Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler inducted two couples into the N.C. Mountain State Fair Livestock Hall of Fame during the fair’s opening weekend. Troxler recognized Buddy and Janice Cochran of Waynesville and Tim and Sonia Worley of Leicester for their longtime support to the fair and the livestock industry in Western North Carolina.
“These two families are a big part of what makes the livestock shows at the Mountain State Fair a success,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “I am honored to present them with this award and thank them for their support of the N.C. Mountain State Fair livestock program.”
Buddy and Janice Cochran have been a part of the Mountain State Fair Livestock Shows since the fair started in 1994. They were also part of the livestock shows that took place at the fairgrounds since the mid-1980’s. Both their children, Karen and Scotty, grew up showing cattle and sheep. Courtney, their granddaughter, showed cattle, sheep and hogs from a baby until she aged out. She became a high school ag teacher at Pisgah High School, with students involved in the fair since 2013.
“The Cochrans are generous with their time and resources, especially with youth that may not be able to participate in shows without their help,” said Troxler. “Buddy and Janice are always willing to help any youth in the area in any way they need to get them involved in livestock and showing.”
They are both members of the Pisgah FFA Alumni, and Buddy transports all Pisgah FFA livestock to the fair. Since the dairy steer project began, the Cochrans have helped find buyers, market the steers, and haul them after they are sold.
Since 2006, he has worked for the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as a market news reporter, recording cattle prices at Asheville, the old Canton yard, WNC Regional Livestock Center, North Wilkesboro and filling in at Shelby and Turnersburg. He is also a long-time horse and cattle trader. Janice retired from First Citizens Bank and worked for Jackson County Schools Central Office.
Tim and Sonia Worley have been an essential part of the Mountain State Fair from the beginning, too. They are responsible for introducing dozens of youth to raising and showing animals. “The Worleys have provided countless livestock to young people without access over the years,” said Troxler. “Both of them stay in a camper at the fairgrounds each year and are always willing to pitch in and help no matter what is needed.”
Tim and Sonia operate a cattle farm and also grow corn and hay. This year they planted a pick- your-own flower field for the first time. Their son Tucker works at the Mountain Research Station as a horticulture research specialist.
Tim has worked for the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for more than 10 years as a livestock health technician. Sonia works as a tax preparer based in Leicester.
Tim’s father, Larry Worley, was inducted into the N.C. Mountain State Fair Livestock Hall of Fame in 2017. “The Worley name has been associated with livestock shows in North Carolina for a very long time,” said Troxler. “Their legacy and the impact on countless generations of young people is immeasurable.”
The N.C. Mountain State Fair Livestock Hall of Fame was created by livestock show staff to recognize individual contributions to the livestock industry and livestock shows in Western North Carolina.
The N.C. Mountain State Fair runs through Sept. 17 at the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher. More information is available atwww.mountainfair.org.