Burke Resident Honored
Longtime Burke County resident, William C. (Bill) Parton was honored recently for his leadership in the advancement of agriculture in western NC when he was inducted in to the Western NC Agricultural Hall of Fame at the annual meeting of WNC Communities. Dr. Mike Yoder, with N.C. Cooperative Extension officially inducted Bill and presented a plaque that will be displayed at the Mountain Horticultural Research Station and the local Extension Office.
This award is presented to those individuals who have proven themselves to be pioneers and leaders in encouraging and improving the quality of agriculture in the counties of western North Carolina. Burke County relies on agriculture as a significant source of income and Parton’s work through the years has greatly increased the profitability of this industry.
Bill Parton received a BS in Agricultural Education from NC State University where he also did graduate work in Economics. During a portion of his career he worked as an Extension Agent for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension where he concentrated on programming for livestock producers and the organization of the Burke County Cattleman’s Association. These efforts led to improved beef production in Burke County. Bill also served as president for the NC Cattlemen’s Association in 1973, the only Burke County beef producer to ever hold that office. He was instrumental in the procurement of land and the subsequent 2001 construction of the Burke County Agricultural Building where the Burke County Cooperative Extension office, Burke Soil and Water and Farm Service Agency are housed today.
Bill Parton and his family have been involved in the quarter horse industry for over 20 years. Bill and son, Billy own and operate Billy Parton’s Training Center, LLC, an internationally recognized breeding, training, show, sales and boarding facility for quarter horses. He has been a leader in bringing the sport of trail riding to North Carolina. Through the years he has served as president of the NC Quarter Horse Association and has served on the NC Horse Council.
Although Bill Parton spent most of his working career as an executive in the furniture industry, it didn’t prevent his involvement in all things agriculture. He has served on the Burke County Extension Advisory Council, Burke Soil and Water Conservation Committee, NC 4-H Development Board, and has been a constant advocate to the agriculture industry. With his guidance Burke County has a healthy and prosperous agriculture economy today and we owe Bill Parton a huge thank you for his untiring work in preserving our agricultural heritage here in Burke County.