Pinetown farmer tapped by NCC

Published 10:54 pm Friday, February 1, 2013

Jamie Boyd is a third-generation farmer — his uncle, his father and grandfathers on both sides of his family farmed the land of eastern North Carolina.
“It’s pretty much in my blood,” said Boyd.
But it’s his age and experience that have gotten him selected to the National Cotton Council policy education program and will send him to Memphis this week and Washington, D.C., in July. At 37, Boyd is the next generation of farmer, a chance to get some “new blood” in the organization, as told to Boyd by a fellow farmer.
The NCC program is the way cotton representatives learn firsthand how policy is formed on a national level and the issues affecting the industry as a whole. Participants in the program also receive communications training, because once graduated from the program, Boyd’s role will be one of intermediary between national and local; he’ll act as a spokesperson for NCC in his Cotton Belt region.
“I look at things like this as something to step up and do. When you’re asked to do
something like this, it’s an honor,” Boyd said.
Boyd, from Pinetown, raises grain and tobacco on his farm, and threw cotton into the crop rotation three years ago. But he didn’t realize the larger impact of cotton on society until he did the research. While he and other members of the Beaufort County Farm Bureau were putting a farming presentation together for local school kids last year, they got their own education.
“Those Utz chips — they’re cooked in cotton seed oil. Little Debbie Cakes have cotton seed oil. It’s used everywhere,” Boyd said. “We probably learned as much as (the kids) did.”
Boyd spends next weekend at the NCC’s annual meeting, which he also views as an opportunity to make new contacts and build new relationships in the farming industry.