NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 22

Fulfilling

DREAM
Originally from Ecuador,
North Carolina pork producer
Santiago Vazquez follows his
heart to agriculture.
written by DAVID JONES
photography by MARISA LINTON

T

HE TREK TO THE HOG
industry was a journey
of close to 2,500 miles for
Santiago Vazquez.
Vazquez, or ig inally
from Quito, Ecuador, went to school in
Honduras and finished up at Kansas
State University before taking a job in
southeastern North Carolina.
Quito, a town of more than 2.5 million,
is the capital and earthquake prone.
Ecuador has rich farming areas.
"I've been from home about 20 years
now," Vazquez said, who celebrated his
47th birthday in May. "Every year or so I go
back, every other year. There is just housing everywhere, new towns, new malls."

THE UNUSUAL
JOURNEY OF LOVE
How does the son of an Ecuadorian lawyer end up in North Carolina raising hogs?
"It was always in my heart," Vazquez
said, who attended Universidad
Zamorano in Honduras as his love of
agriculture grew. "I was the third of four
boys. [Our dad] was always supportive
of what we wanted to do, but I think he
was surprised when I said agriculture.
I don't think he ever saw that coming."

But Vazquez was given the support that
led him to eventually ending up as a contract grower after finishing at K-State
in 1994 where he learned English while
advancing his education.
U.S. law allowed him to get a
year of experience before a planned
return home.
"I interviewed with farms in the
Midwest, Colorado, Iowa, North Dakota,
South Dakota, and then there was company in North Carolina," he said. "At the
time it was called Carroll's Foods. Now
it is part of Smithfield. At the time they
hired me as a manager trainee, and
that's what brought me here to Turkey,
N.C., which is a little town that I don't
think is even on the map."
He started out managing a farm and
kept growing from there.
"They gave me two farms to my
responsibility, then three, and over the
years we grew to what is now six farms,
and they were nice enough to let me
participate as owner as well," he said.
Now he is a contract grower with
Smithfield. The pigs are sold to the company at a fixed price.
Since coming to Kansas, he met wife,
his K-State roommate's sister named

2 2 | S UMMER 2017 | NC PORK RE PORT | NCPORK.ORG


http://www.NCPORK.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NC Pork Report - Summer 2017

Letter From the President
Industry News
Legislative Update
Living the “barbecue Life”
Fulfilling the American Dream
A Family’s Legacy: Nahunta Pork Center
Advertiser Index
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - Intro
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - cover1
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - cover2
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 3
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 4
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 5
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - Letter From the President
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 7
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - Industry News
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 9
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 10
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 11
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - Legislative Update
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 13
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 14
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 15
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - Living the “barbecue Life”
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 17
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 18
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 19
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 20
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 21
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - Fulfilling the American Dream
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 23
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 24
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 25
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 26
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - A Family’s Legacy: Nahunta Pork Center
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 28
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - Advertiser Index
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 30
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - cover3
NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NCPQ/NCPQ0118
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NCPQ/NCPQ0417
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NCPQ/NCPQ0317
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NCPQ/NCPQ0217
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NCPQ/NCPQ0117
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NCPQ/NCPQ0416
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NCPQ/NCPQ0316
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NCPQ/NCPQ0216
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NCPQ/NCPQ0116
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NCPQ/NCPQ0415
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NCPQ/NCPQ0315
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NCPQ/NCPQ0215
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NCPQ/NCPQ0115
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NCPQ/NCPQ0414
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NCPQ/NCPQ0314
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NCPQ/NCPQ0214
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NCPQ/NCPQ0114
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NCPQ/NCPQ0413
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NCPQ/NCPQ0313
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NCPQ/NCPQ0213
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NCPQ/NCPQ0113
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/NCPQ0412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/NCPQ0312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/NCPQ0212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/NCPQ0112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/NCPQ0411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/NCPQ0311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/NCPQ0211
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com