We Are Agriculture is a year-long series that will highlight the hard-work done by employees across the Department of Agriculture. Willie Teasley, Sergeant on the N.C. State Fairgrounds, is one of those employees. Stay tuned each Wednesday here on the blog or any of our social media accounts and join us in honoring those who continue to drive our state’s agriculture industry forward each day!
The N.C. State Fair is easy to fall in love with and keep coming back to year after year. Willie Teasley, Sergeant on the grounds, fell in love with the fair at an early age and decided to make it his professional home eight years ago.
Growing up in Raleigh, Sergeant Teasley was never a stranger to the N.C. State Fair. Just like many North Carolina families, the fair was a fall tradition talked about and enjoyed by many. After high school, Sergeant Teasley worked for a cotton mill for several years before moving on to his full-time career at the Wake County Sheriff’s Department. It was during his time there that the idea of working for the fair in later years came to him. “I retired from the Sheriff’s Department in 2014 and came to work for the N.C. State Fair because I enjoyed being here when we had to come help out with the fair and other events,” he said. “It’s been a wonderful change of pace and scenery. I love working with all the folks out at the fairgrounds and seeing all the smiling faces that come out to our events.”
Due to the variety of events that take place at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh throughout the year, each day for Sergeant Teasley can be different. “I am responsible for supervising anywhere from eight to ten employees who manage the gates across the fairgrounds,” he said, “so, they are responsible for ensuring folks have what they need as they come in for the flea market, livestock shows, the fair or any other event we may have going on at the time.”
During the N.C. State Fair, Sergeant Teasley’s job will increase just like much of the other fair staff. “I will continue to manage the officers at each gate to ensure compliance and safety when entering and exiting the fair,” he said, “but we also help do just about anything that needs doing, including day and nighttime security, golf cart management for the staff and helping with some of the shows.” Throughout the duration of the fair, Sergeant Teasley will work from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. to ensure safety from sunup to sundown. He is also responsible for turning off the lights at the end of the evening. “It can be a lot of work, but it’s amazing to meet all the different people who come out to the fair, including the vendors, and hear what the fair means to them,” he said. “It brings a lot of joy to a lot of people.”
Although ensuring the rules and regulations are followed by everyone who attends the fair can be a difficult task, Sergeant Teasley wouldn’t trade anything in the world for the happiness he feels in meeting people from all walks of life. “It’s amazing to see the people who come out to the fair each year because they come from all different states, ages and backgrounds,” he said. “People of all shapes, sizes, colors and cultures come together to enjoy this incredible event and it’s a great opportunity to meet so many of them, hear their stories and see the joy on their faces as they enjoy all that the fair has to offer.” His favorite N.C. State Fair food is the Butter Almond NC State Howling Cow Ice Cream, so, you may run into him at their tent this year when you visit the fair, Oct. 13th through the 23rd!
When he is not working, Sergeant Teasley can be found enjoying a quiet night at home with his wife watching a movie or enjoying some time out in the yard. Join us in thanking him for all of his hard work and dedication to safety and security at the N.C. State Fairgrounds!