Agriculture is key to the development of human civilization and remains the foundation that sustains life. Every year North Carolina County Cooperative, Robeson County Center, hosts an Annual Awards and Recognition Banquet to highlight contributions made to agriculture. This event provides an excellent opportunity to recognize well-deserving farmers, their families, and educators for the accomplishments they have achieved during the past year.
Farmers keep demanding schedules with long hours as they balance the many hats they may wear, overseeing the production of their crops and financial management of their business, while often participating in community organizations and somehow squeezing in time for their families and friends. The challenges are numerous and the risks are high, yet they are committed to laying it on the line to contribute to the world’s supply of the food, fuel and fiber that we all utilize.
The banquet was held Feb. 28, and Richard Reich, assistant commissioner for Agricultural Services with North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, was the guest speaker. The award recipients this year were Dan Weathington with a Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award and John D. Gillis with a Distinguished Educational Service to Agriculture Award.
Jack Buie was recognized as the Robeson County Farmer of the Year, Carmichael Farms was recognized as Robeson County Family Farm of the Year and Casey McQueen was recognized as the Robeson County Young Farmer of the Year.
Richard and Landon Moore, and Jimmy and Angus Powers received the Breaking New Ground Award.
The wheat yield winners included Patrick Shooter, who received first place for 106.5 bushels per acre; Lacy Cummings, who received second place for 103.1 bushels per acre; and Sam Walton, who received third place for 100.1 bushels per acre.
The soybean yield winner was Casey McQueen, who received first place with 47.1 bushels per acre.
The corn yield winners in the no-till dry land corn division were Smith and Barkley Farms, which received first place with 220.20 bushels per acre; Bo Stone, who received second place with 215.82 bushels per acre; and the Moore Brothers Ag, which received third place with 200.09 bushels per acre.
The conventional dry land corn division winners included Mitch and Garrison Farms, which received first place for 169.21 bushels per acre, and Billy Dean Hunt and who received second place for 156.12 bushels per acre.
The winners in the irrigated corn division included Bo Stone, who received first place with 268.68 bushels per acre, and the Locklear Brothers Farms, which received second place with 234.97 bushels per acre.
The annual awards and recognition banquet would not be possible without the support of the Robeson County Crop Promotion Association. The Robeson County Crop Promotion Association was formed in 1963 under the advisement of W. C. Williford, long-time Cooperative Extension educator and previous county director.
The mission of the Robeson County Crop Promotion Association is to encourage, promote, and develop agricultural interest in Robeson County for the general betterment of agriculture. Over the years, this association has seen many changes in leadership and participation, but its effort to promote and publicize the value of agriculture to the local economy remains as strong as when it started. Next year will be a milestone for the Robeson County Crop Promotion Association, as it will celebrate its 50th anniversary at the annual awards and recognition banquet.
Planning has already begun and excitement is building for this special occasion. If you or your business have been a part of this great organization, I would like to extend a sincere thank you for your contributions. I would encourage those who have been involved with this association or have been a past recipient of an award to make it a priority to attend and help commemorate the past 50 years of the Robeson County Crop Promotion Association.
For information or comments, contact Mac Malloy, Extension field crops agent, at the Extension Center, at 910-671-3276, or by email at Mac_Malloy@ncsu.edu. For information about Extension, visit http://robeson.ces.ncsu.edu.