LUMBERTON — A seventh-generation farmer from St. Pauls won the title of Robeson County’s Farmer of the Year during the Robeson County Crop Promotion Association’s 50th annual awards and recognition banquet this week.
Hinton McColl King Jr. grew up and went to school in St. Pauls, where he helps to operate a family farm, and resides with his wife, Melissa, and twin daughters, Addison and Emma.
“I’m just thankful for the opportunity to do what I do,” King said after the event at at the Southeastern North Carolina Agricultural Events Center. “And so, I’m just looking forward to whatever the Lord has in stored for us each year.”
The Crop Promotion Association recognizes farmers in the county annually with awards for educational and agricultural services, and top production.
“The recognition they give to the farmers’ efforts throughout the year, it inspires us to achieve even further more,” King said.
Jeff Floyd, who owns and operates a freshwater shrimp farm in Fairmont, won the “Breaking New Ground” award. The award is designed to recognize farmers who do things differently — such as farm organically, grow specialty crops such as grape seeds, or develop new ways of income opportunity — and ultimately set an example for other farmers in the region, said Mac Malloy, Robeson County’s field crops agent.
“They (the association) continue 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 of North Carolina State from them — just very helpful.”
Also at the event, several trophies were awarded to farmers for high yields in the past year.
“Many of you are responsible for the success of this association,” said Everett Davis, a retired county extension director, who gave a review of the association’s past 50 years in the county. “If you are not responsible, more than likely, your parents or grandparents are responsible for the success of this association.”
Davis said he hopes that the county continues producing food for consumers, and that businesses continue to supply to farms.
“I encourage each of you to continue to support the association with the work it does for the next 50 years,” he said. “Most of all, I encourage you to support our local farmers and also encourage you to do whatever you can do to make Robeson County a better place.”
Other farmers who were recognized on Tuesday for their yields included:
— Moore Brothers Agriculture, which took first place for irrigated division for corn; Locklear Brothers Farm, who was awarded second place; and Pat Shooter, third.
— Smith and Barkley Farms were awarded first place in the dry land conventional division for corn; Mitch Britt won second place; and Brad Leggett placed for third.
— Bo Stone, took first place in the dry land no-till division for corn; Tommy Stone, was awarded second place; and Dewight Chavis, in third place.
— Lance Herndon, won first place for yield in sorghum; and Baucom Family Farms took second place.
— McDonald Brothers Farm won for highest yield in soybeans.
— A.L. Baucom Inc., was awarded first place in yield for wheat; Lacy Cummings won second place; and Chad Brantley took third.
— Larry Locklear received the Distinguished Service to Agriculture award.
— Benjamin Z. Roberts received the Distinguished Educational Service to Agriculture award.
— Locklear Farms, Pernell and Carnell Locklear were Robeson County’s Family Farm of the Year.
— Patrick Shooter received the Robeson County Young Farmer of the Year award.