by Clellie Allen
LOUISBURG — Robert Elliot, the owner and operator of Cypress Hall Farms in Louisburg, has been named the recipient of the 2016 Innovative Farmer of the Year award given by The Tobacco Farm Life Museum.
"Robert sets himself apart with dedication and enthusiasm for agriculture," said Dave Corum, AgCarolina’s President and CEO. "Farm Credit is proud to be able to present such a prestigious award to Robert. We salute him for his service to our country. We are also proud of his spirit to adopt sustainable agriculture principles on his farm. Farm Credit will continue to support those innovative-minded farmers in North Carolina."
Elliot began his Franklin County farm with an interest in sustainable agriculture, 100 chickens and 35 laying hens. From those humble beginnings, Robert’s motivation to succeed and provide high quality products for himself and his customers have enabled him to continually reinvest in his operation as it grows.
Aside from his innovative work on the farm, Elliot is also extremely active in advocating for agriculture awareness. He serves as the president of the Franklin County Small Farmers Association. He is also involved as an active board member with United Way of Franklin County, a firefighter with Justice Volunteer Fire Department and is a mason.
Elliot is also a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. Being a veteran, Robert has a keen understanding of the challenges of assimilating to civilian life. This spring, he will unveil the Veteran’s Farm of North Carolina to engage veterans by training them how to grow, market, and sell all of their products.
Of his nomination, Elliot wrote, "I want to find a way to provide better food for myself and for the members of my community. I believe in the methods of sustainable agriculture and will continue them on my farm."