Ag Review feature stories

June 2024

Tab/Accordion Items

            Our 2024 Got to Be NC Festival wrapped up with a solid turnout despite the threat of rain each day. Farmers know we can’t control the weather, and that you just have to work with it. So, work with it we did, although we did catch a break with several large periods of time each day that were rain free. 
            People who attended seemed to have a great time and we got a lot of positive feedback on our social media platforms. 
            There were lots of indoors activities as part of the festival, including the Food Lion Local Goodness Marketplace with around 75 N.C. food and beverage companies. The AgriPlaza, N.C. Forest Service displays and independent vendors in the Jim Graham Building also offered festivalgoers many fun activities. 
            We kicked off the festival with a brief press event announcing updated economic impact numbers for agriculture and agribusiness. The full story is at the top of the page, but I was very pleased that the industry posted a second straight year of strong growth, rising to $111.1 billion, which is 15.6 % of North Carolina’s total income. 
            We remain focused on growing agriculture, securing the natural resources we need to be able to produce food and fiber, and investing in research and value-added infrastructure to increase opportunities for farmers and agribusiness owners. 
            We also hosted a Young Farmer of the Day each day of the festival and I really enjoyed meeting and talking with them. You can read more about each of the young farmers on page 3. It is exciting to see young people who have a strong passion for agriculture and carrying on their family’s farming traditions. Special thanks to AgCarolina Farm Credit and AgSouth Farm Credit for sponsoring this recognition program. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MONDAY, MAY 6, 2024

CONTACT: Neil Bowman, director
                    N.C. State Fair Livestock Shows
                   919-270-7094

   

2024 N.C. State Fair Youth Livestock Scholarship recipients announced
31 students awarded $2,000 scholarships; one to receive $2,500 

           RALEIGH – Thirty-two North Carolina students have been selected recipients of 2024 N.C. State Fair Youth Livestock Scholarships, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced.
            The scholarships are designed for high school seniors and students currently enrolled in an institute of higher education who have participated in the junior livestock or market turkey shows at the N.C. State Fair.
            The scholarships are funded from a percentage of the total sales at the N.C. State Fair Sale of Champions. The number of scholarships awarded each year is based on qualified applicants and funds available from the previous year’s Sale of Champions. Because of strong support of the 2023 sale, 31 scholarships valued at $2,000 each were awarded this year. One $2,500 scholarship was also sponsored by Farm Credit Associations of North Carolina. 
            “I am proud this scholarship program invests in the next generation of agricultural leaders and advocates,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “No matter what career path they choose, they have a solid foundation because of all they have learned showing livestock.” 
            A selection committee evaluated applicants based on their involvement with N.C. State Fair junior livestock shows, academic achievement, extracurricular activities and an essay. Each application was assigned a number and identifying information was removed before evaluation.
            Following is a list of scholarship recipients by county. All scholarships are for $2,000 unless otherwise noted:

Alamance
-- Alexis Hester of Graham who attends N.C. State University 
-- Aiden Kernodle of Graham who attends N.C. State University

Buncombe
-- Shelby Candler of Weaverville who attends Redlands Community College

Catawba
-- Rylea Suddreth of Catawba who is undecided
-- Emma Vanhoy of Catawba who attends N.C. State University
-- Hannah Vanhoy of Catawba who attends N.C. State University

Craven
-- Matthew Peluso of New Bern to attend the University of Mount Olive

Davidson
-- Kathryn Dyson of Winston-Salem to attend UNC-Chapel Hill
-- Salem Ward of Lexington who attends UNC-Greensboro

Franklin
-- Hope Latta of Zebulon who attends N.C. State University

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Henderson
-- Haley Hargus of Zirconia who attends Mars Hill University

Hyde
-- Maggie Glass of Belhaven who attends the University of Mount Olive

Iredell
-- Hannah Loftin of Troutman to attend University of Mount Olive
                                                                                    
Jackson
-- Abbegail King of Sylva who attends Clemson University

Johnston
-- Emily Oberman of Clayton who attends Johnston Community College
-- Anna Taylor of Princeton who attends N.C. State University
-- Ava Wood of Willow Spring to attend N.C. State
-- Charlotte Wood of Willow Spring to attend N.C. State – Farm Credit Associations of NC Scholarship recipient - $2,500
-- Mary Wood of Willow Spring who attends Oklahoma State University

Lenoir
-- Emma Raynor of Deep Run to attend N.C. State University

Lincoln
-- Adelee Dillon of Vale to attend N.C. State University

Onslow
-- Travis Cox of Richlands who is undecided

Randolph
-- Caroline Scarlett of Asheboro to attend N.C. State University

Richmond
-- Savannah Shepard of Ellerbe who attends N.C. State University

Rowan
-- Josie Correll of Cleveland who attends Oklahoma State University
-- Talton Correll of Cleveland to attend N.C. State University

Sampson
-- Shane Kendall of Magnolia to attend Northeastern Oklahoma College

Stokes
-- Michelle Hartman of Walnut Cove to attend N.C. State University

Wayne
-- Tara Burnham of Pikeville to attend N.C. State University
-- Jacob Hinson of Princeton who attends N.C. State University
-- Isaac Linton of Mount Olive to attend the University of Mount Olive

Wilson
-- Abigail Earle-Parker to attend West Texas A&M University


            For more information on how individuals and organizations can support the 2024 Junior Livestock Sale of Champions or the scholarship program, contact Neil Bowman, director of N.C. State Fair livestock shows, at neil.bowman@ncagr.gov or 919-270-7094.

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Bucolic briefs

 

Dinner in the Meadow, a fundraiser for the Leonard-Mobley Small Farm Fund, will be held Sept. 15, in Louisburg. The culinary experience raises money for non-profit organization started in 2014 to nurture and empower small farms across North Carolina.

The Leonard-Mobley Small Farm Grant, named for Marjorie Leonard and Jerry Stephen Mobley, recognizes and supports small farm owners in eastern and central North Carolina who demonstrate exceptional dedication and commitment to their craft. Applications for the $5,000 grant are being accepted until July 1 from small farms located in one of the following 11 eligible counties: Franklin, Granville, Person, Durham, Vance, Warren, Wake, Nash, Halifax, Chatham and Wilson. Learn more about the Grant Fund at: https://dinnerinthemeadow.org/about-us

Apply online at: https://dinnerinthemeadow.org/grant-application

***

As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include: preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress, migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau, go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and Twitter (@NCDOL).

***

The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov.

***

Horse events

Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699 
June 3 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
June 8 Da Bomb Barrel Racing. Contact Josh Smith, 910-639-6387.

Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
June 8 & 9 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Dethanna Perry, 252-675-3017.
June 22 & 23 June’s Just Horsin’ Round Open Horse Show. Contact, Beth Tew, btew2@nc.rr.com
June 28-30 Four Beats for Pleasure Eastern NC Jubilee. Contact Amanda Twisdale, 4beats4Pleasure@gmail.com.
July 9-14 SERHA Main Event & North American Reining Stakes. Contact info@serha.org.
July 26-28 Little River Circuit. Contact Susan Daniels, 919-894-0600.
Aug. 2-4 Fallin’ into Autumn Open Horse Show. Contact Travis Alford, 252-450-5438.
Aug. 23-25 NCQHA-D5 Endless Summer Horse Show. Contact Susan Daniels, 919-894-0600.

WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
June 14-16 Piedmont Paso Fino Horse Show. Contact Milda Minter, 336-225-0214.
July 17-20 Asheville Summer Fun Horse Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
July 23-27 Blue Ridge Classic Horse Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.

Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, 919-821-7400
June 1 & 2 Capital Dressage Classic. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307. 
June 6-9 Tar Heel Summer Classic. Contact Randy Ratliff, 336-339-8773.
June 13-15 Capital City Classic. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
June 22 & 23 NCAHA Open Summer Extravaganza. Contact Jackie Daughton, 336-509-6113.
July 10-14 State 4-H Horse Show. Contact Lori Stroud, 919-515-5788.
July 19-21 Triangle Farms Summer Indoors “C.” Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
July 21 & 22 TWHA July Show. Contact Kim Moser, 919-219-0256.
July 27 & 28 Raleigh Summer Dressage I & II. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307.

