator of the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year award. Vickers was nominated for the award by Tim Flanders, Extension agent in Berrien County.

As the Georgia state winner, Vickers will now receive a $2,500 cash award and an expense paid trip to the Sunbelt Expo from Swisher International of Jacksonville, Fla., a jacket and a $200 gift certificate from the Williamson-Dickie Company, and a $500 gift certificate from Southern States. 

He is also now eligible for the $15,000 that will go the overall winner. Other prizes for the overall winner include the use of a Massey Ferguson tractor for a year from Massey Ferguson North America, a custom made Canvasback gun safe from Misty Morn Safe Co., and another $500 gift certificate from the Southern States cooperative.

Also, Williamson-Dickie will provide another jacket, a $500 gift certificate and $500 in cash to the overall winner.

Swisher International, through its Swisher Sweets cigar brand, and the Sunbelt Expo are sponsoring the Southeastern Farmer of the Year awards for the 22nd consecutive year.

Swisher has contributed some $844,000 in cash awards and other honors to southeastern farmers since the award was initiated in 1990.