About Wilbert Hancock
Wilbert was born October 13, 1935 in Randolph County, North Carolina and graduated from Grays Chapel High School.
He married Shirley McMasters Hancock in 1954 and they have one daughter and granddaughter.
Wilbert Hancock’s father Jack started Hancock Farms in 1949 in Franklinville, NC. Cattle and poultry have been the main commodity produced from the beginning. In 1954, Wilbert graduated high school and as a summer job, he went to work for Millikan Sausage Co. before starting college in the fall. Mr. Millikan decided to drop his line of cured hams. As Wilbert traveled his truck route, he saw the demand from customers for country hams. In 1959, Wilbert left Millikan Sausage at the age of 22 to start Hancock Hams.
He and his wife, Shirley, produced cured hams from their home until building their first packing facility next to their home in Franklinville. For the next 20 years, Hancock Hams was the largest producer of cured hams in the world, running 58 trucks covering 36 states. Wilbert sold the Hancock Hams Company in 1975. He continued to work with Hancock Hams until 1982 when he left to farm at home full time. In 1982, Hancock Hams was still the largest producer of cured hams. Today, the company is owned by Smithfield Foods.
Wilbert has served as president of the Randolph Community College Foundation Board; member of the First National Bank Board for over 30 years, member of the Randolph Hospital Foundation Board, Past President of the North Carolina Cattleman’s Association’ Past President of the North Carolina Ham Curer and Meat Processers Association Foundation Board, Past President American Association of Meat Processers, past President of the American Herford Association. He is also the first individual to serve on the Cattleman Beef Research Board from North Carolina known as Mybeef Checkoff.
Wilbert also served as president of the North Carolina State Agricultural Foundation Board and as president of the Agricultural Business Council.
He served as one of the Founders of Crime Stoppers of Randolph County, Past Director of Salvation Army, Past Board Member YMCA, and Past board member of Asheboro Randolph Chamber of Commerce
Wilbert joined the Rotary Club of Asheboro in August 1972 and served as president in 1989-90. He served as district governor in 1993-94.
-PRID Ken Morgan (2017)