Deborah Johnson, who led the N.C. Pork Council for over a decade before leaving in 2016, became the seventh honoree of the Lois Britt Service to the Industry award. This special award celebrates the spirit of Lois Britt, who devoted her life to agriculture, education and service to the pork industry. It is awarded at the discretion of the N.C. Pork Council’s officers.“It is a pleasure to present this award to a friend of Lois’ and a friend of mine,” said Jan Archer, president of the National Pork Board. “Deborah Johnson did so much to support our industry. Thanks to her leadership, the N.C. Pork Council and the pork industry are better off today.”Deborah grew up on a farm and has always been an advocate of agriculture. After graduating from the University of North Carolina, she began her career in the pork industry with Prestage Farms. She also worked for NC State Ports Authority and Cape Fear Farm Credit before joining the NC Pork Council.During her time as CEO of NCPC, strong relationships were formed, and Deborah worked tirelessly to be an advocate for farmers and the industry. Her leadership saw an increase in barbecue promotion, and NCPC was able to be a founding sponsor for the award-winning PBS series "A Chef's Life." She was also a huge support system for NC Farm Families for which we are so appreciative.Deborah has done so much for North Carolina pork industry, and for that we are so grateful. She certainly has a servant's heart and a passion for agriculture. Deborah is certainly deserving of this award.
Meet Gaye Crowther, a family farmer from Tabor City. Gaye recently received North Carolina’s Outstanding Pork Producer award, which recognizes industry leaders for exceptional management and outstanding contributions to the state’s pork industry. The NC Pork Council honored her with this award.If you've ever visited Gaye's farm, it will be of no surprise that she truly is an outstanding pork producer. Not only does she work hard every day to run the farm to it's full potential, but she is passionate about her farm and all the animals on it. She loves it.Although she grew up as a city girl, Crowther always had a deep love for animals. Shortly after graduating from Auburn University, she moved to North Carolina to work for Murphy Farms and managed the company’s first 1,000-sow farrow-to-feeder farm.“Gaye is an exceptional pork producer who represents our industry well,” said Andy Curliss, chief executive officer of the NC Pork Council. “She is dedicated to promoting the industry and always looking for ways to make it stronger.”Gaye started Seawright Farms, a 3,400-sow farrow-to-wean farm, in 1993 and Sea Gro, a 2,000-sow farrow-to-feeder farm, in 2004. In addition, she operates Sea Blu, a 40-acre blueberry farm, and runs a 100 head cow-calf operation.She has been actively involved with the pork industry at the local, state and national level, including the N.C. Pork Council and the National Pork Producers Council. She currently serves on the N.C. Pork Council board of directors and the Grower Council for the Smithfield Hog Production Division.“I’m grateful to be part of an industry that has such great leadership and so many growth opportunities,” Gaye said.Congratulations to Gaye! She certainly deserves to be recognized for her many years of hard work both on the farm and for the hog industry.*Photos originally appeared in the NC Pork Report