From the tractor
by Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler
I recently had the opportunity to induct two new members into the N.C. Mountain State Fair Livestock Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Western N.C. Agricultural Center.
Both men were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the livestock shows at the Mountain State Fair. Anyone who is associated with livestock shows knows that it takes a lot of work to put these events on. We are fortunate to have a lot of folks who are committed to helping young people learn about preparing animals for the show ring and about the responsibility for their care.
This year's Hall of Fame inductees were Mike Stiles of Cherokee County and Steve Ledford of Macon County. Each received a plaque for their accomplishments, and a plaque will be displayed in the Livestock Sales Arena recognizing their induction.
I am proud to say Mike Stiles is an animal health technician with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He has worked with the department for 27 years. Stiles has helped build the livestock shows at the Mountain State Fair, as well as county fairs throughout Western North Carolina, into the events they are today.
I've had the chance to get to know Mike over the past eight years, and he has had a tremendous impact on animal agriculture in Western North Carolina through his work monitoring animal health and through his personal involvement in the community.
Steve Ledford is a public works director for Macon County. He was one of the early contributors to the Mountain State Fair livestock shows, and continues to provide swine and cattle for exhibition. He also holds clinics at his farm to teach young people how to care for and show livestock.
The Mountain State Fair livestock shows would not be possible without the support of farmers, ranchers and other ag leaders in our community such as Steve Ledford.
I am proud to honor both of these men as a way of saying thanks and recognizing the support of so many like them. Congratulations.