May 2024

Tab/Accordion Items

RALEIGH -- The Got to Be NC Festival takes over the N.C. State Fairgrounds May 17-19 in Raleigh with plenty of food, fun, tractors, music, agricultural exhibits and activities for the whole family. 
            Festivalgoers will find North Carolina food products and N.C. agriculture on full display throughout the grounds.
            Stroll through the Food Lion Local Goodness Marketplace in the Agri Supply Expo Center and discover the delicious food products and beverages offered by over 75 Got to Be NC member food companies, wineries and breweries. 
            Aisle after aisle of sauces, rubs, snacks, beverages, sweets, spices and meats await festivalgoers, with companies offering samples and products for sale. Also, check out the latest Got to Be NC merchandise and show your pride in North Carolina agriculture. Admission to the Marketplace is $3.
            Every day, the Got to Be Festival recognizes a Young Farmer of the Day, sponsored by Ag Carolina Farm Credit and Ag South Farm Credit. Honorees and their family are guests of the festival, pick up Got to Be NC swag and ride in the daily tractor parade.
            “Come out to the Got to Be NC Festival and help us celebrate the industry that feeds us all – N.C. agriculture and agribusiness,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “This marks the festival’s 15th year and it continues to grow in popularity.”
            All makes of antique tractors, plus early farm equipment will be on display daily on the midway. You don’t want to miss the colorful parade of vintage and antique tractors held daily at 1 p.m. No matter what tractor brand is your favorite – red, green, orange, blue, even pink – it will likely be in the parade. The parade begins at the Martin Building on the midway and winds through the festival grounds. 
            In addition to the Marketplace, visitors will find over 30 vendors offering a variety of products in the Graham Building, which also features the Agri Plaza, presented by NC Pork, showcasing an assortment of farm animals including the 2022 White House pardoned celebrity turkeys, Chocolate and Chip, fluffy-faced Highland cows, longhorn steers, baby piglets, sheep, goats and llamas.  While there you might be lucky enough to see a baby pig being born a chick hatch. 
            There will be lots of free fun, kid-friendly activities including the John Deere pedal tractor course, a corn table, make-and-take crafts, in addition to an interactive N.C. Forest Service exhibit, a dairy milking exhibit and the Carolina Cooker Skillet Skee Ball game. At 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, guests can help celebrate Smokey Bear’s 80th birthday by signing his birthday banner, hearing the Story of Smokey and joining his birthday party with friends. Smokey Bear and the N.C. State Fair’s Casey Cardinal will pose for pictures and pass out Smokey-themed party favors and ice cream to the first 200 guests. The ice cream is sponsored by Southland Dairy Farmers, Inc.
            A number of food vendors will be available on the grounds along with the N.C. Craft Beer Garden, hosted by the N.C. Craft Brewers Guild. Enjoy food and an N.C. Craft beer while enjoying music from the Got to Be NC Music Stage featuring local artists across many genres. Performance times are Friday at 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m., Saturday at 10 a.m., noon, 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m., noon, 2, 4 and 6 p.m. On Sunday, The Master’s Men a cappella gospel ensemble performs in the Heritage Circle Church during the 9:30 a.m. church service, which is open to the public.  
            Free daily entertainment includes the Keith King BMX Bike Show, Agri-puppets, a Butterfly Barn, and working dog demonstrations featuring the Spotted Lanternfly Detection dog Goose on Friday, and K-9 officers from the Wake County Sheriff’s Department on Saturday and Sunday. 
            New this year located in the midway area will be live herding dog demonstrations. Watch as the border collies herd sheep and ducks and work them through obstacles with Quack Pack USA.
            Special Saturday-only events include:

  • Smokey Bear Birthday Celebration at 10:30 a.m. in the Jim Graham Building.
  • The Carolina Pig Jig benefitting the Masonic Homes for Children in Oxford. All-you-can-eat barbecue prepared by competing Masonic lodges, plus fixings is offered for $20 per person. Gates open at 11 a.m. beside the Agri Supply Expo Center.
  • Kids’ Pedal Tractor Pull takes place at 1 p.m. in the Rand Grandstand presented by the N.C. Education Lottery. Ribbons are awarded to the fastest racers.
  • An antique tractor pull is held in the Rand Grandstand presented by the N.C. Education Lottery from 2 to 8 p.m.
  • The Dinah Gore Food Challenge takes place beginning at 9 a.m. in the Graham Building Hall of Fame Room. Watch 4-Hers from across the state put their culinary skills to work as they create dishes using Got to Be NC products.

Special Sunday-only events include:

  • The Action Alley Heavy Equipment Learn and Play display of large equipment is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Kids can climb in and on these supersized pieces of machinery and see how they work next to the Agri Supply Expo Center. New this year will be MM Digging, a free interactive display allowing kids of all ages to play with model radio-controlled construction vehicles in a model construction yard. 

           Admission and parking are free, and the festival hours are Friday from noon to 10 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Farmers and homeowners will be able to dispose of unwanted pesticides at several upcoming special pesticide collection days in April and May that are planned in cooperation with the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service.

The Pesticide Disposal Assistance Program is closing in on the collection of 5 million pounds of unwanted pesticides since the program started in 1980, which is a significant milestone, said program manager Derrick Bell.

"North Carolina was the first state in the country with this type of collection program and it been beneficial in keeping unwanted pesticides out of landfills and trash," Bell said. "Interest in this program remains high and the collection season is off to a good start already. A few weeks ago, we were able to collect 8,000 pounds of pesticides over three counties in one week. Overall, we average around 195,000 pounds collected every year."

In working with Cooperative Extension offices to schedule collection days, Bell said the department's goal is to try to be in each county once every other year and in a neighboring county every six to eight months, which provides close and accessible options when the need to dispose of unwanted pesticides arises. Funding from the N.C. General Assembly in the 2023-2024 budget supports these efforts.

As awareness has grown over the years, so has participation. Even with nearly 5 million pounds collected, products from as far back as the 1940s still show up at collection events, Bell said, reinforcing the need for these annual events.

"The program have seen its 10 largest collection years over the past 10 years," Bell said. "The largest single-day collection record still stands at 20,000 pounds collected in a four-hour period."

Collection hours are typically from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but can vary by site. Check with the onsite contact listed below for hours and locations.

Following are upcoming dates and contacts for each site:
May 1 — Davie County. Contact Marsha McGraw, 336-753-6100.
May 2 — Moore County. Contact Tom Shea, 910-947-3188.
May 4 – Catawba County. Contact Ariel Kanupp, 828-465-8217.
May 4 – Harnett County. Contact Brian Parrish, 910-893-7530.
May 9 – Dare County – Kitty Hawk. Contact Shannon Fulmer, 252-475-5844.
May 10 – Dare County – Buxton. Contact Shannon Fulmer, 252-475-5844.
May 11 – Dare County – Manteo. Contact Shannon Fulmer, 252-475-5844.
May 11 – Onslow County. Contact Melissa Huffman, 910-455-5873.
May 14 – Macon County. Contact Joe Deal, 828-349-2046.
May 15 — Yancey County. Contact David Davis, 828-682-1874.
May 18 – Granville County. Contact Johnny Coley, 919-603-1350.

Organizers are also hoping to offer events in Alamance, Carteret, Lenoir, Northampton, Pamlico, Pitt, Rockingham and Wilkes counties this year.

If you look over at page 5 in the newspaper you will see some behind-the-scenes photos from a video shoot our Marketing Division did with N.C. State men’s basketball star DJ Burns to promote chocolate milk as a post workout recovery drink. 
            If you are a N.C. State fan or alumni or a basketball fan, I don’t have to explain that DJ Burns was part of the team that made an incredible late season run in the NCAA tournament to get to the Final Four. 
            I would have loved to see them win the whole tournament, but they had a tremendous season that brought back memories of the 1983 team that did win the National Championship. And regardless of the outcome, they have a lot to be proud of and fans have a lot to celebrate.
            One of the things I enjoyed most about watching the game was seeing the smiles and joy that the players brought to the court. DJ Burns was one of the players with the biggest smiles and he quickly developed a pretty big social media following. 
            That smile and fun personality translated into promotional opportunities that college players can now engage in called NILs or Name, Image and Likeness deals. 
            This was the second NIL deal our Marketing Division has inked with college players to try to broaden the reach of our marketing and promotional messaging, in particular, trying to reach young audiences. 
            I have challenged the division to work to expand our marketing efforts in new and creative ways and these promotions did that. If we want to talk to younger audiences, we know they are on the popular Instagram and Tik Tok social media platforms. 
            I mentioned that DJ Burns’ social media following grew during the tournament, well, he has nearly 250,000 followers on his Instagram account. Think about being able to put a marketing message out to all those people! And that’s how the chocolate milk promotion came to be. 
            I hope you will check out DJ’s Instagram (@DJ.b30) post and like it. We have shared it on the department’s Facebook account (@NCAgriculture) and the N.C. State Fair (@NCStateFair) Facebook account has shared it as well. 
            Our other NIL deal was with three of the UNC women’s basketball players also promoting chocolate milk as a recovery drink. Again, our goal in working with different athletes is to try to reach people we may not normally reach to promote North Carolina farmers and agriculture industry – in this case the dairy industry. We can’t just market to the choir!
             We think we are one of the first state agencies to enter into an NIL deals with student athletes, but I will say we are still learning about these promotions and are eager to see how the numbers come out. 
            But, I hope everyone reading this will go out and enjoy a cold, fresh glass of North Carolina milk – chocolate or white … your choice! 

Bucolic briefs

 

Area beef producers are invited to join N.C. Cooperative Extension agents May 16 and May 23 from 4-8 p.m. at the Franklin Plaza Conference room, 279 S. Bickett Blvd., Louisburg, for a Spring learning series on beef cattle production. May 16 topics include the Basic Infrastructure for Beef Production, Reproductive Management and Managing Health and Animal Welfare. May 23 topics include Basics of Nutrition, Forage Systems, Genetics and Direct Marketing. Registration is $23 and includes a beef dinner. For more, contact Martha Mobley at 919-496-3344 martha_mobley@ncsu.edu.

***

The N.C. Tomato Growers Association is offering a $3,000 merit/need-based scholarship for the 2024-2025 academic year. Any North Carolina resident who pursues a horticulture or agribusiness undergraduate or graduate degree at a four-year North Carolina college or university is eligible to apply. The deadline for submitting an application is May 31.

The award will be based on a student’s demonstrated scholastic achievement, initiative, leadership, financial need, and extracurricular activities. The scholarship is contingent on the recipient maintaining at least a 2.5 grade point average out of a possible 4.0 on all course work during the scholarship period.

The recipient must be enrolled for the entire school year to receive the full scholarship. Scholarship funds will be distributed through the financial aid office of the attending student’s college or university. The scholarship will be paid in two installments, $1,500 per semester.

Applications are available with additional information at www.nctomatoes.com.

If you need additional information, contact Melinda James, at 828-526-3989, or by e-mail at osagem@msn.com. Completed applications should be mailed to: N.C. Tomato Growers Association, c/o Melinda James, 1604 Hale Ridge Road, Scaly Mountain, NC 28775

***

Dinner in the Meadow, a fundraiser for the Leonard-Mobley Small Farm Fund, will be held Sept. 15, in Louisburg. The culinary experience raises money for non-profit organization started in 2014 to nurture and empower small farms across North Carolina.

