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Farm City Day honors farmer of the year

Mary Lois and Theron Maybin were honored as Farmers of the Year at Farm City Day. Mary Lois and Theron Maybin were honored as Farmers of the Year at Farm City Day.

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Theron Maybin thought it was “surprising, really” that he was named the Farmer of the Year at the annual Farm City Day on Saturday.
If Maybin was surprised, he had to be the only one in the farming community who was. The Green River farmer and his wife have been active in farming at almost every level, from helping 4-H kids to advocating before local and state agencies to making sure that county apple farmers get their crop exhibited at the State Fair in Raleigh. Theron and Mary Lois shared the award, presented during the opening ceremony of the farm showcase event on Saturday at Jackson Park.
Glaucoma has taken most of his eyesight. He had to retire from farming his Rock Creek land in Green River when he couldn’t see well enough to plow a straight line. But his knowledge of farming makes him a valuable asset to agriculture even if he’s not riding a tractor. Maybin still serves as chair of the Henderson County Advisory Committee and is an elected supervisor of the Soil and Water Conservation District.
“We thoroughly enjoy sharing answers to questions people have about farming,” he said. He’s been farming “totally on my own since 1967” but grew up on a farm. There was never any doubt what he would do in life. “I studied agriculture in high school (he was in the first graduated class of East Henderson) and I won a two-week scholarship to N.C. State.”
One of 14 children raised in a three-room house with no electricity or running water, Maybin has devoted his life to farming, family, neighbors and his church, Cedar Springs Baptist.
Theron and Mary Lois "have cultivated a simple way of life — a life of farming that for many years kept them and their five sons busier than the bees,” county Agriculture Extension Director Marvin Owings Jr. said during the presentation. “They maintain a herd of 35 cattle and continue to grow squash, beans and other produce on a small portion of what was once a 103-acre farm.”
“Theron said, ‘We rely on God and our neighbors to get by — not money, but they’ve never have gone hungry.’”
Mary Lois, who has been married to Theron for 43 years, “is the driving force behind the family,” Owings said. “She grew up in Henderson County, says she’s among a ‘dying breed’ of farming women, but wouldn’t have it any other way.”
“Though his leadership is how Theron has truly earned the nickname ‘Mayor of Green River.’ He is the solid rock foundation of his community and church,” Owings said. “It’s his involvement and willingness to give his time and selfless service by helping others.”
Maybin served in the Vietnam War in 1965-66 as a Huey helicopter mechanic with the Army’s 121st Aviation Division.
“I made sure they were flyable,” he said. “I was in charge of 10 mechanics. If one of ‘em worked on it I had to be the first one to go up in it.”