Agriculture remains Wayne County’s top industry employing roughly 9,000 residents and contributing around $1 billion to the local economy.
Tuesday, the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce honored local farmers as part of its annual Agriculture Luncheon, featuring a panel of three local farmers talking about their career.
Jan Archer of Archer Farms talked about the complications for her industry during the pandemic.
Local hog farmer Marlowe Ivey Vaughn says the United States has the safest and most efficient food system in the world, but that chain broke when the coronavirus pandemic began.
The problems run from the processing plants — where workers have a hard time maintaining social distancing — to transportation and stocking.
Lorenda Overman of Overman Farms says there needs to be a change in public education and perception of farming.
Following the panel discussion, the Wayne County Chamber presented its annual agriculture awards:
- Agriculture Advocate of the Year
- Kevin Johnson
- Agriculture Producer of the Year
- Overman Farms
- Wayne County Outstanding Woman in Agriculture
- Dr. Sandy Maddox
- Agriculture Hall of Fame Inductees
- Donald M. Gray
- Roland “Bud” Gray
The chamber’s Ag Luncheon was held at the Maxwell Center with limited attendance as well as virtually on Facebook Live.