The Leonard-Mobley Small Farm Grant, named for Marjorie Leonard and Jerry Stephen Mobley, recognizes and supports small farm owners in eastern and central North Carolina who demonstrate exceptional dedication and commitment to their craft. Applications for the $5,000 grant are being accepted until July 1 from small farms located in one of the following 11 eligible counties: Franklin, Granville, Person, Durham, Vance, Warren, Wake, Nash, Halifax, Chatham and Wilson. Learn more about the Grant Fund at: https://dinnerinthemeadow.org/about-us

Apply online at: https://dinnerinthemeadow.org/grant-application

***

As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include: preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress, migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau, go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and Twitter (@NCDOL).

***

The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov.

***

Horse events

Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699 
May 4 BBHA Open Horse Show. Contact Jerry King, 910-237-4525.
May 6 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
June 3 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
June 8 Da Bomb Barrel Racing. Contact Josh Smith, 910-639-6387.

Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
May 3-5 Southeast Youth Extravaganza. Contact Crystal Hyman, 252-903-9732.
May 11 & 12 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Emily Bates, 252-378-4474.
May 16-19 NC High School and Junior High School Rodeo Finals. Contact nchsrodeo@gmail.com.
May 30-June 2 SERHA Main Event. Contact info@serha.org.
June 8 & 9 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Dethanna Perry, 252-675-3017.
June 22 & 23 June’s Just Horsin’ Round Open Horse Show. Contact, Beth Tew, btew2@nc.rr.com
June 28-30 Four Beats for Pleasure Eastern NC Jubilee. Contact Amanda Twisdale, 4beats4Pleasure@gmail.com.
July 9-14 SERHA Main Event & North American Reining Stakes. Contact info@serha.org.
July 26-28 Little River Circuit. Contact Susan Daniels, 919-894-0600.
Aug. 2-4 Fallin’ into Autumn Open Horse Show. Contact Travis Alford, 252-450-5438.
Aug. 23-25 NCQHA-D5 Endless Summer Horse Show. Contact Susan Daniels, 919-894-0600.

WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
May 3 & 4 Asheville Spring Warm Up. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
May 8-11 Saddlebred Classic Horse Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
June 14-16 Piedmont Paso Fino Horse Show. Contact Milda Minter, 336-225-0214.
July 17-20 Asheville Summer Fun Horse Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
July 23-27 Blue Ridge Classic Horse Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.

Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, 919-821-7400
May 5 Gala of the Royal Horses. Contact 361-332-6305.
May 4 & 5 TWHA May Days Show. Contact Kim Moser, 919-201-3606.
May 11 & 12 North Central Qualifying 4-H Horse Show. Contact Morgan Maness, 336-342-8230.
May 11 & 12 Raleigh Spring Dressage. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307.
May 18 & 19 Southern States Academy Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
May 22-25 Southern States Regional Morgan Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
June 1 & 2 Capital Dressage Classic. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307. 
June 6-9 Tar Heel Summer Classic. Contact Randy Ratliff, 336-339-8773.
June 13-15 Capital City Classic. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
June 22 & 23 NCAHA Open Summer Extravaganza. Contact Jackie Daughton, 336-509-6113.
July 10-14 State 4-H Horse Show. Contact Lori Stroud, 919-515-5788.
July 19-21 Triangle Farms Summer Indoors “C.” Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
July 21 & 22 TWHA July Show. Contact Kim Moser, 919-219-0256.
July 27 & 28 Raleigh Summer Dressage I & II. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307.


 

N.C. State University basketball star DJ Burns promotes drinking chocolate milk as an effective recovery drink.

N.C. State University basketball star DJ Burns signs a young fan's cast.

N.C. State University basketball star DJ Burns shot a promotional video for chocolate milk at the NCSU Lake Wheeler Road Field Lab.

April 2024

Tab/Accordion Items

This is an exciting time of the year. There is so much activity happening outdoors as plants reawaken, land is being tilled, planting decisions are taking shape, birds are building nests,  and spring colors are dotting the landscape. 
            It’s one of my favorite times of year because it signals new beginnings and the start of another growing season. After being inside during the winter, I appreciate being able to get outdoors and work in the dirt. 
            It is also when seasonal farmers markets make their return and when shoppers will find early season crops such as strawberries, greens, nursery plants and flowers at markets and in retail grocery stores. 
            The department operates four regional farmers markets year-round – the WNC Farmers Market in Asheville, the Charlotte Farmers Market, the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market near Greensboro and the State Farmers Market in Raleigh. But we are fortunate to have local farmers markets, farm stands and roadside stands across the state, too. 
            If you are looking for locally grown produce, fruits and meats, there are a lot of options, which means consumers have easy access to the freshest fruits and vegetables available in season.
            Many markets also host special events highlighting the seasonal offerings available. For example, on April 19-21, the WNC Farmers Market will host its Spring Festival & Growing in the Mountain Plant Sale. This event brings together the best of spring in the mountains, with produce and products from farmers, growers and makers, plus music, food, kids’ activities, demonstrations of heritage skills and a Local Cloth Fiberfest. 
            On May 5, the Charlotte Farmers Market will celebrate its 40th Anniversary of serving farmers, agribusinesses, consumers and restaurants in the area. There will be free strawberry ice cream and cake to enjoy, plus local breweries, distilleries, wineries and meaderies will be on site offering samples for adults 21 and over, plus pairing beverages with a variety of cheeses. There will also be activities for the kids. 
            Forty years is quite a milestone, but I learned recently that the Henderson County Curb Market goes back even longer, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Congratulations!
            I want to encourage shoppers to buy local when they can. Buying local directly benefits North Carolina farmers, which in turn helps the local and state economy and ensure we maintain access to a safe and affordable food supply. Supporting our farmers means they are there is support us with food and fiber as well.  
            Whether you shop at farmers markets, farm stands or grocery stores, remember when you want the best, it’s Got to Be NC Agriculture! 



 

The N.C. Quarter Horse Association will host its District III Carolina Spring Ranch Show April 13 & 14 at Lone Hickory Arena, 1950 Bethel Church Road, Yadkinville. Go to www.ncqha.com for more information. Other show dates listed in Horse Events.

***

The N.C. Tomato Growers Association is offering a $3,000 merit/need-based scholarship for the 2024-2025 academic year. Any North Carolina resident who pursues a horticulture or agribusiness undergraduate or graduate degree at a four-year North Carolina college or university is eligible to apply. The deadline for submitting an application is May 31.

The award will be based on a student’s demonstrated scholastic achievement, initiative, leadership, financial need, and extracurricular activities. The scholarship is contingent on the recipient maintaining at least a 2.5 grade point average out of a possible 4.0 on all course work during the scholarship period.

The recipient must be enrolled for the entire school year to receive the full scholarship. Scholarship funds will be distributed through the financial aid office of the attending student’s college or university. The scholarship will be paid in two installments, $1,500 per semester.

Applications are available with additional information at www.nctomatoes.com.

If you need additional information, contact Melinda James, at 828-526-3989, or by e-mail at osagem@msn.com. Completed applications should be mailed to: N.C. Tomato Growers Association, c/o Melinda James, 1604 Hale Ridge Road, Scaly Mountain, NC 28775

***

As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include: preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress, migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau, go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and Twitter (@NCDOL).

***

The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov.

***

Horse events

Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699 
April 1 Horse & Tackle Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.

 

Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
April 4-7 2024 Martinganza Quarter Horse Show & Futurity. Contact Susan Daniels, 919-894-0600.
April 13 & 14 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Emily Bates, 252-378-4474.
April 19-21 ECMHC Spring Fling Miniature Horse Show. Contact Katie Pulley, 757-334-6016.
April 27 & 28 April’s Just Horsin’ Round Open. Contact the Ag Center, 252-792-5802.

WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
April 27 4-H Horse Show. Contact Shannon Coleman, 828-837-2210.
May 3 & 4 Asheville Spring Warm Up. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
May 8-11 Saddlebred Classic Horse Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
June 14-16 Piedmont Paso Fino Horse Show. Contact Milda Minter, 336-225-0214.
July 17-20 Asheville Summer Fun Horse Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
July 23-27 Blue Ridge Classic Horse Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.

Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, 919-821-7400
April 5-7 Region 12 & 14 Arabian Show. Contact Jackie Daughton, 336-509-6113.
April 11-13 Raleigh Invitational Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
April 13 & 14 Finally Farm Horse Show Series. Contact Lesley Jenks, 919-280-8087.
April 19-21 Spring Holiday Classic. Contact Richard Isley, 336-908-3302.
April 19-21 Spring Fling Outdoors “C”. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
April 26 & 27 Revenge Roughstock Rodeo. Contact Zack Towery, 540-581-4993.
April 27 & 28 United Horsemen of the Carolina- Show Series Opener. Contact Nancy Barbee, 919-619-1786.
May 6 & 7 Dr. Gerd Heuschmann Symposium. Contact Michele, 919-608-8225.
May 6 & 7 TWHA May Days Show. Contact Kim Moser, 919-201-3606.
May 13 & 14 North Central Qualifying 4-H Horse Show. Contact Morgan Maness, 336-342-8230.
May 13 & 14 Raleigh Spring Dressage. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307.
May 20-21 Southern States Academy Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
May 24-27 Southern States Regional Morgan Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
June 3 & 4 Capital Dressage Classic. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307. 
June 8-11 Tar Heel Summer Classic. Contact Randy Ratliff, 336-339-8773.
June 15-17 Capital City Classic. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
June 24-25 NCAHA Open Summer Extravaganza. Contact Jackie Daughton, 336-509-6113.
July 5-9 State 4-H Horse Show. Contact Lori Stroud, 919-515-5788.
July 21-23 Triangle Farms Summer Indoors “C.” Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
July 22&23 TWHA July Show. Contact Kim Moser, 919-219-0256.
July 29 & 30 Raleigh Summer Dressage I & II. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307.

