NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 28

Sustaining excellence
in swine production
written by DAVID JONES

S

AMPSON AND DUPLIN
counties are the powerhouses
in swine production, taking
turns over the years occupying the top spot, not just in
North Carolina, but also the nation.
Besides the hog farmers themselves,
there aren't many people working
harder to support the industry than
the Cooperative Extension livestock
agents in those counties. In Duplin
County, that's Amanda Hatcher and
Adam Ross, and in Sampson County,
Max Knowles and James Hartfield.
Hatcher and Knowles take the main
roles in teaching certification classes
and helping with commercial farms
while Ross and Hartfield work more
with smaller farmers and other livestock breeds.
Among the group, Hatcher is the veteran, coming from Tennessee in 2004
and working her way up to becoming
director of Duplin County Cooperative
Extension office.
"The way they do things [in Tennessee]
is very different than it is here," she
explained. "When I came here, I had to
learn a lot about animal waste and how
it is managed. I was just very fortunate
that I had a lot of people in extension
and in the industry who were very
supportive."
Despite the learning curve, she was
careful not to force her opinions.
"I think they know I want to help
them," she said. "I am very honored to

help them.... I just feel I was put here
for a purpose."
Knowles, the livestock agent in
Sampson County, is newer at the job,
but even Hatcher notes he was working
the family farm when barely old enough
to walk, which means he has a great deal
of hands-on experience.
"As far as understanding the day-to-day
operation, he's great at it," Hatcher said.
The two powerhouses in the industry
work together. "She's a great person,"
Knowles said. "I enjoy working with her.
She pretty much taught me everything
I know."

TREATING EVERYONE
LIKE FAMILY
"To be honest with you, when these
farmers are asking me questions about
record keeping or sludge surveying or

2 8 | FALL 2017 | NC PORK RE PORT | NCPORK.ORG

anything like that, it feels to me as if
it's my father and my grandfather,"
Knowles said. "I mean, I get to find out
every day how great these men and
women are, and how hard they work.
They really have a passion for it and
they enjoy it."
Neither county is really concerned
about who is No. 1, but both take great
pride in their success.
"We're No. 1 but Sampson and Duplin
every other year tends to one-up the
other," Hatcher said. "It's normally just
barely and it's so close we just share
the glory a little bit on that. It's not a
huge, huge difference between the two
counties."
Hatcher, too, sees family when she
looks into the faces of farmers she's
trying to help. She credits her grandfather for her appreciation for all facets
of agriculture.
"I don't know how he did it but he
did it," she said. "My philosophy is,

PHOTOS COURTESY OF AMANDA HATCHER, MAX KNOWLES, PAUL GARCIA AND JAMES HARTSFIELD

Livestock extension agents in Duplin and
Sampson counties focus on treating everyone
like family and fostering a love of agriculture


http://www.NCPORK.ORG

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

Letter From the President
Industry News
Producer Profile
Legislative Update
Profile: Brandon Hartman
Sustained Excellence in Swine Production
Youth News
Pork Checkoff Announces
Advertiser Index
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - Intro
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - cover1
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - cover2
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 3
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 4
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 5
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - Letter From the President
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 7
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - Industry News
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 9
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 10
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 11
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 12
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 13
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 14
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - Producer Profile
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 16
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 17
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 18
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 19
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 20
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 21
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 22
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 23
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - Legislative Update
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 25
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - Profile: Brandon Hartman
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 27
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - Sustained Excellence in Swine Production
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 29
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 30
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 31
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - Youth News
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 33
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - Pork Checkoff Announces
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 35
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 36
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - 37
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - Advertiser Index
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - cover3
NC Pork Report - Fall 2017 - cover4
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