As a farmer, Brandon Warren enjoys raising healthy hogs and watching his crops grow in the field. Now, the Sampson County hog producer is ready to start a new journey in leadership.
He was recently elected president of the North Carolina Pork Council Board of Directors. Warren has served with the council since 2010 and was reelected in 2013, to represent the regional district. He served as vice president last year.
“It’s an honor for my fellow board members to put their trust and faith in me,” Warren said about the leadership position. “I will do my best to fulfill the duties. We have a wonderful staff at the Pork Council. They’re right there to help me and keep me straight.”
Warren grew up on a multi-generational family farm in Newton Grove, whic he operates along withhis father, brother, uncle and cousin. He is a 1998 graduate of North Carolina State University and earned a degree in agricultural business management. He previously served on the NC Soybean Producers board and is currently the director for the NC Cotton Producers Association as well as several church boards.
Along with a 3,300 sow, farrow-to-finish operation, WF Partnership and Warren Swine Farms produces 6,500 acres of row crops and raises cows too. As a farmer, he enjoys seeing the fruits of his labor. In the process, he also enjoys knowing that they’re helping to feed people around the world.
“It’s not always easy work, but even though I’m working hard, I can see the fruits of my labor,” he attested.
The same goes for crops on his farm.
“We work hard all year for corn, beans, tobacco or whatever it may be,” he said. “At the end of the season, we can see the fruits of our labor. That’s what I like about it.”
He’s been a member of the pork board for seven years. Along with other members, he promotes North Carolina’s pork industry as a food source that’s safe, healthy and affordable.
“Lately, we spend a lot of time defending ourselves from environmental and animal rights groups that attack pork in different ways,” he pointed out. “But our main job is to promote pork and to be a voice for the industry and North Carolina.”
The council is made up of 18 district directors elected by the members. Additional board members include representatives, industry allies and meat producers. Members serving on the National Pork Board is included at the state level as well. According to the organization, representatives of N.C. State University, the N.C. State College of Veterinary Medicine and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services serve as non-voting members of the board.
As the board leader, Warren wants to make certain producers have access to up-to-date resources and programs. One of them is We Care, an initiative created in 2008 by the National Pork Board, the National Pork Producers Council and others organization related to farmers. We Care encourages farmers and employees to understand and always use the practices when raising animals. Another goal is to promise the public that pig farmers are committed to responsible and ethical animal agriculture.
“I want to make sure that everybody is up to date with We Care principals and following our guidelines, treating the animals the right way, taking care of the environment and doing the best job that we can ” Warren said about creating good food sources.
Warren expressed how it’s important for the public to know more about the lives of pork producers in the state.
“As a North Carolina pork farmer myself, I want us to tell our story,” he said. “If we don’t tell our story, somebody else will tell it for us.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.