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In the woods · On the farm · By the water
Farms and lands in Duplin County attract investors, developers, outdoorsmen and new residents due to its rural feel, skilled work force and low wages. Duplin County land spans 822 square miles and is home to 59,000 residents. The economy is based largely on agriculture and manufacturing, which takes advantage of I-40 that crosses through the county. Farming covers 243,000 acres with 68% in cropland and 18% in woodlands. More hogs are raised in the county than in anywhere else in the nation. Ninety-two percent of agricultural sales are in livestock and poultry. Among the county’s largest private sector employers are Butterball, Smithfield Foods, House of Raeford, Murphy Family Ventures LLC and Guilford Mills Inc. The Duplin Winery, the oldest winery in North Carolina and the largest in the Southeast, draws wine-lovers from across the country. Located in the Coastal Plain region, the county has plentiful access to natural resources including the Northeast Cape Fear River, Muddy Creek, Bear Swamp, Maxwell Mill Pond and Picadilly Bay that offer both hunting and fishing opportunities. Hunters are drawn to the area by the large turkey population, black bear and plentiful deer. The county boasts two airports and is a short drive to coastal beaches. Duplin County Schools provides K-12 public education, and James Sprunt Community College offers higher learning.