03/05/04 — Phillips gets top agriculture award

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Phillips gets top agriculture award

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on March 5, 2004 2:00 PM

WALLACE -- Paul Phillips has received Duplin County's top agriculture award.

Phillips, who is the host of the second annual Duplin County Expo today and Saturday at the New Duplin Tobacco Warehouse in Wallace, received the award Thursday night during the annual membership meeting of the Duplin County Agribusiness Council.

The award is named for Melvin Cording, who was also from Wallace and was a founding member of the county's Agribusiness Council, said Duplin Cooperative Extension Director Ed Emory. He said the council established the award eight years ago in Cording's memory.

Dr. Corbett Quinn presented the award to Phillips, a 32-year veteran of farming with a 600-acre farm. Phillips and his wife, Jane, have two sons, Cole and Kyle.

Phillips and his wife have donated the use of their warehouse for events for years, said Quinn. They have made generous contributions to many charities and civic organizations in Duplin County, he said.

"Phillips Grains and the New Duplin Tobacco Warehouse have provided an important economic engine for our county and area as the dollars generated by them are turned over repeatedly in the local economy," said Quinn. "Paul and Jane are important supporters of Duplin County generally."

All he wanted to do growing up was to be a farmer, said Jo Cameron Jones, his former teacher. "I'm so proud of him."

Phillips received the Outstanding Friend Award from the N.C. State University Agriculture Institute last year.

Corn winners

Extension Agent Bryant Spivey announced the winners of the county's corn yield contest held to help farmers identify practices that promote better crop yields. He said he had 17 entries this year, and the average yield was about 184 bushels per acre. He presented three awards, to the winner and the two runners-up in the contest.

*The winner, Henry Dell, was not present at the meeting, but his daughter and son, Jodie and Paul, received the plaque and a $200 check on his behalf. He was attending the National Corn Growers Convention in Las Vegas and receiving an award there. Dell's farm near Kenansville yielded 239 bushels per acre.

*Carroll Jackson, who lives at Sleepy Creek and has a farm near Warsaw, received a plaque and a $100 check as the first runner-up. His farm yielded 204 bushels per acre.

*Allen Brock, who has a farm in the Beautancus community, received a plaque and a $75 check as the second runner-up. His yield was 199 bushels per acre.

Life blood

Agribusiness is the life blood of Duplin County, said Patrick Bell, outgoing president of the Agribusiness Council. "Some people think their food is grown out behind the Food Lion," said Bell, who received the Lois G. Britt Outstanding Service Award.

The keynote speaker, Erica Upton Peterson, said even people who work in agriculture don't understand the agribusiness industry. "It took a lot of people to get the food to our table," she said.

Their hard work is something we take for granted, she said.