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Sumter, SC (WLTX) -- During the National Black Farmers Association's 23rd annual conference in Columbia, a Sumter resident was honored for his lifetime work in farming.

"Lord have mercy, it was tough, yea it was tough back in those days," said 93-year old Bernie Pringle.

Pringle knows the meaning of hard work and tough times.

He began farming at 16-years old during the Great Depression and during the Jim Crow era in the South.

Pringle said, "Go up there as soon as the sun comes up and work until one o'clock and I didn't get but two little dimes, $0.20 cents."

Through the nearly 8-decades of farming Pringle says he produced cotton, tobacco, corn, soybeans, and peanuts on his 56-acre farm, but he didn't have any favorites when it came to crops.

"No, all of them was just about alike to me, all of them were just about alike," according to Pringle.

Even though the crops changed, there was one thing that has remained constant with Pringle, his wife Pearl of over 72 years.

"He came out to be a pretty good man, I love him, I love him right now today, I love him more, because I always ask God to let me and Bernie's last days be the best days."

One of those good days was Friday, November 15th in Columbia, when Pringle was presented with the oldest farmer award by the National Black Farmers Association.

Pringle said, "I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, yea I really enjoyed it."

Now the husband and wife lease the fields they once worked so hard in and they are able relax on the plot of the land that has given them so much.

"I just keep on getting up and I am up to where I am now, enjoying it too," said Pringle.

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