Orange Slices - June 25
Press Releases
Written by Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau   
Tuesday, June 25, 2019 08:00 AM

“The planter, the farmer, the mechanic, and the laborer . . . form the great body of the people of the United States, they are the bone and sinew of the country men who love liberty and desire nothing but equal rights and equal laws.”  — Andrew Jackson 

Ben Lloyd is a Farmer

For more than 40 years, Ben Lloyd has spoken up for Northern Orange County and how our rural communities need to be helped. “The need for water and sewer, the need for fire protection over the years—Ben has been a very powerful advocate for that,” says U.S. Rep. David Price.

Ben Lloyd’s roots run deep in Orange County soil: the family goes ten generations back to the time of the Regulators, in the 1760s, a group known for speaking out for area residents.

In 1922, his family started Lloyd's Brothers Dairy on what was known as Lloyds Farm Road, now Orange Grove Road. As a young man, he purchased a home in the Efland area of Orange County, where the Lloyd family still resides. As neighboring farms became available, the Lloyd family purchased the land, growing the farm acre by acre.

Ben is also a veteran. In 1954, he joined the U.S. Navy, becoming a Seabee, part of the construction battalion based at Coronado, California. It was during this time that he married his late wife, Camelia Compton Lloyd, whom he met at a ballgame years before in Cedar Grove. They were married for 58 years. The family they created together remains Ben’s greatest joy. Carrie Camelia Compton Lloyd died in February 2015 at the age of 82.

Ben has plenty to be proud of. He grew his farm operation, once home to 150 dairy cows, while helping other farmers and the Orange County community as well. He started a successful bovine artificial insemination business, which helped farmers in the southeast region breed cows. He helped create the Efland Rescue and Fire Department, was a founding member of the Efland Ruritan Club and Optimist Club, and in 1982 was elected to the Board of County Commissioners.

In 2015, during the presentation of the Long Leaf Pine Award, Rep. Craig Meyer said Ben Lloyd lives up to the state motto, “Esse Quam Videri,” meaning “To be rather than to seem.”

“The thing I am most proud of is that by using the newest farming technology from North Carolina State,” Ben says, “along with diversification into other income sources such as agritourism, this farm has been blessed to continue up to this date.”

 

The Challenges of Farming

Farming has become a tough business today and Ben worries about its future. 

According to The American Farmland Trust, America today is losing agricultural land at an alarming rate – 175 acres every hour, 1.5 million acres every year.

In the next 15 years, one-third of America’s farmland and ranchland will likely change hands, as current landowners age and sell. Land is most at risk of being converted to a non-agricultural use when it is sold.

“In my opinion, over regulation along with low profits is making farming a defunct business. Our future food supply is being threatened and something needs to be done to sustain it.”

We need more, not less farmland to grow our food, because the demand for food will only grow. Experts predict that we will need to increase food production by 60 percent by the year 2050.

But there’s even more at stake. We need farmland to restore our planet. When properly managed, farmland and ranchland support wildlife and biodiversity, recharge aquifers, clean water, and—of paramount importance in our fight against climate change—sequester carbon.

“I would encourage young farmers to take advantage of farming technologies and opportunities as much as they can,” Lloyd says. “Full-time farming has gotten more difficult as the years go on. The hours are long and wages are low, making it not a very attractive career for many youth. But I have been able to witness changes in the farming culture throughout my years and believe opportunities like diversifying into fields such as agritourism will help farmers weather the storm.”

He also believes that farming and economic development should co-exist.

“I believe that Orange County officials should encourage economic development. It would provide jobs for our citizens along with money for the residents of Orange County. I believe their top priorities should also be focused on education and law enforcement.”  

Today the Lloyd Farm is under the management of the third generation of Lloyds. Sons Crag Lloyd, Andy Lloyd, and daughter Cheryl Humphrey have grown the family’s agri-tourism enterprises, hosting weddings and events and working with community leaders to call attention to adaptive reuse of farms as a backdrop for retreats, dances, celebrations.

“Farming is a noble career,” Lloyd says.

It’s also a necessary one — a vital one. “The bone and sinew of our country,” our 7th president said of farmers. Much has changed since then, but this hasn’t.

 

Celebrate Farming

If you’re looking for the best NC pulled pork around together with a festival featuring live music, one-of-a-kind and handcrafted gifts, home decor, emergency vehicle displays, face painting, and bounce houses for the kids, then Hog Day is the place for you! Come to Hillsborough in September and sample the BBQ from the teams that stay to smoke it overnight.

Hog Day

September 20 & 21, 2019

Downtown Hillsborough

www.hogday.org