Agriculture and agribusiness are the leading industries for Wayne County and have been since the county was founded in 1779. The county is situated in the coastal plain of North Carolina with excellent soils and a moderate climate that are highly conducive for agriculture production.
Today we’re ranked third in the state of NC in agriculture income. Our Ag industry is diverse and spans swine, poultry, tobacco, corn, soybeans, cotton, cattle, wheat, and vegetables.
Our rich history in agriculture has paved the way for a diverse array of agribusiness located throughout the county. Home to Mount Olive Pickle Company, the largest pickle company in the United States and Goldsboro Milling Company, parent company of Butterball Turkey, largest producer of turkey products in the United States.
Case Farms is one of Wayne County's largest employers, with an administrative office, two processing plants, a hatchery and a feed mill, all within the county line. In 2005, the company added an additional processing plant to expand their production and provide partially cooked poultry products.
Goldsboro Milling Company was founded in 1916 as a feed mill that sold bag feed across eastern North Carolina. It soon began to sell bulk feed and by 1958, started to grow turkeys. In the mid 1980s, Goldsboro Milling joined with Carroll's Foods to form Carolina Turkeys, which is now known as Butterball
. In the late 1980s, Goldsboro Milling added swine production and has grown to be the 10th largest swine producer in the United States
. It consistently remains one of the county's largest employers.
As a farmstead and woman-owned operation, Holly Grove Farms uses only the milk from their own herd of goats. Fresh milk is pumped from one room to the next, never trucked from location to location. Everything that goes into the making of their cheeses happens on the farm, a difference that can be seen and tasted in each of their cheeses.
Founded in Mount Olive in 1926, the Mount Olive Pickle Company is the largest privately held pickle company in the country. Each year the company processes over 160 million pounds of cucumbers in its 675,000-square-foot facility, with over one third of the raw product coming from independent growers within the state of North Carolina.