RALEIGH — The 152nd N.C. State Fair closed on Sunday with total attendance of 938,029 visitors. That figure was down from last year’s total of 977,256 and well off of the all-time high of 1,091,887 in 2010. The fair ran from Thursday, Oct. 17 through Sunday, Oct. 27, at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. The fair is administered by the N.C. Department of Agriculture.
During the opening weekend, state Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler inducted six new members into the N.C. State Fair Livestock Hall of Fame. “This is one of my favorite events each year, because it gives me the opportunity to recognize the men and women who have helped to make our livestock shows some of the best in the nation,” Troxler said. “Today’s inductees join a select group that has been honored for outstanding support of agriculture and livestock at the N.C. State Fair.”
Following is the list of this year’s inductees:
Frank Hollowell of Hurdle Mills was inducted into the swine category. He has been a fixture of State Fair hog shows for decades, and he has been involved in North Carolina agriculture for even longer. Hollowell began his career at the Extension Swine Husbandry program at N.C. State University in the 1970s. He has put in hundreds of hours over the years at junior livestock shows around North Carolina to make sure they run smoothly, and has been involved in nearly every part of the hog shows from set up to tear down.
David Lee of Zebulon was inducted into the swine category. He also began his career at the Extension Swine Husbandry program at N.C. State University in the 1970s. Lee has been responsible for assigning pens, setting up the unloading area, scales and ultrasound equipment, leading the ring crew in penning and moving hogs and more during the hog shows.
Sammy Jenkins of Apex was inducted into the horse category. Over nearly 40 years working at the fair, he has been an exhibitor, vendor and volunteer. Jenkins sits on the N.C. Horse Council and has also been part of the Appaloosa horse club and American Quarter Horse Association.
Freddie O’Neal of South Mills was inducted into the supporters category. He began his career at the Jones County Extension in 1979, before eventually moving to the Camden County Extension in 1989. O’Neal has been a consistent presence at the State Fair for many years, and has put hundreds of hours into helping livestock shows of all kinds flourish.
Dr. Carm Parkhurst of Castalia was inducted into the Commissioner’s Meritorious category. Parkhurst passed away earlier this year, but the legacy he built over four decades at N.C. State University is still felt even after his passing. As a professor of Poultry Science at North Carolina State University, his commitment to his students and deep knowledge of the poultry industry made him a beloved teacher and advisor.
Larry Wooten of Raleigh was inducted into the Commissioner’s Meritorious category. As president of the N.C. Farm Bureau, Wooten has been one of agriculture’s strongest allies for decades. He sits on the board of the American Farm Bureau Federation and he serves as a member of the Board of the Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company. Wooten has traveled in Europe, Africa and South America promoting trade and North Carolina agriculture, and he currently serves on USDA’s Ag Policy Advisory Committee.