March 2024

Tab/Accordion Items

A couple of updates caught my eye recently that I thought were important to share with readers. 
The first I wanted to mention was the Department of Environmental Quality’s newly released numbers regarding carbon sequestration from agriculture that was included in the state’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory. 
Specifically, the report noted that “forests, natural lands, and agricultural lands sequestered an estimated 34% of the state’s gross greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, a much higher amount than reported previously.” The previous amount was 26%. 
Additionally, the net emissions of greenhouse gases have fallen 38% between 2005 and 2020 in North Carolina.
The other recent release is the 2022 Census of Agriculture from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This nationwide Census also includes agricultural information from North Carolina producers. Before you think that is a typo, the Census is conducted every five years and it is intended to provide a snapshot of the state and nation’s agriculture industry. The very first Census was conducted in 1840 starting with 26 states and the District of Columbia, so you can see the Census has quite a long history in our country.  
    A few things stood out to me as positive points, but the ongoing loss of farm and forest lands that we continue to see in the numbers, only reinforces the fact that farmland preservation must remain a focus for our state and our ag industry. 
    Farm and forest land loss and its greater impact on our environment is where the two reports come together to paint a powerful picture of lost potential.
    The American Farmland Trust ranks us second in the country in projected land loss by 2040, estimating that development of farm and forest lands will result in the loss of 1.1 to 1.6 million acres.
If we lose over a million of our 8.1 million acres of farm and forestland as is project by 2040, it will significantly change the complexion of our state. And, that change will reduce the environmental benefits gained from farm and forestland including carbon sequestration, watershed protection and water quality, and erosion control just to name a few.
    Seeing what I see in terms of development when I travel around the state, I know we need to really dig in on farmland preservation efforts and investments in agriculture’s future. 
    The Census numbers showed we have the largest number of farms in Randolph, Chatham, Buncombe, Johnston and Duplin counties. What it doesn’t show is the major development plans and building taking place right now in Randolph, Chatham and Johnston counties. 
    Some of the well-known projects plan to occupy 1,800 acres in Randolph County, a 2,500-acre site in Chatham County and another 8,500-acre site in Chatham County. And that is just the beginning as additional growth will likely take off around these megasites.
Farmland preservation helps ensure we have the natural resources we’ll need to continue to feed ourselves and others, but it also helps us maintain the green, lush landscapes we are known for. The benefits extend significantly beyond that by filtering and recharging ground water, improving soil health, reducing erosion and sequestering carbon.
These two reports show me we need to be strategic in investing for the future when it comes to farm and forest lands. We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact our state and our farmers are feeding people.
Look for more information from the Census of Agriculture in future columns.

Our state and our farmers are feeding people! And that should be something we are proud of and something we should be grateful for.

Finally, I would like to thank all the farmers who filled out and submitted their information for this 2022 Census of Agriculture.

This data will be useful as we continue to talk about the importance of agriculture to our state and our economy.

Bucolic briefs

The Equestrian Exchange Tack Consignment Spring Sale returns March 21-24 to the Holshouser Building at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. This sale to buy and consign anything related to the equestrian sport is one of the largest in NC. Shoppers will find: all types of saddles, tack, driving equipment, show clothing for all disciplines of riding. Barn supplies, carts, other animal items and more. Horse Trailers to sell for representation fee only. Bar code tagging on our web site allows consignor to view sales from home. Tagging guidelines mandatory, no exceptions. Consignors can drop off priced, tagged items March 19 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and March 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sale runs March 21-24, with a premier shopping night March 21 from 5 to 10 p.m. that is open to the public for $10 cash for adult admission,  age 12 under free. Open shopping with free admission is March 22 and 23 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and March 23 from 11a.m. to 7 p.m. Many items discounted 1/2 off on last shopping day. Consignors pick up unsold items March 26 from 3 to 8 p.m. or March 27 from 11a.m. to 3 p.m., or they will be donated. Sellers should make arrangements if they want unsold items returned. Items will not be stored. Consignors earn 70% and unsold items can be donated to NC nonprofit equestrian organizations at pick up, if desire. Volunteers all ages needed March 18-28, shop before consignors, consignors shop before public. Payment accepted: cash, NC checks with 2 ids approved, credit cards with 3 % fee/per card transaction. DROP and GO and PICK up and GO service (no wait or scanning in items waived) consigning available, see web site. Waivers to be signed at drop off. All items must be as clean as possible.  For more information, go to www.EquestrianExchange.com or contact Lynn Beeson 336-362-6248 Tanya Wright 540-977-1950.

***
The N.C. Quarter Horse Association will host its District III Carolina Spring Ranch Show April 13 & 14 at Lone Hickory Arena, 1950 Bethel Church Road, Yadkinville, Go to www.ncqha.com for more information. Other show dates listed in Horse Events.
***
The Veteran's Farm of NC, Inc. is seeking donations of farm equipment to use with programs to teach veterans how to start a farm. The organization offers access to farm equipment through its usage and grant programs and help network the farmer veteran community with each other and new opportunities in agriculture. This is a 501c (3) nonprofit organization is seeking donations of trucks, tractors, 3-point attachments, and any farm related supplies that we will then make available to the farmer veteran community. Donations are 100% tax deductible and a receipt is provided for tax purposes. Contact Robert Elliott, Executive Director, at vetfarmofnc@gmail.com with questions.

***
As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include: preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress, migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau, go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and Twitter (@NCDOL).
***
Landowners with farms for sale or lease and farmers seeking land can also post their information at the NC FarmLink website hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension at https://www.ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/
***
The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov
***
 

February 2024

Tab/Accordion Items

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, JAN. 22, 2024

CONTACT:    Neil Bowman, director
        NCDA&CS Livestock Marketing Section
        Neil.bowman@ncagr.gov

Applications being accepted for the 
2024 N.C. State Fair Junior Livestock Scholarships

RALEIGH – Youth who participated in N.C. State Fair junior livestock competitions are eligible to apply for N.C. State Fair Junior Livestock Scholarships. The deadline to apply is March 1. 
Up to 25 $2,000 scholarships are available, in addition to one $2,500 Farm Credit of N.C. Premier Scholarship. 
“Paying for college can be a challenge and every dollar in scholarship money received is important in helping kids realize their higher education dreams,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Since the program started in 2015, we have awarded over $400,000 in scholarships, which is a tremendous investment in young people. I am proud of what this program is doing and I want to thank all the buyers who help make this program a success.” 
All youth who exhibited a livestock animal at the State Fair are eligible regardless of species, class or show placement. Scholarships are good for institutes of higher learning, including community colleges and technical schools. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 course hours.
The scholarship money is raised through the State Fair’s annual Sale of Champions where grand and reserve grand champions, along with champion Got to Be NC animals are sold at auction. A percentage of the sale total goes into this youth livestock scholarship program. 
High school seniors and college students will need to submit the completed application, including their State Fair junior livestock experience, a 500-word essay, academic achievements and extracurricular activities they are involved in, and two letters of recommendation. Youth are eligible to receive the scholarship a maximum of four times. 
Applications can be downloaded at www.ncstatefair.org. Completed application packets should be returned to N.C. State Fair, Attn. Livestock Office, 1010 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1010. For questions, contact Neil Bowman by email at neil.bowman@ncagr.gov.
-30-2
 

Commissioner’s column:
This year has gotten off to a fast start with the department working on a lot of issues. I cannot say that is unusual though because I believe agriculture is at a pivotal junction right now, where we need to be sure we are looking ahead and investing for tomorrow. 
    If you have read my column for very long, you know farmland preservation is a topic that comes up often. In fact, some folks are likely tired of me mentioning it, but it is an issue that we absolutely have to stay focused on if we are going to ensure we have viable farmland for the future. 
    Our state is experiencing rapid growth, with a number of large manufacturing projects underway that are fueling more planned development around their sites. Farmland is being bought up with future development in mind and that is the reason it is imperative that we continue to work with farmers interested in conserving their farmland. We have to focus on farmland now because developers are absolutely focusing on farmland now.
For example, I read an interesting article in the News & Observer recently that talked about development taking place near Pittsboro in light of the development of the 2,500-acre  VinFast electric vehicle and battery site being built in Chatham County. 
The article mentioned that Pittsboro’s population had jumped over 25 percent from 2010 to 2020, up from 800 people to over 4,500. Additionally, it noted that plans are in the works for the 8,500-acre Chatham Park planned community about three miles east of Pittsboro.
    What stood out to me is that the park is expected to draw 60,000 people to the area by 2045 and have 22,000 homes. It is also projected to have 22 million square feet of business and commercial space. 
    We are working hard on farmland preservation and in 2023 we have recorded 34,000 acres in permanent conservation easements since 2006. Comparing what we have been able to preserve in 17 years to this one large project shows the magnitude of the challenge we face.
    These two developments associated with this plant alone represents roughly a third of what has been conserved, and the developers of Chatham Park have envisioned its growth through 2045 – 21 years from now. 
    We have secured $106.3 million since 2008 for farmland preservation projects. This year’s application requests are $55.2 million for 132 applications. The previous record for requests were nearly $30 million. The interest is there, but we need to invest in agriculture like we invest in attracting new industry. Let’s not forget that agriculture and agribusiness feeds us. 
    Water issues, including the availability of water and flooding following tropical storms and hurricanes, are other areas that I expect we will be talking about with much more regularity.
    As you can read about in this issue, our Soil and Water Conservation Division is working with local soil and water conservation districts and towns and communities to mitigate flooding through its Streamflow Rehabilitation Assistance Program.
     We have been able to secure $38 million in funding from the General Assembly for the Streamflow Rehabilitation Assistance Program previously, with another $20 million earmarked for 2024. Applications are being accepted now through Feb. 23 for this year’s program. 
    This is a good start, but the need outpaces the available resources. Previous requests for project funding were over $311 million. 
We are going to continue to lobby for funds to continue this vital work across the state.
This is the kind of investment that produces much more in benefits as these proactive measures help move water more quickly and more efficiently following storms. 
    So far, debris removal has been completed on over 435.6 miles of stream.
I hope you will read the article about the StRAP program.
    We will continue to work on these major issues, plus others, as we focus on finding out how to balance being one of the most desired spots in the country to live, work and vacation with protecting the resources that make our state attractive in the first place. 

