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Save the Date for the 2023 Breakfast with the Commissioner

The Tobacco Farm Life Museum is proceeding with plans for the 18th annual Breakfast with the Commissioner benefit. The program is held in cooperation with Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler. Event proceeds support the Museum’s mission to preserve and present the history and heritage of the rural farming community though collection care, research, and public tours.

The Breakfast with the Commissioner is held in the Holshouser Building at the State Fairgrounds.

The 2023 Excellence in Ag award, sponsored by Southern Bank, will be presented to Dr. Robert “Bob” Patterson. Dr. Robert “Bob” Patterson hails from dairy country in Statesville, NC. He attended North Carolina State University where he majored in Soil Science and graduated in 1961. Dr. Patterson’s graduate education was in Crop Physiology, Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition, with graduate degrees coming from NC State University (1963) and Cornell University (1968). He began his teaching and research career at NC State University in 1968.

Dr. Patterson has been an agriculture instructor for nearly 60 years and 54 of those years at NC State. He is responsible for over 136 graduate students who counted him as their chair or member of their advisory committee. Most of those students can probably hear Dr. Patterson saying the words, “Listen class, this is important”. They also know there is a likely chance to get an email from him at midnight, or later! Dr. Patterson has also received over 66 research and teaching awards, some of these being national honors. He has won the Agricultural Institute Club’s Outstanding Faculty Award seven times, the Agronomy Club’s Outstanding Instructor Award four times and the Master of Liberal Studies’ Outstanding Teacher Award twice. Dr. Patterson’s teaching and consulting has taken him around the world, from China to Peru to Hungary, Belgium, Moldova and beyond.

Dr. Robert "Bob" Patterson

Dr. Patterson established NC State’s Crop Science Teaching Garden in 1972 where he carries on one of his favorite teaching activities by allowing his students who have never planted a seed to experience hands on what it is like to grow a food crop. In 2008, Dr. Patterson launched the World Population and Food Prospects course at the Prague Institute in the Czech Republic, part of an NC State summer study abroad program.

Dr. Patterson has been a huge influence in North Carolina and the Agriculture Industry as a whole, touching many lives throughout his career and leaving a lifelong impact on those he met. The Excellence in Agriculture award will be presented to Dr. Patterson at the 2023 Breakfast with the Commissioner.

The Innovative Young Farmer of the Year award is also presented annually at the Breakfast with the Commissioner and is sponsored by Farm Credit Associations of North Carolina. Applications are now available and can be found on the Museum’s website at The deadline is December 9, 2022.

The Breakfast with the Commissioner will be held during the Southern Farm Show on Friday, February 3, 2023 at 7:30am at the Holshouser Building at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, NC. Tickets can be purchased at:

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