North Carolina’s Johnson Honored with State Executive Award
LOUISVILLE, KY, MARCH 10, 2022 — For advocating relentlessly for North Carolina pork producers and farmers, for educating people about the value of production agriculture, for addressing childhood hunger by getting food banks and farmers to work together, and for creating an army of producer advocates for the pork industry and agriculture as CEO of the North Carolina Pork Council (NC Pork), Deborah Johnson today was honored with the Paulson-Whitmore State Executive Award. The award was presented by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and National Pork Board at the organizations’ joint annual business meeting — the National Pork Industry Forum — held here.
The award, named after former Minnesota and Wisconsin Executive Directors Don Paulson and Rex Whitmore, recognizes the outstanding leadership and commitment of state pork organization executives.
Like many pork association executives, Johnson has spent a lifetime in agriculture. She grew up on her family’s multi-generation farm in Johnston County, North Carolina, where her father and mother raised crops and where she and her husband, Von, started their own farm raising turkeys and then row crops. In addition to serving as CEO of NC Pork for 11 years, Johnson worked for Prestage Farms, Premium Standard Farms, the North Carolina State Ports and Cape Fear Farm Credit. She also was a board member and past board president of NC Pork, as well as a delegate to NPPC and the National Pork Board.
A coalition builder and visionary, Johnson founded the North Carolina Animal Ag Coalition, now known as the Food Dialogues, and NC Farm Families, a group that promotes and educates about the value of production agriculture with a strong focus on pork. During her tenure at the organization, NC Pork worked to fight hunger in North Carolina, partnering with Feeding the Carolinas. Johnson also recruited, encouraged, equipped and challenged pork producers to be active locally, at the state level and beyond. “Throughout her career, Deb Johnson has been a well-respected, strong advocate for pork producers in North Carolina and across the country,” said NPPC CEO Bryan Humphreys. “Her leadership and strong knowledge of the pork industry and its issues have served the industry well for nearly four decades. For her numerous years of service and commitment to ensuring future generations of hog farmers, NPPC and the Pork Board are pleased to present Deb with this well-deserved award.”
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NPPC is the global voice for the U.S. pork industry, protecting the livelihoods of America’s 60,000 pork producers, who abide by ethical principles in caring for their animals, in protecting the environment and public health and in providing safe, wholesome, nutritious pork products to consumers worldwide. For more information, visit www.nppc.org.