ROBERT S. ERWIN, JR.
Robert S. "Bob" Erwin, Jr. grew up in Hickory, NC, and attended Hickory High School. He continued his formal education at Davidson College in Davidson, NC, where he graduated in 1952. Bob then joined the U.S. Army and served our country for two years. The Korean War ended just as Bob was traveling there for service, so he was afforded the special opportunity to spend one year of his military service in northern Japan in the ski troops. Bob was discharged from the Army in 1954 as a 1* Lieutenant in the Infantry.
Upon his return home nom military service, Bob married the former Sara Breeden, and their union resulted in two sons and six grandchildren. Their oldest son, John, is a partner in a law firm in Raleigh, NC, where he lives with his wife and four children; and their younger son, Charlie, is the owner of Ham’s Restaurant chain and other related businesses, and he lives in Greensboro with this wife and two children. Bob and Sara spent their first year of marriage in Charlotte, NC, working for Commercial Credit. In 1955, they moved to Morganton, NC, where Bob joined Breeden Poultry, the business started by his lather-in-law, RT. Breeden, Sr. Shortly after joining the company, Bob became President of B and L Feed, which was the feed and grow-out division of Breeden Poultry. When R. T. Breeden, Sr. passed away in 1961, R. T. Breeden, Jr. served as President of Breeden Poultry. In 1955, the time Bob joined the business, most of the chickens Breeden. Poultry processed were purchased from hatcheries, feed dealers, and feed mills. By 1964, the company constructed a hatchery and feed mill, and Bob supervised the growth and eventual total integration of the company over the following years. In 1988, B and L Feed and Breeden Poultry were sold to Case Farms owned by Mr. Tom Shelton. Bob has continued as a valued consultant for Case Farms since 1988.
In addition to his active service as President of the Carolina Feed Industry Association, Bob also served as a member of the initial Board of Directors of the North Carolina Poultry Federation, and he became the second President of the Federation, serving a 1969-70 term. Bob was very active on the Federation’s Public Affairs Committee, and he helped extensively in the Federation’s fund-raising efforts. He, along with Dennis Ramsey and Paul Morgan, was a key part of the committee that hired Ed Woodhouse as the Poultry Federation’s Executive Director. Bob also served for nine years on the Board of the American Feed Industry Association, where his experience and business acumen greatly contributed to his duties as Budget Chairman for the Association.
Bob and Sara have been very active in their local Methodist Church. Among many areas of dedicated service, Bob’s contributions include loyal service as a Sunday School teacher, Finance Chairman, Chairman of a special fund-raising campaign for a church building addition, and service as an Eagle Scout and exemplary role model, himself- as a Scout Leader. Another highlight of his numerous contributions to church service includes the Erwins being active members of a special building team that traveled to Mexico to help with the construction of a church.
Bob’s many contributions to his community and to local professional and civic organizations include the following: serving for nine years as a Trustee and Development Committee Chair for the Methodist Children’s Home in Winston-Salem, NC; serving on the Board of the Givens Estate Methodist Retirement Home in Asheville, NC; serving on the Board of Grace Hospital in Morganton, NC; serving on the Board of the Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr. Library at Western Piedmont Community College in Morganton; and serving as a Director of the First Union National Bank, also in Morganton.
Among Bob’s fondest personal hobbies and recreational pursuits are a keen interest in history, with an emphasis on the Civil War; photography; tennis; t1yÂ·tishing; and traveling. Since 1988, Bob and Sara have, in fact, been able to actively pursue and enjoy their lifelong ambition to travel extensively. They have planned and taken many exciting trips, including a recent 3-week journey to China. Over the last few years, Bob has also enjoyed fly-fishing in both Alaska and Patagonia. V Bob went hiking and camping around Mt. Everest in 1999, and the Erwins have thoroughly enjoyed, as well, many wonderful trips through the years with their children and grandchildren.
In honor of Robert S. "Bob" Erwin’s pioneering spirit, exemplary leadership skills, and numerous contributions to the growth and development of North Carolina’s poultry food industry, the Officers and Directors of the North Carolina Poultry Federation are very pleased to induct him into the North Carolina Poultry Hall of Fame, this the 17th day of August, A 2001.