From the tractor
by Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler
I hope many of our Agricultural Review subscribers were able to attend this year's N.C. State Fair in Raleigh or the Mountain State Fair in Fletcher. If you missed them, then you missed a good time.
Both were successful fairs that highlighted what makes our state great. From the livestock shows to the clogging and singing competitions, to the arts and crafts and homemade foods and home goods, fairs put the best of the best of our state on display for everyone to see and enjoy.
Competitions remain a big part of the fairs, and, in Raleigh, the competition seemed as tough as it has ever been. Entries were up in nearly every category, which makes me proud that folks want to participate in their State Fair, not just experience it as an observer.
The continued strong interest by junior livestock competitors bodes well for the future of agriculture in this state.
Beyond the glare of the midway lights and the sounds of music and laughter, the kids participating in the livestock competitions are learning invaluable lessons about responsibility, about life, and about where food comes from. I am proud of each and every junior competitor that stepped into the show ring. You all are part of an unbroken tradition that makes our fair unique and keeps our fair rooted in an industry that built this state and continues to sustain us.
We have many great sponsors that help us continue to provide a high quality State Fair. This year Harris Teeter, Martin Meats, the N.C. Farm Bureau, Talley Farms and Iron Horse Auction stepped up to make significant purchases of grand and reserve grand champion junior livestock animals, and I thank them for that. EBS Farms, Chesnee Livestock Market, Martin Meats, Macs Cattle Sales, Stanley County Livestock, Harward Brothers Livestock, Blue Q Ranch and E.B. Harris chipped in to purchase the market steer truckload.
A total of $89,600 went to junior competitors from across the state. Some of this money is earmarked to help pay for college.
Photos of all the grand champions are on pages 1 and 2, and a list of winners follows.
The grand champion junior market steer was shown by Bill Jones of Buncombe County. Harris Teeter placed the winning bid of $22,500. Jones also showed the N.C. Born and Bred steer, which was purchased by Martin Meats for $13,000. Wilson County's Luke Lahay showed the reserve grand champion junior market steer. The steer was purchased by Harris Teeter for $10,000.
Mackenzie Cox of Onslow County showed the grand champion junior market barrow, purchased by Harris Teeter for $9,500.
The reserve grand champion barrow was shown by Frank Scott of Wilson County. The N.C. Farm Bureau bought the animal for $3,500. Andy Lassiter and Martin Meats pooled their resources together to buy the N.C. Born and Bred barrow for $2,600. Amy Blalock of Wilson County showed the locally raised animal.
In the meat goat categories, the grand champion was shown by Hanna Alexopoulos of Pasquotank County and the reserve grand champion was shown by Kelsey Bentley from Johnston County. The N.C. Farm Bureau purchased the animals for $6,000 and $3,000, respectively. The winning N.C. Born and Bred meat goat was shown by Hailey Elmore of Lenoir County. Iron Horse Auction purchased the goat for $3,000.
This year's grand champion lamb also took champion N.C. Born and Bred honors. Heather Goodrich of Sampson County showed the animal, which was purchased by Harris Teeter for $7,000. The reserve grand champion lamb was shown by Morgan Murray of Pasquotank County, and was bought by the N.C. Farm Bureau for $2,500.
Talley Farms purchased the grand champion turkey for $5,000. The bird was exhibited by Madison MacFarlane of Wake County. Amanda Wheaton of Wayne County showed the reserve grand champion turkey, which was purchased by the N.C. Farm Bureau for $2,000.