RALEIGH — The North Carolina State Fair celebrated another milestone in agriculture history with the induction of five new Livestock Hall of Fame members on Oct. 15. This award celebrates individuals who have made large contributions to the state’s rich agricultural heritage. The ceremony, held October 15th at the heart of the fair, drew a crowd consisting of enthusiasts, farmers, and families, eager to witness the induction of these well-deserving inductees.
North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler inducted Ralph Blalock Jr., Norman and Karen Jordan, John McInnis, and Charles Young. This year’s induction was the 43rd ceremony, now with 182 honorees in the Livestock Hall of Fame.
“The Hall of Fame is composed of people that have gone above and beyond to make sure that our livestock shows are very special,” Commissioner Troxler said. “Each one of these has made lifelong contributions to the State Fair Livestock Hall of Fame.”
Ralph Jr. Norman of Lucama was inducted into the Beef category. Norman has been a constant supporter of youth involvement in NC State Fair livestock shows while also being a consistent participant himself. Being inducted into the Livestock Hall of Fame was particularly special to Blalock as he considers many of the members heroes of his own.
“It’s just a great industry, I mean you’re personally responsible for another living creature and you learn how to do as best you can and provide them with everything that they need to maximize their benefits to you and to themselves,” Blalock said.
Norman and Karen Jordan of Siler City were inducted into the dairy category. The Jordans have both been heavily involved in the NC State Fair by taking on all exhibitions of the Brush Creek Swiss Farm.
John McInnis of Norman was inducted into the Sheep and Dairy Goats category. McInnis graduated in the inaugural class of the North Carolina State agriculture Institute in 1962 and has since continued his service to North Carolina livestock through the raising of broilers and top hogs.
“I’ve always looked up at that wall and said “these are important people”, McInnis said. “Never, ever, in my wildest dreams have I thought that I’d be up there.”
Charles Young of Lansing was also inducted into the Sheep and Dairy Goats category. Young has been an active supporter of youth interested in the livestock industry and in livestock competitions and has been a part of the North Carolina State Fair since the mid 1980s.
As the North Carolina State Fair continues to evolve, the Livestock Hall of Fame remains a tribute to the remarkable people and livestock that have left a mark on the Tar Heel State.
“These are people that have dedicated their lives to raising another generation of leaders in the livestock industry,” Commissioner Troxler said.