Deal named new superintendent at Peanut Belt Research Station

Published 5:52 pm Tuesday, September 15, 2020

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LEWISTON-WOODVILLE – Stephen Creig Deal has been named superintendent of the Peanut Belt Research Station at Lewiston-Woodville. Before taking on this new role, the Pinetops native worked in his home county of Edgecombe at the Upper Coastal Plain Research Station near Rocky Mount.

Deal grew up in an agricultural family, farming on his own from 1988 to 1999, growing peanuts, tobacco, cotton, corn and soybeans. He then managed another farm until 2008 when he joined the Research Stations Division. He began as a research technician at the Upper Coastal Plain Research Station in 2008 and then became a research specialist in 2011. He was promoted to assistant superintendent at the station in 2018.

“Creig has a unique and proven skill set in agricultural research that will serve the Peanut Belt Research Station well,” said North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “With his farming background, I know he will bring a creative mindset to problem solving and farm management, and he has been a proven leader through his 12 years of work with research station.”

Deal’s promotion was effective Sept. 1, but while starting his new position, he has also been helping the Upper Coastal Plain station finish up harvest season. Deal replaces Tommy Corbett who has been promoted to the assistant director of the Research Stations Division.

“I hope I can do as well as Tommy has done. He was here at the Peanut Belt Research Station for 16 years,” Deal said. “I’m looking forward to putting my total effort into being sure we have good research for farmers. That’s what it all goes back to is farmers, and I feel like this allows me to still contribute to the farming community.”

Funding from the General Assembly and the N.C. Board of Agriculture allowed the Spruill farm to be purchased and turned into the Peanut Belt Research Station at Lewiston-Woodville in 1952. The station’s main purpose is conducting research on peanuts, cotton, corn, soybeans, small grain, vegetables and other crops important to the region. Today, the station encompasses 372 acres of land, with 265 acres suitable for crop production.