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Farmers from county inducted into Livestock Hall of Fame

FLETCHER — Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler inducted three farmers from Henderson County into the N.C. Mountain State Fair Livestock Hall of Fame during the fair’s opening weekend. Troxler recognized Joyce and Gerald Coggins of Zirconia and Jimmy Cowan of Mills River for their longtime support to the fair, youth livestock shows and the livestock industry in western North Carolina.
“I’m always amazed to see the time and effort these kids put into raising these animals for the show ring, which makes me proud to host the livestock shows,” he  said. “We couldn’t have built the fair’s livestock program into what it is today without the contributions of people like the Coggins and Jimmy Cowan.”
The Coggins have been wool breed sheep exhibitors for the N.C. Mountain State Fair’s entire 25 years, and generously share their knowledge with other competitors. Their children and grandchildren have also shown sheep at the fair.
Cowan has supported youth livestock shows and contributed to agricultural youth programs at the N.C. Mountain State Fair for many years. He works as a district field representative with N.C. Farm Bureau, where he is known for his support of agriculture and youth in Western North Carolina.
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 2018 N.C. Mountain State Fair runs through Sept. 16 at the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher. More information is available at