UMO Receives Gift of a Massey Ferguson Tractor

UMO Receives Gift of a Massey Ferguson Tractor


MOUNT OLIVE- The University of Mount Olive Agriculture Department is ecstatic over a recent gift received from Barnes Equipment, Inc. in Wilson.  Ashley Barnes, the fourth generation of Barnes’ to run the family business, has given the University a 2011 Massey Ferguson 2680, 95 horse power, four-wheel-drive tractor. In addition to the tractor they are also providing a warranty and free two-year service plan, a gift totaling over $45,000.  The University will use the tractor on its 65-acre student farm.


“We are very appreciative and humbled by this generous donation given by the Barnes family. This equipment is coming at a critical time for us as we begin to implement our farm plan for the student farm this coming season,” remarked Dr. Sandy Maddox, UMO Agribusiness Center Director.


Barnes Equipment, Inc. is a sales, service, and parts company with 14 employees.  They serve customers in Wilson, Nash, Johnston, Wayne, Greene, and Edgecombe counties.  This year marks the company’s 100th anniversary.  Clinton Oliver Barnes started the business in 1916 when he opened Barnes Garage.  In 1963, Clinton Charles Barnes added farm equipment to the enterprise.  In 1993, Charles Lewis Barnes expanded the family-run operation to include the Massey Ferguson line of tractors.  Then in 1995, Ashley Barnes stepped in and began his role with the company. When his father died in 2005, Ashley became president of the company, running it alongside his mom, Janet.


According to Ashley the key to their success has been their personal approach to doing business.  “Every one of our customers has my personal cell phone number and they know they can reach me at any time,” Ashley said.


In addition to their longevity with the family business, the Barnes’ have a long history with the University of Mount Olive.  Clinton Charles Barnes was among a handful of Free Will Baptists who first developed the idea of the County Dinners to raise financial support within the FWB denomination for what was then called Mount Olive College.  Charles Lewis Barnes attended Mount Olive College in the mid-1960s before he enlisted in the US Coast Guard, and Ashley Barnes followed in his dad’s footsteps and also attended Mount Olive in the early 1990s.


“The personal relationships we build with our customers are very similar to how the University of Mount Olive operates,” Ashley said.  “When I was a student at Mount Olive, everyone knew my name and the professors were always knowledgeable and helpful.  I have started encouraging my own children to consider a place like UMO as they begin to think about college.”


Ashley and his wife, Sandy, have two children Hunter Bryant (16) and Ashton Gail (12).


“I have been so impressed with how the University has grown.  The Ag program is taking off by leaps and bounds,” Ashley said.  “Nationwide farmers are a dying breed.  The more young people that get involved in farming, the better off we all will be. Our family is proud to support UMO in its efforts to educate the next generation of farmers.”


“Ashley is also helping us to reach out to farmers to assist us in obtaining farm implements that we can use with this wonderful gift. We are hoping that as some of the farms have grown larger there might be lesser used cultivation or planting implements/equipment that farmers might consider donating to the farm,” stated Maddox. We are very excited about creating a working farm where our students can better understand and develop skills needed to work within a changing agriculture industry.”


The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and in Smithfield at Johnston Community College.  For more information, visit

Top Photo: Ashley Barnes and his mom, Janet, stand in front of the Barnes Equipment, Inc. sign.  This year marks the company’s 100thanniversary.  The company has contributed a Massey Ferguson tractor to the University of Mount Olive Ag Department.

Bottom Photo: Ashley Barnes and his mom, Janet, stand with the employees of Barnes Equipment, Inc. in front of the Massey Ferguson tractor the company has donated to the University of Mount Olive Ag Department.