The Johnston County Farm-City Week Committee honored two families and a business during a recent banquet.
The honorees were the Johnny Weaver and Ray Weaver families of the Bagley community and East Coast Equipment of Smithfield.
Jasper Bud Weaver began farming on 35 acres in the 1920s. In the 1950s, his son and daughter-in-law, Raymond and Alice Eaver, took over the farm, where they reared 10 children, including Johnny and Ray.
Although Johnny and Ray both found full-time jobs off the farm after graduation, they returned in 1973 to finish that year’s crop after their father passed away. In 1978, Ray decided to begin farming full-time, tending the family farm and land owned by D.H. Bagley, in addition to the family farm. Although he continued working security at North Hills in Raleigh, Johnny’s passion for farming remained, and he purchased a farm in the 1970s.
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Today, Johnny grows beans, cotton and wheat on about 120 acres, while Ray tends about 2,000 acres of tobacco, soybeans, cotton, wheat and corn.
The Weavers have passed their love of farming onto their children; Johnny’s son, John, and Ray’s daughter, Susan, work alongside their parents.
Johnny and Ray are active in their church, Holly Springs Free Will Baptist, and are supporters of the Johnston County Youth Livestock Program.
In the early 1960s, Romey Langston began working as a salesman at Johnson Cotton Co. After his promotion to manager, he and his wife, Marjorie, purchased the business in 1967 and renamed it Smithfield Farm Equipment.
From the time the Langstons acquired the business, it was a true family affair. Son Danny joined the business full time in 1980, working in the service department, while mother Marjorie ran the office and father Romey was in charge of sales. Danny became manager in 1988 after his father’s passing and moved the business from downtown Smithfield to U.S. 70 Business just east of town.
In 2005, Danny and five other John Deere dealers formed East Coast Equipment, which today has grown to 13 locations in North Carolina and Virginia. Despite this merger, East Coast Equipment remains a family-operated business, with Danny’s wife Tammy and son Morgan working alongside him.
East Coast Equipment is a sponsor of the Johnston, Wilson and Wayne County livestock shows, Cleveland Pop Warner Football and Smithfield-Selma and West Johnston High School athletics.