 

The North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission is requesting applications from qualifying organizations that support the agricultural industry, impact rural communities and stimulate economic development. Online applications are due March 8. Rules and application can be found at www.tobaccotrustfund.org. Funds will be awarded in the fall for selected projects.

“Agricultural diversity, efficiency and improving markets are important to the entire North Carolina farming industry. The Tobacco Trust Fund Commission is looking to support these efforts by offering grants for new and innovative projects.” said William H. “Bill” Teague, NCTTFC Chairman.  “Selected projects should expect to start this November."

The NCTTFC was established in 2000 by the N.C. General Assembly to help members of the tobacco community including farmers, tobacco workers and related businesses. Its original funding was established through tobacco industry annual payments as a result of the Master Settlement Agreement. Funding is now appropriated through the state budget to the NCTTFC which then reviews, selects and disperses the funds to grant projects.

Past NCTTFC projects include farmers market improvements, cost-share grant programs for farmers, commodity marketing, researching alternative crops and support of various agricultural education programs.

The Marketing Division of the NCDA&CS is planning a series of free risk management workshops on Managing Price Volatility/Identifying Macro Indicators. The following topics will be covered: Introduction to Grain Hedging, Basis Trading, Cost of Carry, ICE Cotton Futures, Option Trading on Futures, Energy Derivatives, and macro forces impacting the market. There will be an emphasis on the principles of options, spreading strategies, and using options to manage agricultural price risk. 
    Following are workshop dates and locations:
-- Feb. 7 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Person County Extension Office, 304 S. Morgan St., Roxboro. 336-599-1195. 
-- Feb. 20 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Northampton Cooperative Extension Center, 9495 N.C. Hwy. 305 N, Jackson. 252-534-2831.
--  Feb. 22 from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Pasquotank County Extension Office, 1209 McPherson St., Elizabeth City. 252-338-3954.
-- March 6 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Stanly County Extension Office, 26032-E Newt Road, Albemarle. 704-983-3987.    
 

February 2024
Horse events
Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699 
Feb. 3 NCBHA Barrel Racing. Contact Justin Hill, 910-705-6900.
Feb. 5 Horse & Tackle Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Feb. 10 & 11 Roping. Contact Coltin Nobles, 803-671-3775.
Feb. 16-18 Carolinas Cutting Horse Association. Contact Nic Johnson, 919-782-8001.
Feb. 24 Da Bomb Barrel Racing (rescheduled event). Contact Josh Smith 910-639-6387.
March 2 & 3 Cowboy Mounted Shooting. Contact Pamela Lohery, 540-570-8785.
March 4 Horse & Tackle Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.

Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
Feb. 2 & 3 Martin County Winter Nationals Tractor Pull. Contact Bo Williams, bowilliams158@gmail.com.
Feb. 16 & 17 Old Ford Volunteer Fire Department Survivor Series Rodeo. Contact Frankie Buck, 252-946-9780.
March 2 Hook & Book & IBRA Super Show Barrel Race. Contact Travis Alford, 252-450-5438.
March 8-10 Hoppin’ into Spring. Contact Travis Alford, 252-450-5438.
March 15 & 16 MC Barrel Bonanza. Contact Fred Smith, 252-450-9752. 
March 21-24 SERHA Slide into Spring. Contact info@serha.org.
April 4-7 2024 Martinganza Quarter Horse Show & Futurity. Contact Susan Daniels, 919-894-0600.
April 13 & 14 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Emily Bates, 252-378-4474.
April 19-21 ECMHC Spring Fling Miniature Horse Show. Contact Katie Pulley, 757-334-6016.
April 27 & 28 April’s Just Horsin’ Round Open. Contact the Ag Center, 252-792-5802.
WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
Feb. 23-25 SRA Finals. Contact SRA Office, 919-795-7722.
March 1-3 National Barrel Horse Association. Contact WNC Ag Center, 828-687-1414.
May 10-12 Saddlebred Classic Horse Show. Contact WNC Ag Center, 828-687-1414.
Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, 919-821-7400
Feb. 2 Draft Horse Pull. Contact Calvin Davis, 919-717-0323. 
Feb. 9 &10 American Bullriders Finals. Contact Jeff Mullen, 919-796-8375.       
Feb. 16-18 Triangle Winter Indoors II C. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
Feb. 22-25 Raleigh Winter II Hunter. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.         
 

Bucolic briefs

                               
Feb. 28 is the deadline to apply  for the 2024 Poultry Science Summer Immersion (PSSI), a NC State, residential, summer camp that introduces high school students to dynamic opportunities in Poultry Science. The camp runs June 16-20 on NC State campus with field trips to industry partners. For more information and an online application, go to go.ncsu.edu/PSSI.
***
The Equestrian Exchange Tack Consignment Spring Sale returns March 21-24 to the Holshouser Building at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. This sale to buy and consign anything related to the equestrian sport is one of the largest in NC. Shoppers will find: all types of saddles, tack, driving equipment, show clothing for all disciplines of riding. Barn supplies, carts, other animal items and more. Horse Trailers to sell for representation fee only. Bar code tagging on our web site allows consignor to view sales from home. Tagging guidelines mandatory, no exceptions. Consignors can drop off priced, tagged items March 19 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and March 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sale runs March 21-24, with a premier shopping night March 21 from 5 to 10 p.m. that is open to the public for $10 cash for adult admission,  age 12 under free. Open shopping with free admission is March 22 and 23 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and March 23 from 11a.m. to 7 p.m. Many items discounted 1/2 off on last shopping day. Consignors pick up unsold items March 26 from 3 to 8 p.m. or March 27 from 11a.m. to 3 p.m., or they will be donated. Sellers should make arrangements if they want unsold items returned. Items will not be stored. Consignors earn 70% and unsold items can be donated to NC nonprofit equestrian organizations at pick up, if desire. Volunteers all ages needed March 18-28, shop before consignors, consignors shop before public. Payment accepted: cash, NC checks with 2 ids approved, credit cards with 3 % fee/per card transaction. DROP and GO and PICK up and GO service (no wait or scanning in items waived) consigning available, see web site. Waivers to be signed at drop off. All items must be as clean as possible.  For more information, go to www.EquestrianExchange.com or contact Lynn Beeson 336-362-6248 Tanya Wright 540-977-1950.

***
The Veteran's Farm of NC, Inc. is seeking donations of farm equipment to use with programs to teach veterans how to start a farm. The organization offers access to farm equipment through its usage and grant programs and help network the farmer veteran community with each other and new opportunities in agriculture. This is a 501c (3) nonprofit organization is seeking donations of trucks, tractors, 3-point attachments, and any farm related supplies that we will then make available to the farmer veteran community. Donations are 100% tax deductible and a receipt is provided for tax purposes. Contact Robert Elliott, Executive Director, at vetfarmofnc@gmail.com with questions.

***
As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include: preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress, migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau, go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and Twitter (@NCDOL).
***
Landowners with farms for sale or lease and farmers seeking land can also post their information at the NC FarmLink website hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension at https://www.ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/
***
The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov
***

 

January 2024

Tab/Accordion Items

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Veterinary Division recently sent a letter to poultry producers in the state advising them of the latest updates on high pathogenic avian influenza findings in the wild bird population and advising them to practice good biosecurity at their farms and with any backyard flocks.
    North Carolina does not have any active cases in commercial poultry flocks as of press time, but  there has been a surge of cases in the United States since the beginning of October and the NCDA&CS Veterinary Division has been closely monitoring these cases.
    “In December positive cases have been identified in domesticated poultry flocks in Florida, Georgia and Maryland suggesting that the virus is currently circulating in the Atlantic Americas flyway,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Mike Martin. “We know the HPAI virus is still in our resident wild bird populations and likely migratory waterfowl. I cannot stress enough that poultry owners continue to review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds.”
    The NCDA&CS Veterinary Division is working in conjunction with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and its Wildlife Services, plus the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission in tracking the highly pathogenic Eurasian H5N1 avian influenza that was first identified in wild waterfowl in NC back on January 16, 2022.
    Back in March and April of 2022, HPAI was confirmed in nine commercial poultry farms in NC resulting in the loss of nearly a half million birds. Additionally, between October 2022 and May 2023, the state confirmed cases seven positive backyard/independent flock in five counties.
    Black Vultures were closely associated with six of the seven backyard/independent flocks that tested positive for HPAI.
     Heightened biosecurity practices for domestic poultry are strongly recommended to prevent against avian influenza infection. The following are recommended measures to protect flocks:
•    Prevent exposure to wild birds as best as possible
•    Maintain heightened biosecurity protocols
•    Monitor flocks for unexplained increased mortality or clinical signs consistent with Avian Influenza
•    Report any concerns immediately to your Veterinarian, State Animal Health Official, or Federal Animal Health Official
   Broilers are the state’s No. 1 commodity, turkeys are the third largest commodity and chicken eggs are the seventh largest commodity, with cash receipts alone for these three over $7.6 billion.
    NCDA&CS will continue to monitor this disease threat with its state and federal partners.
 

