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Pierce, James Milo

July 19, 1920-January 15, 1996

James Milo Pierce was born in the Nahunta community of Wayne County to Bertie Lawrence and Alma Montague Pierce. He has two brothers: Cedric Dixon and Lawrence Maxton (Mack); and three sisters: Wilda P. Haswell, Marjorie P. Radford, and Blanche P. Davis. He graduated from Nahunta School in 1937 and attended North Carolina State University for one year.

On June 30, 1940, Milo married Margaret Britt of Goldsboro, N. C. This couple has three children: Vic, Gale P. Pittman, and Craig. His grandchildren were the treasures of his later years. He enjoyed watching his grandson Travis learn to hunt and play ball. Granddaughter Jennifer Pittman was his helper at Pierce Farm Center, and he was so proud of this. Abigail was his redheaded China doll for the ten weeks he was blessed to share her life. And, Olivia, born after his death, inherits the legacy of love and adoration through stories of Granddaddy.

He and Margaret operated a cotton gin from the mid-40's through the mid-60's. In the 1950's, he added a corn sheller; and in the early '60's, he put in a seed cleaner. He expanded Pierce Farm Center with grain storage facilities in the '70's thus completing the essential elements for producing a good crop: seed, fertilizer, chemicals and the good advice of Mr. Milo. His customers had confidence in him and were often seeking his advice on how to improve their crop.

Milo was a businessman concerned for the well being of the farming community. He was active in the Nahunta Friends Meeting serving in the choir, on the finance committee, teaching Sunday School, and serving on the Ministry and Counsel Committee. He was a member of the Kenly Heritage Bank Local Board of Advisors and served as chairman for many years. He was a member of the Southeastern Grain and Feed Association.

Milo Pierce was highly respected in the farming community. He had a unique love and respect for the land that sustained him and his family. He exercised "Best Management Practices" long before such things were required or even commonplace. Highly erodible land was put into Bermuda grass hay crops, wet land was drained, and level land was protected by crop rotation for efficient production and pest control. Land not suited for crops was used for livestock production. He raised hogs during the '60's and later he converted to beef production. He used available technology to enhance his herd. In 1973, the Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation Service named him Conservation Farmer of the Year. In 1982, the Wayne County Livestock Association awarded him Outstanding Contribution to the Beef Industry. He was posthumously inducted into the Wayne County Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1997. The Heritage Bank also honored his memory in 1996 and 1997 with the Heritage Bank Customer Appreciation Supper.

Milo Pierce's legacy of faithful land stewardship remains with us. He was a true friend of agriculture and a dedicated friend to those who sought his advice. He received great pleasure from his crops and his herd of beef cattle. He was a faithful friend to all people, and he was dedicated to helping other farmers.

This page was donated by the family of James Milo Pierce.

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