Larry Wooten will retire from his longtime post as president of the North Carolina Farm Bureau at the end of this year. He has been an advocate for rural communities and represented rural North Carolina through service on the US International Trade Commission, the US Policy Council, the Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, and the Soil and Water Foundation.
"Larry Wooten has been a tireless advocate for North Carolina farmers and rural communities, and I thank him for his many years of outstanding service to our state," said Governor Roy Cooper. "I am proud to honor Larry by presenting him the first-ever North Carolina Rural Leadership Award, which will honor his legacy and the service of leaders who make an impact in rural communities for years to come."
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"Larry has been a consistent and tireless advocate for North Carolina agriculture, farmers, agribusiness and rural communities. His efforts to strengthen our agricultural and rural economies, combined with his vision and deep understanding of the challenges facing farmers, is why he is such a highly respected leader. I appreciate his support of many of our departmental programs, including our youth livestock shows at the N.C. State Fair," said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. "The support of the N.C. Farm Bureau, has encouraged the next generation of young people to pursue careers in agriculture."
The North Carolina Farm Bureau shared this statement: "North Carolina Farm Bureau can imagine no better choice for the first recipient of the Rural Champions Award than our President, Larry Wooten. Wooten has devoted his life to improving rural communities and the lives of farmers as their tireless advocate. Through his passion for agriculture, he has given a voice to those who provide food, fuel and fiber for our state, our country and our world. This is a great recognition of his hard work as and accomplishments over the years."
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Perhaps North Carolina Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Scott Whitford said it best: "Farm Bureau's sole purpose is to help improve the livelihood and well-being of rural North Carolina. This I know has been the cornerstone and driving force behind Larry Wooten`s tenure as our President and leader. His vision of a strong, inclusive general farm organization has helped unite the North Carolina agriculture community into a strong advocate for our rural and farming interests."
Going forward, the award will be presented each year to an outstanding rural leader. The award will be coordinated by a small committee with representatives from the Governor's Office, the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Each recipient of the Rural Leadership Award will exemplify rural leadership in three areas: long-standing commitment to rural endeavors, a positive impact on rural life through significant and sustaining improvements for people living in rural communities, and an exemplary character that inspires North Carolinians.
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