Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler inducted three longtime livestock supporters into the N.C. State Fair Livestock Hall of Fame Sunday, Oct. 18, at the fairgrounds. The ceremony honored each person’s outstanding contributions to State Fair supporter, horse and swine programs.
Inducted were Leon Brickhouse of Elizabeth City, Gregory Peele of Pikeville and the late Linda Champion, whose daughter Carol Ramsey of Wendell accepted the honor on her behalf. Each inductee received a plaque and pin, and will have their pictures hung with previous honorees in the Livestock Hall of Fame Room in the Jim Graham Building.
Brickhouse, honored in the supporter category, has been involved with the N.C. State Fair livestock shows for 59 years. In Pasquotank County, he helped to complete its 4-H Livestock Arena in 1974 and provides a working show ring and equipment on his farm for youth exhibitors to train. As part of the supporters program at the Fair, he has raised more than $300,000 of buyer support for youth livestock exhibitors and assisted in more than 200 youth livestock projects.
Champion, honored in the horse category, was the first full-time manager of the James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex and helped increase entries and sponsorships for the N.C. State Fair horse show. She grew up riding horses on her family’s farm just east of Raleigh and also had horses on her Merri-Hill Farm in Knightdale. Champion is survived by sister Gayle Quinn, brother Patrick McGhee and children Carol Ramsey, Victoria Paige, Monty Champion and Page Champion, as well as eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Peele, honored in the swine category, has exhibited in the junior market barrow, purebred breeding swine, performance market hogs and open market barrow shows since 1962 as part of his family’s Nahunta Farms. His father, Oland Peele, was in the inaugural class of the Livestock Hall of Fame in 1980. Peele is on the board of directors for several agricultural organizations, including the Tobacco Heritage Museum, N.C. Chester White Breeders Association and the N.C. Pure Bred Swine Breeders Association. He has also been active in FFA, 4-H and the Grange since his youth.