NC Pork Report - Spring 2015 - (Page 20)
NCPC Names Bob Swain to
Pork Industry Hall of Fame
he 59th annual NC Pork Conference and awards breakfast was highlighted by the induction of Robert W. Swain
into the N.C. Pork Council's (NCPC) Hall of Fame.
NCPC honored Swain for his significant contributions
to the state's pork industry, especially during the years
when pork production in North Carolina was moving from its
modest beginnings toward becoming the industry it is today.
Swain's life in animal agriculture began on his family's dairy
farm in Southport in the mid-1950s. He attended what was then
N.C. State College and earned a degree in dairy husbandry in
1958. He returned to the dairy, but had aspirations of helping
other farmers, and accepted a position as County Livestock
Agent in Columbus County in 1963. A couple of years later
he realized a passion for further knowledge of the livestock
industry and returned to N.C. State and earned a master's
degree in animal science.
Swain and his family then set down roots in Duplin County,
where he and his wife of 56 years Rose have stayed. Swain
accepted a position of Duplin County Livestock Agent at a
time when swine production was still small but on the cusp
of something great.
Deborah Johnson, chief executive officer of NCPC, recalled,
"When the industry's great innovators were busy linking the
idea of contract production with the early swine production
model, Bob embraced the concept, while still helping the independent producer reach optimal efficiencies."
Swain became an innovator in Duplin Country by organizing
a livestock association and then joining with Snodie Wilson to
create the Duplin Young Farmers Organization. He also assisted
with 4-H swine projects, Future Farmers of America activities,
junior livestock shows and 4-H livestock shows. He even found
time to coach a Duplin County show team to a state title and
competition at the national level.
Swain joined Carrolls Farms for two years as Swine
Production Manager in the early 70's, but then returned to
serve again as Duplin County Livestock Agent. Swain was later
promoted to Area Swine Specialist position overseeing multiple
counties out of the Sampson Extension office and remained
in that position until retiring in 1991. A highlight of this time
was organizing multiple in-state and out-of-state educational
tours for producers and county livestock agents.
In addition to his continuing career as an advisor and swine
specialist in the area, Swain also became a contract producer
with the Carroll's Foods Inc. firm, starting in 1971 with finishing pigs on the ground in large pens, then constructing one
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of the earliest fully-slatted finishing barns in 1974. The Bob
Swain Hog Farm expanded further in 1977, 1983, 1985, and
1992 to reach a finishing capacity of over 7,000 head. Swain
remained fully involved in managing the farm until late 2011.
He has also served on the Murphy-Brown Grower Advisory
Board in recent years.
During the awards ceremony at the conference's closing
breakfast, Swain was presented his Hall of Fame membership
by Neill Westerbeek, an industry leader.
Westerbeek commented, "Bob Swain's career has been iconic
for me personally. There has been no aspect of his family's work
that has not been both brilliant and productive."
Admission to the NCPC Hall of Fame is based on overall contribution to the state's pork industry and the
NCPC, contributions to family and community including
volunteer efforts and special awards and recognition for
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NC Pork Report - Spring 2015
Message from the President: Opportunity, Challenges, Learning, Teamwork and Success
Introducing the 2015 Board of Directors
2015 Pork Conference: Education, Networking, Fellowship and Fun
NCPC Names Bob Swain to Pork Industry Hall of Fame
Roddy Purser Named 2015 Pork All-American
Edward Dail Named 2015 Outstanding Pork Producer
Ray Simmons Named Environmental Steward Winner
Bacon Bash Brings Home the Bacon for NCPC PAC
2015 Student Internship Program
2015 North Carolina Pork Council Scholarship
NC Pork Report - Spring 2015