LUMBERTON — The Robeson County Crop Promotion Association honored 26 local farmers, families and farms during its 45th annual awards and recognition banquet last week at the Southeastern North Carolina Agricultural Events Center.
“I would say that if you took all those names and list them, that’s the Robeson County Hall of Fame,” Everett Davis, retired county Extension director, said Tuesday while giving a review of the association’s past 50 years in the county.
The association was established in 1963 and has held an awards banquet for each of the past 45 years.
“When this association started, there were only about 8,000 acres of wheat planted in the county,” Davis told about 150 people who attended the event. “Today, there are 50,000 acres of wheat, making Robeson County the leading wheat-producing county in the state.”
Mac Malloy, the county’s field crop agent for the Extension Service, was among the presenters at the banquet.
“We need to expose our youth (to farming) because we’re getting so many generations removed from the farm,” Malloy said. “We need to expose our youths to the opportunities of agriculture.”
Hinton McColl King Jr., a seventh-generation farmer from St. Pauls, won the award for Robeson County’s Farmer of the Year. King grew up in St. Pauls, where he now farms with his father and brother and lives with his wife Melissa and twin daughters, Addison and Emma.
“I’m just thankful for the opportunity to do what I do,” King said. “And so, I’m just looking forward to whatever the lord has in store for us each year.”
The Crop Promotion Association recognizes farmers for their service, ranging from agricultural education to top production.
Jeff Floyd, who owns and operates a freshwater shrimp farm in Fairmont, won the Breaking New Ground Award. The award recognizes farmers who do things differently — such as organic farming, growing specialty crops such as grape seeds, developing new income opportunities and ultimately setting an example for other farmers in the region, Malloy said.
“(The association continues) to excel in helping people,” Floyd said. “They’re a great source of information. They’re always ready to help. You can get in touch with professionals at North Carolina State (University through) them — just very helpful.”
Farmers also received trophies for yield achievements.
“Many of you are responsible for the success of this association,” Davis said. “If you are not responsible, more than likely, your parents or grandparents are responsible for the success of this association.”
Other farmers who were recognized Tuesday included:
n Moore Brothers Agriculture, which won first place for top yield in the irrigated corn division. Locklear Brothers Farm was second, and Pat Shooter was third.
n Smith and Barkley Farms, which won first place in the dry land conventional division for corn. Mitch Britt was second, and Brad Leggett was third.
n Bo Stone, who won first place for dry land no-till division for corn. Tommy Stone was second, and Dewight Chavis was third.
n Lance Herndon, who won first place for yield in sorghum. Baucom Family Farms took second.
n McDonald Brothers Farm, which won for highest yield in soybeans.
n A.L. Baucom Inc., which was awarded first place in yield for wheat. Lacy Cummings was second, and Chad Brantley was third.
n Larry Locklear, who received the Distinguished Service to Agriculture award.
n Benjamin Z. Roberts, who received the Distinguished Educational Service to Agriculture award.
n Locklear Farms, owned by Pernell and Carnell Locklear, which was named Robeson County’s Family Farm of the Year.
n Patrick Shooter, who received the Robeson County Young Farmer of the Year award.