Dr. Greg Hoyt Inducted into the WNC Ag Hall of Fame

Dr. Greg Hoyt (left) with longtime friend Bob Carter (right), who inducted Dr. Hoyt into the WNC Ag Hall of Fame on August 12th

On Friday August 12th, WNC Communities held the 31st  annual Western North Carolina Agricultural Hall of Fame induction ceremony at its new location at the WNC Agricultural Center – Davis Event Center in Fletcher. Dr. Greg Hoyt, a pioneer in soil conservation management and cover cropping systems, was inducted at this year’s luncheon.

This annual event recognizes stewards of our Western North Carolina agribusiness sector and honors the visionaries and leaders of the agriculture industry. At a time when Western North Carolina is seeking new methods of sustainability, WNC Communities is proud to recognize those who have made significant contributions to one of our state’s most important sources of revenue.

For over 40 years, Dr. Hoyt has demonstrated his commitment to soil and water conservation.  From his post at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River, his research and extension program improved soil management practices for erodible soils throughout Western North Carolina. As a member of the Board of the Henderson County Soil & Water Conservation District his expertise and guidance has helped serve the farmers and citizens in Henderson County.

Born in Guernsey County, Ohio, Dr. Hoyt graduated from Kent State University in 1972 and went on to earn his Master’s degree in Soil Chemistry from The Ohio State University in 1975. After completing his Ph.D. in Soil Management at the University of Georgia in 1981, Dr. Hoyt became a professor of Soil Science at NC State University, where he spent his professional career until his retirement in 2012.

Dr. Hoyt is recognized as a national leader in the area of soil conservation management. His work in developing reduced tillage systems was not just academic; working with county NC Cooperative Extension Agents and conducting on-farm demonstrations, his research was adopted by growers. “His approach won the confidence of growers as he clearly understood the challenges they would face with reduced tillage and worked to mitigate these issues to engineer a workable system,” said Jason Blackwell, President of Blue Ridge Apple Growers Association. His work at mountain research stations including Mills River, Laurel Springs, and Waynesville included the study of cover crops, nutrient movement, and soil microbial communities in addition to his work on reduced tillage systems.

As a Supervisor for Henderson County Soil and Water Conservation District since 1988 and a longtime member of the Board of Directors of the Mills River Partnership, Dr. Hoyt’s expertise has helped promote sustainable agricultural practices in the county. Dr. Hoyt has also frequently engaged with youth audiences to educate them about sustainable agriculture.

In addition, Dr. Hoyt has received many awards and recognitions including: Fellow, Soil and Water Conservation Society; Professional Achievement Award and President, NC Chapter of Soil and Water Conservation Society; Research Friend of Extension Award, NC Cooperative Extension; Conservation Achievement Award, Mountain Valleys RC&D Council; Vice Chair of the State Water Quality Committee; over 40 scientific publications on cover crops, conservation tillage, and vegetable and pasture fertility.

Dr. Hoyt’s lifetime of research and extension programs supporting Western North Carolina farmers earned him the honor of being inducted into the 2022 WNC Agricultural Hall of Fame. At the ceremony, Dr. Hoyt was also presented the Ambassador of Agriculture Award by Dr. Alexander Stewart, Assistant Commissioner of Agricultural Services, and Kaleb Rathbone, Assistant Commissioner of WNC Agricultural Programs, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Also inducted in the 2022 WNC Agricultural Hall of Fame was Dennis Niemeyer, a Green Industry advocate and leader. WNC Communities is honored to award stellar leaders in agriculture with a plaque on the prestigious WNC Agricultural Hall of Fame Wall located in the Davis Event Center on the grounds of the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher, NC.