Editor’s message:
Happy New Year and welcome to 2024! If you are making New Year’s resolutions this year, I hope you will make supporting North Carolina agriculture and agribusinesses one of your resolutions. Buy local products, shop farmers markets or on-farm stands, buy a Community Supported Agriculture share, eat at restaurants that source from local farms are just a few ways to achieve this resolution and local support helps ensure a strong ag economy and a stable food supply.
This year, we are excited to launch the latest year-long social media series called NextGenAg. For the past four years, our social media manager Taylor Harris has shared agriculture stories highlighting agritourism farms, N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services employees and North Carolina farms.
As Ag Review subscribers, you have seen a number of these agriculture stories featured in the newspaper. I hope you have enjoyed reading them and I hope you will enjoy and be inspired by the new series which kicks off Jan. 3.
This year, Taylor turns her attention to young people who are or who want to pursue a career in agriculture. Appropriately, this series is being called NextGenAg.
The series focus will be on 52 high schoolers, college students, recent college grads and young professionals who are preparing for a career in agriculture or who are already at work in the field. 
Each Wednesday, readers will meet a new young person excited about the future of an industry that feeds us, clothes us and helps fuel our lives. 
Commissioner Troxler teaches an advanced ag class at N.C. State University and at N.C. A&T State University and often speaks about how impressed he is by the dedication and determination he sees in the students.
Some students have run their own ag operations for many years, so they already come at this career with a certain level of experience and understanding, but want to find new markets, new products, new efficiencies and integrate new technology into the process. 
Without question, integrating new technology in innovative ways will help farmers meet future global food needs, which makes it an exciting time to be in agriculture. 
We need to encourage young people to pursue careers in agriculture and celebrate those who are pursuing what George Washington famously said was “the most healthful, most useful and most noble employment of man.”  
Our food supply and our ability to feed ourselves underpins our national security and our very existence. We maintain and secure that by passing on ag knowledge, by valuing and supporting the work of farmers – big and small, and by ensuring that we have the natural and human resources to produce food and fiber.
I am looking forward to reading about these NextGenAg young people. You can follow the series, too, every Wednesday on our In the Field blog or through a link on the N.C. Department of Agriculture’s Facebook or Twitter accounts.
If you know a young person we should highlight, please reach out to me at andrea.ashby@ncagr.gov or Taylor at taylor.harris@ncagr.gov and let us know. 
As a sneak peek bonus, two NextGenAg features are included in this issue of the Ag Review. Look for them on Page 8. 
 

I think the beginning of a New Year always offers an opportunity for reflection as we also begin to look ahead. 2023 was busy year for the department and a big year for the industry. We reached new heights in agriculture, but many of the same challenges remain as we gear up for this brand new year. 
        In looking back at 2023, without question North Carolina’s biggest ag story of the year was the economic impact of agriculture and agribusiness topping the $100 billion mark -- $103.2 billion to be exact.
        We’ve talked about this milestone for a while and I kept thinking we were not far from reaching it. To actually see the number $100 billion be reported for the first time was incredible and humbling.
When I first took office, the economic impact of ag stood at $59 billion. We’ve certainly worked through a lot of challenges – hurricanes, flooding, late Spring frosts and an unprecedented pandemic – but the agriculture community has held tight, we’ve worked together and we’ve stayed focused on moving forward from these challenges.
I am so proud of where agriculture stands today, but can assure you, we have not reached the top. I believe there is still room to grow and we will continue to work to support farmers and agribusiness owners.
Another big story from last year was the continued monitoring, trapping and eradication of the spotted lanternfly. As many readers might remember, we found an active spotted lanternfly population around the Kernersville area where efforts have continued to monitor and eradicate this pest. 
Our Plant Industry Division also continues to follow up on any reports of spotted lanternfly sightings. We don’t want this pest to become established in North Carolina, so we remain actively focused on it.  
Next in the list of big stories was our Standards Division staff finding more instances of price scanner errors than normal across the state in 2023. I am proud of their work because with prices for most things going up, their inspection efforts helped protect consumers from being overcharged.
As the year has gone on, the number of stores where price scanner errors were found has gone down. Our inspectors will continue their efforts. 
Another highlight was the N.C. State Fair, Mountain State Fair and the Got to Be NC Festival all had successful runs. You can bet we are already busy planning for 2024. 
And, finally we have seen changes in leadership within the department.
I appointed two new assistant commissioners and four new division directors mainly due to retirements.
    Dr. Joe French became assistant commissioner over Agricultural Services, replacing Dr. Sandy Stewart who was elected president of the Sandhills Community College. 
    Greg Hicks was recently named assistant commissioner over the N.C. Forest Service following the retirement of Scott Bissette. 
    Marcus Helfrich was promoted to division director of the Standards Division after the retirement of longtime director Stephen Benjamin.
    Pam Hess was promoted to director of the Human Resources Division, after former director Sylvia Crumpler took a new position in state government.
    Patrick Jones was promoted to director of the Structural Pest and Pesticides Division following the retirement of Jim Burnette after 45 years of service.
And Kelly Nilsson was promoted to director of the Emergency Programs Division following the retirement of John Howard.  
I am proud that we have been able to promote talent from within our organization. They understand the importance of the work we do and they are committed public servants.
As I reflect on 2023,  I feel like I would be remiss not to mention many longtime ag leaders who passed away last year. I know I will miss some, but I wanted to mention a few longtime friends to me and agriculture.
Former Board of Ag member Dan Finch
Champion of DuPont State Recreational Forest Aleen Steinburg.
Former Secretary of Commerce Jim Fain. 
Farming and tobacco supporter Tommy Bunn.
Influential voice for agriculture Jerome Vick.
Farming advocate and longtime leader who served on numerous boards Richard Whitaker.
Influential policy driver and ag lobbyist Edwin Woodhouse.
Sweet potato innovator and industry leader Kendall Hill. 
We owe a large debt of gratitude to these and many others who have been advocates and powerful voices for agriculture. 
***
    Looking ahead, I know we have a lot to do especially when it comes to farmland preservation efforts. I know I talk and write about farmland preservation a lot, but trust me, it’s a topic that we need to continually keep out in front of people. Having the natural resources available to produce food and fiber is essential, not a luxury or a wished-for item, but an essential element. We know development is taking place and will continue to happen, but we need to be strategic and forward thinking in areas involving farmland and timber lands. 
    I encourage you to stay informed and be active. Our collective voices, though fewer in number than the non-farming public, can produce great results. We have to be proactive today to ensure the future viability of our industry, 
Speaking of staying informed, be sure to save the date and plan to attend the Southern Farm Show and specifically the 19th Annual Agricultural Development Forum, which will be held Feb. 1 at 9:30 a.m. in the Holshouser Building at the State Fairgrounds. 
We will have an economic update and a panel discussion as part of the program. I will also discuss the state of agriculture and we will honor our Exporter of the Year. Lunch will follow the program.
    The Farm Show runs Jan. 31 through Feb. 2 and is the largest one held in the Carolinas and Virginia. It uses nearly every bit of the fairgrounds because it features over 400 vendors who will be showcasing new tractors, new farm equipment and agricultural services.
You can likely see every make of tractor on display at the fairgrounds, which is good if you are in the market for new equipment or a tractor.
One of the equipment dealers will even let show guests operate pieces of their excavator equipment so they can see how it works.
In addition to the Ag Development Forum, several other commodity meetings are taking place during the Farm Show. I look forward to seeing you there!
 

January 2024
Horse events
Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699 
Jan. 1 Horse & Tackle Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Jan. 6 Da Bomb Barrel Racing. Contact Josh Smith, 910-639-6387.
Jan. 26-29 Cowboy Mounted Shooting. Contact Pamela Lohrey, 540-570-8785.

Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
Feb. 2 & 3 Martin County Winter Nationals Tractor Pull. Contact Bo Williams, bowilliams158@gmail.com
Feb. 16 & 17 Old Ford Volunteer Fire Department Survivor Series Rodeo. Contact Frankie Buck, 252-946-9780.
March 1 & 2 Hook & Book & IBRA Super Show Barrel Race. Contact Travis Alford, 252-450-5438.
March 8-10 Hoppin’ into Spring. Contact Travis Alford, 252-450-5438.

WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
Feb. 23-25 SRA Finals. Contact WNC Ag Center, 828-687-1414.
March 1-3 National Barrel Horse Association. Contact WNC Ag Center, 828-687-1414.

Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, 919-821-7400
Jan.  19-21 Triangle Winter Indoors I C. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877. 
Jan. 25-28 Raleigh Winter I Hunter. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
Feb. 2 Draft Horse Pull. Contact Calvin Davis, 919-717-0323. 
Feb. 9 &10 American Bullriders Finals. Contact Jeff Mullen, 919-796-8375.       
Feb. 16-18 Triangle Winter Indoors II C. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
Feb. 22-25 Raleigh Winter II Hunter. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.        

Bucolic briefs

The Veteran's Farm of NC, Inc. is seeking donations of farm equipment to use with programs to teach veterans how to start a farm. The organization offers access to farm equipment through its usage and grant programs and help network the farmer veteran community with each other and new opportunities in agriculture. This is a 501c (3) nonprofit organization is seeking donations of trucks, tractors, 3-point attachments, and any farm related supplies that we will then make available to the farmer veteran community. Donations are 100% tax deductible and a receipt is provided for tax purposes. Contact Robert Elliott, Executive Director, at vetfarmofnc@gmail.com with questions.

***
As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include: preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress, migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau, go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and Twitter (@NCDOL).
***
Landowners with farms for sale or lease and farmers seeking land can also post their information at the NC FarmLink website hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension at https://www.ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/
***
The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov
***
 

#NextGenAg Kendrick Tyndall has been in love with agriculture for as long as he can remember. Being born into a farming family, agriculture was as natural to him as breathing at a young age. “I was raised on a family farm, so agriculture has always been a part of my life,” he said. From helping his dad raise crops and livestock on Jason Tyndall Farm in Sampson County to supporting the community through his work on the Farm Safety Committee of the Sampson County Young Farmers and Ranchers Chapter, Kendrick is already a prominent figure in the agriculture industry and is working hard every day to further his agricultural career. 

