The North Carolina Pork Council (NCPC) has named Norman C. Denning Sr. to its Hall of Fame, in recognition of Denning’s longtime and significant contributions to the state’s pork industry and the progress of NCPC.
The Hall of Fame announcement was made recently during the annual N.C. Pork Conference Awards Breakfast held at the Marriott Crabtree in Raleigh.
In receiving his award, Denning, 88, thanked the many acquaintances in attendance and commented of his days now, “After I check out everything on the farm, I then give advice to a lot of folks who mostly don’t take it.”
Deborah Johnson, NCPC chief executive officer, commented, “It is difficult to overestimate the contributions made to the state’s pork industry by Norman Denning. He has been closely involved with our profession’s progress for more than 70 years and the effects of his contributions are still evident today.”
Denning has been an agricultural leader in Johnston County for many decades and has been honored as a Johnston County “Living Legend” by the county’s Heritage Center. He was inducted into the Livestock Hall of Fame at the N.C. State Fair in 1980 and the Johnston County Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1985.
Denning’s public career in the pork industry began at the age of 12 in 1938 at the State Fair when his Duroc breed boar was named grand champion. The victory evolved into a career that led to his recognition as one of the leading Duroc breeders in the nation.
In the midst of his status as a superior purebred producer, Denning served as the first president of the North Carolina Swine Industry Association in 1959, which later became the North Carolina Pork Council.
Denning was a major factor in the construction of the Johnston County Livestock Arena in 1977 which provided a permanent venue in the country for tested boar and purebred swine sales.
His experience as a leader in the growing pork industry led to his work as a Johnston County commissioner from 1962 until 1998, including 26 years as chairman of the commission.
Holding the title of county commissioner led to service on the Johnston County Health Board for 26 years, an appointment to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the title of Johnson County Fire Commissioner for 36 years.
Most recently, Denning has had a scholarship from the Johnston County Livestock Mutual Endowment created in his honor.
Dr. Todd See of N.C. State University, who joined Hall of Fame winner Bob Jones and Johnston County Extension Director Bryant Spivey in writing nomination letters for Denning, commented, “As if his early contributions and 74 years of support (for the pork industry) are not enough, Norman Denning has been an advocate of junior livestock activities and has been active in state and local politics throughout his life … He is visionary, passionate and helped pave the way for today’s North Carolina pork industry.”
Admission to the NCPC Hall of Fame is based on overall contribution to the state’s pork industry and the NCPC, contributions to family and community including volunteer efforts and special awards and recognition for ongoing service.
The North Carolina Pork Council (NCPC) is the statewide organization chartered in 1962 to support producers and allied industry partners within the North Carolina pork industry. Today, the pork industry in the state includes more than 2,200 farms, about 46,000 full-time jobs and adds $9 billion to North Carolina’s economy.