Agriculture: CHAD BALLARD III
PRESIDENT, BALLARD FISH & OYSTER CO. LLC, CAPE CHARLES
Ballard helms a bivalve farming legacy that’s more than a century old. But you’re unlikely to find him in chest waders.
“I am largely a desk-based farmer,” he told Washington and Lee University’s alumni magazine in 2018.
Ballard graduated with a business administration degree from W&L and worked in investment banking for the former BB&T Capital Markets before taking over the family business in 2008.
Started as a wild oyster harvesting company around 1895, Ballard Fish & Oyster now produces approximately 100 million farm-raised littleneck and middleneck clams annually as well as a variety of oysters, which are shipped to customers across the country. The parent company of Cherrystone Aqua-Farms and Chincoteague Shellfish Farms, it employs more than 150 people, making it Northampton County’s fourth-largest employer.
Appointed to then-Gov. Ralph Northam’s COVID-19 Business Task Force in 2020, Ballard also was an associate board member for the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. He also serves on the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association board and has served on the Virginia Aquaculture Advisory Board.
In 2021, Ballard sold a longtime family campground business for $9.8 million to Sun RV Resorts, now Sun Outdoors.