Bryant Worley family named Outstanding Livestock Producer
By Steve Herring
Published in News on February 28, 2012 1:46 PM
The fifth-generation Bryant Worley Family Farms at Princeton was honored Monday night by the Wayne County Livestock Development Association as its Outstanding Livestock Producer for 2011.
Also honored during the association's 64th annual meeting was longtime Wayne Regional Agriculture Fair employee Edythe Blanton, who received the 2012 Service Award.
"I feel guilty for taking this award because (the job) is so much fun," Ms. Blanton said. "I grew up on a farm, but (fair manager) Milton (Ingram) was nervous the first year I worked.
"He had to show me the difference between lambs and goats. We had hogs."
Association president Curtis Shivar said Ms. Blanton, who has worked for the association and fair since 1999, is a talented person who has "excellent people skills."
"She is very knowledgeable about the fair operation and is able to answer most questions that she encounters during the year," he said.
Ms. Blanton's duties include preparing all mailings including contracts for fair space, collecting rent for fair space, preparing the fair catalog, answering phone calls and responding to Facebook comments.
She also handles bookkeeping duties related to the Junior Livestock Show and Sale.
Bryant and Debbie Worley were joined by their daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren at the banquet.
"I don't know that we are outstanding, but we are good at what we do and so are 99 percent of the other livestock producers," Worley said.
The Worley farm is a diversified operation consisting of 1,760 acres of farmland in cotton, soybeans, wheat, tobacco, forages, grain sorghum and woodland. The farm also consists of 14,000 head of swine and 90,000 turkeys.
The Worleys manage the farm with their sons-in-law, Kelvin Norris and Ben Thomas.
"We are fortunate to have many leaders in the Wayne County agricultural community, and the Worley family is exactly who comes to mind when describing what a leader of this community represents," said Eileen Coite of the Wayne County Cooperative Extension Service, who presented the award.
The Worleys were honored as the 2005 N.C. Conservation Family of the Year, 2008 N.C. Environmental Steward of the Year by the N.C. Pork Council and the 2009 national winners of the Pork Industry Environmental Stewardship Award. Just earlier this month they were named the 2012 N.C. Outstanding Pork Producer by the N.C. Pork Council.
"One more thing to note, they raised the Thanksgiving turkey pardoned by the president in 2009," Ms. Coite said.
Worley, who recently retired after 20 years on the Wayne County Soil and Water Board, serves on the executive board of the N.C. Pork Council.
He is past president of the Wayne County Young Farmers.
Mrs. Worley has served on the Golden LEAF Foundation board and is on the N.C. Agricultural Foundation Board for the North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
She is an advisory board member of the Mount Olive College Agribusiness Center and a member of the Wayne County Extension Advisory Council. She was honored in 1993 as the Outstanding Wayne County Woman in Agriculture.
The Worleys have been active in the Oakland Grange, Wayne County Pomona Grange and North Carolina state Grange.