Last week at the 2012 Tobacco Day, an annual event held at the Johnston County Extension Center near Smithfield, Universal Leaf’s George Scott was inducted as a Tobacco Great. Scott says that he’s joined a pretty illustrious group:
“I am very humbled to be named to the group and be on the list of the people who have contributed to the industry for many, many years.”
As far as his predecessors go in the Tobacco Greats, Scott is one of the younger members:
“My name is on the plaque, but I have to give a lot of the credit to my family, and also to the people I work with at Universal Leaf because we are a team and Universal allows me to do the things that I have been doing in the industry for the last 10 years.”
While involved in tobacco all his life, thus far, Scott’s professional career has been fairly short:
“I have been involved in tobacco since I was born. My father was a tobacco grower in North Carolina and then immediately after getting both my degrees from NC State, I joined Universal Leaf in 2000.”
Scott outlines his career with Universal Leaf thus far:
“I started in the International Management Trainee program, which meant they would put me through different aspects of the company and see what would come from it. I spent the first 12 months working at our processing facilities, three months in our Danville Virginia location and then continued my training in Brazil. I completed my training in Wilson NC. The following year I worked on some special projects, then with contracting in the US just starting and I entered into the Leaf Group of Universal Leaf North America and worked with our growers. In 2005 I was given some added responsibility and was promoted to Assistant Vice President. In 2006, my boss was promoted to President of Universal Leaf North America and I assumed his role as Leaf Director.”
Where does Scott see the tobacco industry in the future:
“I tell people every day, the future is just as bright as any other industry. I know there is a lot of negativity associated with tobacco production and cigarettes, and tobacco has been “going away” ever since my father was growing it. I don’t believe that is the case. It’s a legal product. Here in the US our future is very bright, especially in regards to impending regulations that are going to require manufacturers to ask more of the growers and there is no better place to do that than here in the US because of our educated grower base that can adapt and change very quickly.”
Scott was inducted as a tobacco great along with Stan Biconish. They both join an impressive group as a tobacco greats, including former Southern Farm Network broadcaster, Johnny Hood in 1999.
George Scott, vice president for leaf for Universal Leaf North America on Today’s Topic.
For more on the 2012 Tobacco Day, click here