Around seven or eight years old, Kendrick experienced his first season as a producer on the family farm. “Although I grew up on the family farm and have lots of meaningful experiences there, one of the first that I remember was when my dad let my sister and I plant a small plot of sweet corn around the age of seven or eight,” he said. “Planting that crop, tending to it, harvesting it and then selling it to the community was one of the most rewarding feelings I had ever known. That season, my passion for agriculture and farming was born.”  As a fourth-generation family farmer, Kendrick has learned a lot at the hands of his father, including how to grow and harvest corn, wheat and soybeans, as well as how to raise livestock like hogs and chickens. “Whether I had to learn lessons the easy or the hard way, my dad has always been my mentor and my biggest inspiration,” Kendrick said. “He taught me everything that I know about farming and agriculture up to this point in my life, and he continues to teach me something new every single day.” Today, Kendrick and his father operate the 1,200-acre row crop side of the family farm, producing corn, wheat and soybeans, and occasionally help with the livestock when needed. 

Kendrick’s favorite part of farming is planting a crop, working hard to make it grow strong, and harvesting the results at the end of the season. “It’s a pride you can’t even put into words,” he said. “We have good years and we have bad years, but even the bad years bring lessons to build upon and they make us appreciate the good years even more.” Kendrick’s dream job has always been to be a successful farmer like his father, a goal that he continues to strive for every single day. “I am living the dream on the farm with my dad,” he said. “If I can continue in my career to become half as successful as my father, I will have done something right. He raised a family of five off this farm, and I want to be able to raise a family off the land as well. He is my mentor, my inspiration and my best friend.” 

In addition to the family farm, Kendrick also plays an important role on the Farm Safety Committee of the Young Farmers and Ranchers Chapter Board in Sampson County. About a year ago, Kendrick was invited to join the group and impact the community in a brand-new way. “We had a farmer in our community get into a pretty bad on-road accident,” he said. “Through that incident, we were able to launch the farm safety initiative to help educate the community on farm safety, looking out for tractors on the roads and more.” Kendrick and the team of 20-25 other young farmers, worked all year to teach individuals across the community how to be safe around farm equipment, both on and off the roads, through events, signage and more. “We try to do as much as we can for the community, which is one of the great things about agriculture,” he said. “Through this initiative, we have been able to help people understand that farmers are not on the roads to be in your way, they are simply doing their job. A job which helps families across the world have access to fresh foods, clothes and more.” Kendrick continues to serve on the board and help people across the community understand the importance of farm safety. He encourages anyone, whether they are directly involved with the agriculture industry or not, to get involved and contribute to the cause. “We have people in our group that are communications and marketing experts, accountants and more,” he said. “We all bring a different skillset to the table and can impact our community for the better through our work.” 

As a young person working in the agriculture industry, Kendrick brings many strong skills to the table. “I have always been very good with new technology on the farm,” he said. “Over the last ten years, new equipment and technology has been developed to help farmers do what they do. I am proud to say that I have been able to not only operate that equipment so far on our family farm, but also perform mechanic work on it when needed.” Kendrick also packs a lot of patience, common sense and passion, which will help him go far in the industry. “Agriculture is the most vital industry in the world. It is our backbone,” he said. “If I can spend my life contributing to that industry and know that I have been successful at the end of the day, that’s all that I can ask for.” 

For anyone seeking a career in the agriculture industry, Kendrick’s advice is to use your common sense, work hard and always help your neighbors. “Agriculture is not something that can be fully learned and understood at a university. It’s all about your experiences,” he said. “Get involved in the industry and use those experiences to learn and drive you forward. Try to do good for the community through all that you do and educate on the importance of our state’s number one industry.” We are so proud of all that Kendrick is doing for the agriculture industry so far. He already has a strong start in his career, and we look forward to seeing where the future continues to take him! #NCAgriculture
 

#NextGenAg Agriculture is so much more than growing and harvesting crops and raising livestock. Food Science is a big part of our state’s agriculture industry and an important part of the farm-to-table story. Alaina Brock, a current senior at North Carolina A&T State University, developed a passion for food science at a young age and has been pursuing a career in agriculture ever since. 
As a child, Alaina remembers helping both sets of grandparents on the farm. “One side of the family grew tobacco and the other side raised pigs and chickens,” she said. “One of the first experiences that I can remember having in agriculture was on my grandparent’s farm picking pecans. Once we had picked enough, we took them inside, cracked them together and made gifts for neighbors and friends in the community. From that moment on, I have loved the agriculture industry and all that it represents.” Alaina’s aunt continues to farm on their family land and has added honeybees in recent years. Alaina is very proud of her for reviving the family farm and continuing to keep its legacy alive. 
“In North Carolina, agriculture is very much a part of our identity,” she said. “It’s interwoven into who we are as a state. It’s how we keep communities up and running. It makes us who we are, and that’s why I am so passionate and proud to be pursuing a career in this industry.” As a senior at North Carolina A&T State University, Alaina is majoring in Food and Nutritional Science with a concentration in Food Science and a minor in Chemistry. “In high school, we learned about food as a science and I fell in love,” she said. “I love to make something out of nothing, and it’s even better if it is something that I can eat!” After she graduates, Alaina plans to attend graduate school and obtain her master’s degree in food science before entering the agriculture industry. 
After graduate school, Alaina wants to pursue a career where she can work with fermented foods, like dairy products and cocoa, and the farmers who produce those products. “Ideally I would love to work for a chocolate company and network with the farmers who produce the cocoa, conduct food science initiatives with the cocoa pods and even possibly market the products to customers,” she said. “I am fascinated by the way that microbes exist in their own world and come together to create the products that we love. If I can use that passion every day to not only help our community but help the producers as well, that would be my ultimate dream.” 
Not only does Alaina bring passion and enthusiasm to the industry, but also creativity and proactivity. “My mission is to show up and give my absolute best in any and every situation,” she said. “I believe that I can contribute to the industry by generating excitement and creativity, bringing new ideas to the table and seeking out new opportunities.” Alaina says even if she is improving or learning at a 1% rate each day, she will be happy because it’s improvement in the right direction that will ultimately lead to a brighter future and make her a stronger leader. “Food is something that is very tangible and personal for people, so as long as I am making a positive impact on that aspect of life through what I do, all the hard work will be worth it,” Alaina said. In addition to making a difference, Alaina loves working in the agriculture industry because of all the amazing local products and friendly people that she encounters. 
If you are seeking a career in the agriculture industry or looking to get involved, Alaina’s advice is to pick an area that you love and start digging. “Literally if that’s what speaks to you,” she joked. “It can be more than plows and sows, or it can be exactly that. No matter what you pursue, don’t give up on the search. Find what part of the industry speaks to you.” We are so proud of all that Alaina has accomplished on her agricultural journey so far and look forward to seeking where the future takes her! #NCAgriculture
 

December 2023

Tab/Accordion Items

      I hope everyone has been paying attention to the news and the weather of late, and hopefully you are aware of how dry our state has become. Because of the extremely dry conditions and the number of wildfires burning in the state and in neighboring states, 30 North Carolina counties in Western N.C. are under a burn ban as I write this. Affected counties are primarily west of Interstate 77.

Those counties include: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain,Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey.

     All burn permits have been revoked and we have fire crews on the ground monitoring fires and working to put out a number of fires in Western NC, including Black Bear Fire in Haywood County, Branch Fire in Wilkes County, Collett Ridge Fire in Cherokee County, Poplar Drive Fire in Henderson County and Sauratown Mountain Fire in Stokes County.

     While the rest of the state is not under a burn ban, I cannot stress enough that anyone planning to burn needs to exercise extreme caution or even reconsider burning at this time. Burning in such dry conditions is risky and may not be a risk worth taking.  

     We have not quite gotten to the level that warrants implementing a statewide burn ban, but we continue to monitor and assess conditions daily to evaluate whether we need to expand the area covered by burn bans. 

     According to the N.C. Drought Monitor at press time, over 7.5 million people in North Carolina are estimated to be in a drought area. We are anticipating rain moving through parts of the state prior to Thanksgiving, and we hope it will be helpful in possibly dropping the burn bans, but dry conditions like we are experiencing do not clear up quickly. 

     The Drought Monitor noted that the Western part of the state is experiencing the driest conditions and fall in the severe drought category. But the rest of the state is reporting moderate drought to abnormally dry conditions, which is why we need everyone to be extra vigilant with fires of any kind. 

     We have had to shift Forest Service resources from other areas of the state to assist, which stretches areas thin, so what is happening in the west is impacting all areas of the state. 

     If burning is not 100 percent necessary at this point, please help our firefighting community out and delay burning until conditions improve. 

