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RALEIGH — Lucama-based Scott Farms has been named the 2018 N.C. Exporter of the Year by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The award recognizes individuals or companies that have made a positive impact on N.C. agricultural exports. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler presented the award to Linwood “Sonny” Scott Jr., president and co-owner of Scott Farms, during the Ag Development Forum on Thursday at the State Fairgrounds.
“Scott Farms began sweet potato production with just 15 acres. Today, sweet potato production is at 3,000 acres, and the international sector accounts for more than half of their total farm sales of sweet potatoes,” Troxler said. “The Scotts have built their business around the principles of hard work and delivering a quality sweet potato product. They pride themselves on service and treating people as they would like to be treated.”
Scott Farms is a sixth-generation family farm whose roots began with tobacco, but over the years has diversified production to add sweet potatoes, wheat, soybeans and corn. Scott owns the farm with his wife Alice, and sons Linwood III and Dewey.
Scott Farms ranks as one of the largest in the region with more than 14,000 acres of farmland, with 3,000 acres of sweet potatoes and over 6,000 acres of tobacco harvested.
The Scotts have set up a marketing and sales office in the United Kingdom allowing them to build business relationships and provide customer service to this growing market, Troxler said.
The company has been progressive as it has expanded into sweet potatoes. The Scotts constructed a new technology-driven packing facility that includes computer-operated packing lines, and the farm also uses GPS-guidance systems on tractors.
That investment in technology has allowed Scott Farms to provide a safe, traceable supply of products to its customers.
“Those are essential components in today’s business climate whether you are marketing products here or overseas,” Troxler said. “Ag production that factors in accountability and traceability are benchmarks to a modern and progressive farm.”