John C. Howard Jr. was recenty inducted into the N.C Pork Hall of Fame, the pork industry's highest honor. Howard, a Deep Run hog farmer who has spent more than a half century building J.C. Howard Farms into one of the state’s largest pork producers was presented the award by the N.C. Pork Council.As a young boy in Lenoir County, Howard developed a strong affection for animals. He was active in 4-H and recalls the pride he felt showing a steer that he was certain would earn a blue ribbon. He lost that competition and decided to turn his attention to pigs. It was a passion that has lasted more than sixty years - and the North Carolina pork industry is much better for it.Howard’s family has deep roots in Deep Run. His grandparents started farming the land more than a century ago, raising hogs and growing tobacco, cotton and other crops. Soon after graduating from N.C. State in 1962, Howard and his wife returned home to the family business. He brought with him new methods for raising hogs and was among the first farmers to embrace the integration of the pork industry in the 1990s. Today, J.C. Howard Farms has more than 18,000 sows.Howard has been an active supporter of the pork industry and his local community. He was appointed by President Reagan to serve on the National Commission on Agricultural Policy and also served on the N.C. Board of Agriculture. He received the N.C. Pork Council’s Outstanding Pork Producer award in 1988.“It’s a great honor to be inducted in the N.C. Pork Hall of Fame,” Howard said. He thanked his family, friends, employees, growers and suppliers for enabling him to be a successful pork producer and said he hopes future generations will carry on the family business.The impact Howard has had on the North Carolina pork industry is profound. His passion for hogs has turned into a legacy for future generations. There are many in the industry who are thankful for his contributions, leadership, drive, and love of pigs. Congratulations to Mr. Howard on this well-deserved honor!