NC Pork Report - Summer 2017 - 28

of my company and extremely proud
that we are able to do a fantastic job
year after year, or else I don't think they
would search us out and have us do it
every year. [Laughs.] We must be doing
a pretty good job."
Prestage Farms grows about 30
hogs for the championship every year
and Nahunta takes them a few days
in advance and dresses them for the
competition.
Usually based on requests, he said a
hog has to weigh 170 to 180 pounds at
the start.
"A hog will lose about 30 to 40 percent
of its live weight after it is dressed,"
he said.
Jim Bristle, a competitor and a certified barbecue judge, said that the
hogs delivered by Nahunta at the state
championship are first rate. "What I
liked about the way they are delivered is
that they are hung in the trailer and that
helps keep them from having broken
backs and other blemishes," said Bristle.
The prime condition and the fact that
all the pigs are very close in weight are
important factors for competitors when

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the stakes are high, such as the bragging
rights and prize money that comes along
with winning the state championship.

IN THE BACKGROUND
Interestingly, Brandon has never seen a
Whole Hog Barbecue champ crowned.
He is too busy.
"I'm not at the competition, I'm at
work," he said. "Once we deliver the hogs,
it's kind of out of our hands at that point.
I'd love to go but I work until 5 p.m. or
5:30 p.m. and I'm back at work at 4:30 a.m.
on Saturday, so I don't have a lot of time
to just hang around and watch."
But there is no question there is
huge pride.

LOVE OF THE BUSINESS
"I'm third generation," Brandon said.
"My grandfather started the operation
in 1955 as just a small little slaughtering process when they only averaged
about three a week the first month and
then from there continued to grow. We're
slaughtering anywhere from 500 to 600
a week now."
The family also runs two retail outlets, in Pikeville and at the State Farmers
Market in Raleigh, where customers can
find about every pork product and cut,
plus whole hogs, Tom Thumb, pigs feet,
sausages, country hams and more. The
company also delivers its product to
about two dozen restaurants.
"We pride ourselves on selling everything but the oink in our meat cases,"
Brandon said.
According to their website, Nahunta
Pork Center is the largest retail center of
its kind, not only in North Carolina, but
in the entire eastern United States. Two
full-time N.C. Department of Agriculture
and Consumer Services meat inspectors
ensure humane slaughter and safe handling of the company's meat products.
"For the most part, I like my job,"
Brandon said. "I like 95 percent of it. I am
working for the family business and continuing on what my grandfather started
over 60 years ago. It's not an easy thing to
do, but I would much rather be doing this
than sitting behind a desk eight hours a
day, pushing paper."
It's a job he fell in love with.
"You grow to really appreciate the
people you are working with, you enjoy

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"Every day is
a blessing. It's
very humbling.
I feel extremely
blessed to do this
job every day
and be trusted
with such a huge
responsibility."
the camaraderie and you enjoy just the
work itself, taking pride in what you do,"
Brandon said. "If you don't like what you
do then it doesn't matter how much you
get paid."
The 32-year-old confesses it's not an
ideal job for everyone. But he has found joy.
"[The growers] are great people,"
Brandon said. "They love what they do.
Probably 99 percent of them have done
this their entire lives and just grow to
love what they really do in the hog industry itself."

FAMILY TRADITION LIVES ON
"Every day is a blessing," he said. "It's
very humbling. I feel extremely blessed
to do this job every day and be trusted
with such a huge responsibility."
In today's time, more seem to look for
easier roads.
"It's a family business," Brandon said.
"It's one you grow to love. I guess I could
have done a banking job or something
like that out of college, but I sort of just
ended up here. I love what I do, I think
I'm extremely fortunate to love what I
do every day."
And as the championship approaches
every year? No, he doesn't get worried.
He confesses he just might sneak away
from work one year and actually attend
the event. In the meantime, he just has
to continue on through a labor of love.
What would Mack think of the company's impact on such a special event
so many years later?
"He would be [proud], I think so,"
Brandon said. "That's what a lot of people
tell me. I hope so."
Rest assured Brandon, Grandpa is
smiling.


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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
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