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33rd Annual Meeting of the Tobacco Growers Assn. of North Carolina

Several hundred Tar Heel tobacco growers from throughout the state attended the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Tobacco Growers Assn. of North Carolina, also held during the Southern Farm Show. “Finding our Balance“ was the theme for this years’ event. A larger than normal crowd of growers attended this TGANC event, the first one held since the NC tobacco referendum was passed this past summer.

On the meeting agenda was a keynote presentation by NC State Ag Economist Dr. Blake Brown, who gave an update on the tobacco market place and how growers can best manage circumstances moving forward during the upcoming growing season.

Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler moderated a panel that addressed the top issues in the tobacco business in 2015 and beyond. The five panelists included: Mike Ligon, VP of Universal Leaf Tobacco Co.; Herbert Weatherford, North and Central America regional director of Alliance One International: Tripp Wilson, RAI Services Co. VP of corporate sustainability and commercial equity; TGANC President Tim Yarbrough of Caswell Co.; and Dr. Loren Fisher, NC State University coordinator of tobacco programs.

Newly elected U.S. Senator Thom Tillis spoke for the first time at a TGANC annual meeting. New NC 7th district Congressman, David Rouzer, has been a friend of the tobacco industry dating back to passage of the Tobacco Buyout more than ten years ago.

During the meeting, long-time and stalwart members Richard and Faylene Whitaker and their sons, Shane and Travis of Randolph Co., were honored as this year’s “TGANC Tobacco Farm Family of the Year.”

Courtesy Jim Haskins