Windows of Wayne

2017

Goldsboro News-Argus - Windows of Wayne

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37 Wayne County is unique, with a large population of more than 122,000 people, while also having a large agriculture presence as 75% of the county's total land area is farms and woodland. Farming and agribusiness is the largest industry in Wayne County, generating over $1 billion for our local economy. Five of the top six manufacturing employers in the county are agribusinesses. Wayne County is home to Goldsboro Milling Company, parent company of Butterball Turkey, largest producer of turkey products in the United States and Mt. Olive Pickle Company, the second largest pickle company in the United States. A $1 BILLION INDUSTRY aGriCulture The county is situated in the coastal plain of North Carolina and has excellent soils and a moderate climate, which is conducive for agriculture production. Wayne County has a diverse farm industry and is a national leader in the production of tobacco, hogs, and turkeys. Other important commodities grown here include: broilers, corn, soybeans, cotton, wheat, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, watermelons, cattle, strawberries and numerous other commodities. PERFECT LOCATION FOR CULTIVATION According to the U.S. Census of Agriculture, Wayne County is the 3rd largest agriculture county in the state with over $495 million in farm gate receipts. Farm Futures Magazine ranked Wayne County as the 5th best place to farm in the nation. $495 MILLION IN FARM GATE RECEIPTS Agriculture is the leading industry for Wayne County and has been since the county was formed in 1779. Early agriculture included hogs, cattle, corn, rice and turpentine. By the mid 1800s, cotton was the major crop grown in here. By 1900, there were 39 cotton gins in the county and two cotton mills (Borden Manufacturing Co. and Wayne Cotton Mills). The Naval Stores industry (tar, pitch, and turpentine) was also a significant local industry in the mid 1800s. In the 1870s, tobacco became a major business for the local economy as producers began to grow this lucrative crop and several local markets were developed. In the mid 1900s, animal agriculture became a significant industry, with turkey production increasing. By the 1980s, swine production began to dominate the agriculture economy. Today, livestock production accounts for 2/3 of the farm gate receipts. Wayne County's local agriculture offices are located at the Wayne Agriculture Building (Wayne Center) located at the corner of George and Chestnut Streets in downtown Goldsboro. The agriculture building houses North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Soil and Water, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Farm Service Agency. Five of the six high schools in Wayne County have agriculture programs and FFA chapters. Both Wayne Community College and the University of Mt. Olive have agriculture departments and programs. The county is HISTORY OF PROVIDING FOR AMERICA UNIFIRST 2017 Windows of Wayne.indd 37 12/13/16 7:32 PM

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