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Kirby, Curtis Robert

In Honor
Curtis Robert Kirby

Curtis Robert Kirby was born on December 26, 1950. He is the youngest of six children born to Worth Stanley and Vera Howell Kirby of the St. Mary's community. He attended Lucama High School, graduating as salutatorian in 1969. He then attended college at North Carolina State University where he graduated in 1973 with BS degrees in both Economics and Political Science. Shortly after graduation, he returned to the St. Mary's community to join his father, brother, and an uncle in their family farming operation. Curtis continues to reside on that same family farm just outside of Kenly with his wife, Teresa, and children, Jarrett and Victoria Kirby & Jamie and Ashley Edwards. He also has a daughter, Allison Kirby Thomas and grandson Zachary Shaun Thomas that live nearby.

He has continued to farm since that time earning recognition for his success in agriculture. Curtis' distinction in the field was recognized in 1984 when he was named both Wilson County's and North Carolina's Outstanding Young Farmer. He has been a member of the North Carolina Tobacco Growers Association and the Wilson County Young Farmers. Currently he is involved in the Wilson County Livestock Association. He grows tobacco, cotton, soybeans and corn as well as periodically producing wheat and cucumbers.

A person of many talents, Curtis is also a skilled carpenter. He learned the trade from his father whom he helped construct farms and houses in the Kenly area. He still enjoys carpentry and remodeling old houses in addition to his career in agriculture.

In the community he was a member of the Kenly Jaycees from 1978-1988. During this time, he served the organization as President and Vice-President. He and the family attend St. Mary's Free Will Baptist Church.

Curtis is devoted to preserving the heritage of the family farm as shown by his involvement in the Tobacco Farm Life Museum where he has been an active member of the Board of Directors. He was one of the original members of the board and played a key role in the development of the Tobacco Museum of North Carolina. He was one of the farmers on the tobacco tours in the museum's early years. He served as Vice-Chairman of the board for nine years and was appointed Chairman in 1992. He served in this position until 1996 when he retired from the board.

His favorite hobby is hunting, although he enjoys relaxing at the mountains, fishing with the kids or just spending time with them. He can often be found driving the tractor or combine with at least one of the kids "helping Daddy work".

Given to Mr. Kirby by the Tobacco Farm Life museum at the Excellence in Agriculture dinner on November 30, 2000, honoring his outstanding committment to our agribusiness community.

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