The North Carolina Outstanding Pork Producer of the Year award recognizes a pork producer or family who has made significant contributions to the pork industry in North Carolina.

A passion for agriculture and people is what drives Bob Livingston to be the best hog farmer he can be and a deserving recipient of this year’s Outstanding Pork Producer Award.

Livingston and his wife, Jean, own Turnbull Company LLC in White Oak where they operate a 2,400 head sow farm through Smithfield Hog Production where they consistently rank in the top 5 for production for sow farms.

“Bob and the farm manager, Antonio, lead by example, working in a safe manner to show what is expected of all employees,” said Bladen County Extension Director Becky Spearman, who nominated Livingston for the award on behalf of the Bladen County Livestock Association. Safety is the number one priority on the farm.

The second priority of Turnbull Company is to treat each other with dignity and respect. Livingston goes above and beyond for his employees by providing opportunities for career growth and continuing education within the industry. Livingston works to acknowledge and celebrate the different cultures of his employees by learning to speak the various languages of his employees such as Russian, Polish, Czech and Spanish. By doing so he is better able to connect with these individuals and assist them with events in their personal lives, such as doctor appointments or parent-teacher conferences. He also provides farm-assisted housing for most of his employees.

“These aren’t just average workers, but the one-in-ten-thousand type of people,” Livingston said of his employees. This investment in his employees contributes to the farm’s low turnover rate, with many of them having more than 20 years of service. At the awards luncheon, Livingston spent his acceptance speech bragging on his employees.

Whether you are talking about his genuine investment in his employees, his farm production records or his passion for being a leader within his community, Bob Livingston is a worthy recipient of this year’s Outstanding Pork Producer Award.