QUALIFYING FARMERS CAN NOW PURCHASE COMPOST TAX-FREE
RALEIGH, NC,October 1, 2023 Every year, the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA)
passes the Farm Act (SB 582) to address agriculture policy. This year, the legislation included a
provision that adds compost to the list of tax free items for qualifying* farmers, This effort was
initiated by the NC Compost Council in an effort to increase the use of compost for agriculture in 
North Carolina. The tax exemption begins on October 1, 2023.
Senator Brent Jackson, Senator Norman Sanderson and Representative Jarrod Lowery were
instrumental in getting the change into the Farm Act. Senator Sanderson noted “Good soil 
health is important for North Carolina farmers to produce food for the long term. Using compost
made in North Carolina is not only good for NC farmers, it is good for the economy by
supporting local producers of compost too.”
This provision will benefit qualifying farmers by reducing their cost to incorporate more compost, 
bringing important soil nutrition, biodiversity, and moisture retention. This act also aids the 
compost industry by increasing awareness about the use and benefits of compost. Composters 
state-wide work hard to capture organic resources and reduce reliance on solid waste 
management infrastructure. "Passage of the sales tax-exempt provision will help provide more
incentive for farmers to purchase compost and reap the many benefits of compost use. Working
on tight margins, eliminating the sales tax for purchasing compost will help improve both their
profit margins and their soils.” Gary Gittere of McGill’s Compost stated. 
In recent years, alternative sources of soil amendments such as compost have been sought out 
by farmers in response to high fertilizer costs. Earl Smith, David and Ryan Kennedy of Smith
Farms in Hope Mills, NC use compost on their farm and said “Less expensive than fertilizer.
Better yields last year with corn and beans. Seems to work better overall than fertilizer.” 
Researchers agree. "Adding compost as a soil amendment can aid farmers by increasing soil 
fertility and building soil health.” Dr. Janel Louise Ohletz, Principal Agronomist for Plantd and 
chair of the NC Composting Council Advisory and Access Committee. 
This is truly a win-win for farmers and industry within NC. "I am pleased to see compost added
as a sales tax exemption. With recent supply chain issues, compost is an excellent ingredient
North Carolina Farmers can turn to, to see greater prosperity and success in North Carolina and
the rest of the world,” said Representative Jarrod Lowery (R-Robeson).
Additionally, amending soil with compost has multiple benefits to increase resiliency of North
Carolina.
*§ 105-164.13E. Exemption for farmers.
a) Exemption. – A qualifying farmer is a person who has an annual income from farming
operations for the preceding taxable year of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more or who has
an average annual income from farming operations for the three preceding taxable years of ten
thousand dollars ($10,000) or more. For purposes of this section, the term "income from farming
operations" means sales plus any other amounts treated as gross income under the Code from
farming operations. A qualifying farmer includes a dairy operator, a poultry farmer, an egg
producer, and a livestock farmer, a farmer of crops, a farmer of an aquatic species, as defined in
G.S. 106-758, and a person who boards horses. A qualifying farmer may apply to the Secretary
for an exemption certificate number under G.S. 105-164.28A. The exemption certificate expires
when a person fails to meet the income threshold for three consecutive taxable years or ceases
to engage in farming operations, whichever comes first.
Except as otherwise provided in this section, the items exempt under this section must be
purchased by a qualifying farmer or conditional farmer and used by the qualifying or conditional
farmer primarily in farming operations. For purposes of this section, an item is used by a farmer
for farming operations if it is used for the planting, cultivating, harvesting, or curing of farm
crops, in the production of dairy products, eggs, or animals, or by a person who boards horses.
The items that may be exempt from sales and use tax under this section are: (1) Fuel, piped
natural gas, and electricity that are measured by a separate meter or another separate device
and used for a purpose other than preparing food, heating dwellings, and other household
purposes. (2) Commercial fertilizer, lime, land plaster, plastic mulch, plant bed covers, potting
soil, baler twine, compost, and seeds. …." SECTION 1.4.(b) This section became effective
October 1, 2023. ##
 

December 2023
Horse events
Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699 
Dec. 1-3 Cowboy Mounted Shooting. Contact Pamela Lohrey, 540-570-8785.
Dec. 4 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Jan. 1 Horse & Tackle Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Jan. 6 Da Bomb Barrel Racing. Contact Josh Smith, 910-639-6387.
Jan. 26-29 Cowboy Mounted Shooting. Contact Pamela Lohrey, 540-570-8785.

Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
Dec. 2 & 3 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Emily Bates, 252-378-4474.
Dec. 7-10 Da Bomb Barrel Racing Finale. Contact Josh Smith, 910-639-6387.
WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
No horse events currently listed.

Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, 919-821-7400
Dec. 1-3 Holiday Classic Open Horse Show. Contact Richard Isley, 336-908-3302.
Dec. 8 & 9 Carousel Farms Bulls, Bells and Barrels. Contact Jeff Mullen, 919-872-6898.
Dec. 28-31 Raleigh Indoor Holiday Classic. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 1, 2023

CONTACT:    Heather Overton, assistant director
        NCDA&CS Public Affairs
        919-707-3006

Troxler promotes Greg Hicks to Assistant Commissioner overseeing operations of the N.C. Forest Service


    RALEIGH – Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler today announced the promotion of Greg Hicks of Oxford to assistant commissioner overseeing operations of the North Carolina Forest Service.  Hicks previously served as assistant state forester.  He will replace current assistant commissioner Scott Bissette who is retiring. The promotion is effective Nov. 1.
“I am always pleased to have well-qualified and dedicated staff members step into new leadership roles at the department,” Troxler said. “Hicks has been employed with the N.C. Forest Service for more than two decades serving in nine different roles and in that time has worked at the district, regional and central office levels. I am confident in his ability to understand the many roles of the N.C. Forest Service and build on the lifelong relationships he has made as a career employee.”    
Hicks received a Bachelor of Science in Forest Management from the College of Forest Resources at North Carolina State University in 1998. Hicks accepted a job with the N.C. Forest Service in 1999. In his first role, he was based in New Bern and assisted with the four counties that had been heavily impacted by Hurricane Fran. Other positions held by Hicks include service forester (Districts 4 & 11), water quality forester, assistant district forester, assistant regional forester, fire chief and assistant state forester.  
    Hicks and his wife, Julie, have two children, Emma and Andrew. They reside in Oxford on the family farm.  
-hso,2-
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, NOV. 9, 2023
CONTACT:    Marcus Helfrich, director 
NCDA&CS Standards Division
984-236-4777
Troxler promotes Raleigh man to lead Standards Division
    RALEIGH — Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler today announced the promotion of Dr. Marcus Helfrich to director of the Standards Division. Helfrich previously served as program manager of the fuel quality laboratory. He replaces Steve Benjamin, who is retiring. The promotion is effective Nov. 1. 
“Being able to promote from within gives me great pride because not only is Marcus Helfrich the most qualified candidate for the job, but he’s also a dedicated public servant that has worked on behalf of North Carolinians for years,” Troxler said. “The work of our Standards Division touches the lives of people across our state every day and I’m sure the staff will continue their exceptional work under Helfrich’s leadership.”
Helfrich earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Guilford College in 1996 and then a Masters degree and Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Oregon before a post-doctoral appointment at Pennsylvania State University. Helfrich joined the department in 2008 as a chemist in the central laboratory as well as a field chemist in Wake, Lee, Granville and Chatham counties. He became program manager of the fuel quality laboratory in 2014.
Helfrich was on the committee that helped design the fuel quality laboratory in the Steve Troxler Agricultural Sciences Center.
“I have enjoyed working with the Department over the last 15 years to identify and solve problems that directly impact the lives of the citizens of North Carolina,” Helfrich said. “I appreciate this opportunity and I look forward to working with each of the sections in the Standards Division to continue to develop a culture of excellence in customer service.”
                                                                             -mfm-
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 16, 2023

CONTACT:     Jeff Camden, Program Officer
        N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission
        (919) 733-2160 ext. 1


N. C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission 
Awards More Than $6.1 Million in Grants 
 

RALEIGH – The N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission (N.C. TTFC) awarded more than $6.1 million through 30 grants for agricultural and economic initiatives across the state. These grants place a high priority on projects that stimulate the agricultural economy, train current and future farmers and help farmers execute innovative ideas.
“From the mountains to the sea, North Carolina has a strong agriculture history, and we are proud to offer opportunities to strengthen agriculture for the future. These grants will assist producers of livestock, field crops and specialty crops.” said Bill Teague, Chairman of the N.C. TTFC.
The $6.1 million supports projects that assist with commodity and livestock facilities, FFA instructional equipment and training, food distribution, and farmers with operations improvements and diversification. 
Many of the awarded projects are to improve agricultural programs and facilities at high school, community colleges and universities. Several involve the construction of farmers market facilities, allowing for fresh fruits and vegetables to be purchased from local farmers. Other anticipated projects will involve beekeeping, soil health, Good Agriculture Practices, hydroponic farming, sweetpotato nutrition, farm management, logging, pecans, and Christmas trees. 
In addition to these grants, the N.C. TTFC has renewed its partnership with The University of Mount Olive - AgPrime program. This program’s purpose is to provide small grants directly to on-farm projects that support increasing farm profitability.
The N.C. General Assembly created the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission in 2000 to lessen the financial impact on farmers and tobacco-related businesses caused by the sharp decline of tobacco in the agricultural economy. The commission’s original funding was established through tobacco industry annual payments as a result of the Master Settlement Agreement. Its current funding comes from a set appropriation of funds. Since 2002, the N.C. TTFC has awarded more than 420 grants to public and nonprofit agencies that meet the goals of strengthening the rural and tobacco-dependent economies of North Carolina.
For more information and a list of grant recipients, visit the N.C. TTFC website at www.tobaccotrustfund.org.

2023 Grant Cycle Recipients

 

 

CEAD Agriculture Equipment

Piedmont Community College Foundation

Grant Amount: $125,210.00

Area Served: Caswell

 

Project: Mount Olive Area Farmers' Market

Town of Mount Olive

Grant Amount: $278,537.00

Area Served: Duplin, Wayne

 

TTFC SAE Institute 2024-2025

University of Mount Olive

Grant Amount: $100,000.00

Area Served: Statewide

TTFC AgPrime 2024-2027

University of Mount Olive

Grant Amount: $692,000.00

Area Served: 33 Eastern Counties

 

Raising Consumption of NC Sweetpotatoes

North Carolina Sweetpotato Commission Foundation

Grant Amount: $133,380.00

Area Served: Statewide

 

Warren County Farmers Market

Warren County

Grant Amount: $500,000.00

Area Served: Warren

Wayne Community College Ag Building

Wayne Community College

Grant Amount: $250,000.00

Area Served: Wayne

 

Farm, Food, and Family Education Center

NC Cooperative Extension- Randolph County Center

Grant Amount: $596,851.00

Area Served: Randolph


 

 

NECP Greenhouse Modernization Project

Northeast Carolina Preparatory School

Grant Amount: $85,500.00

Area Served: Edgecombe

 

WNC FoodWorks Sustainability Plan

Center For Agricultural and Food Entrepreneurship

Grant Amount: $100,000.00

Area Served: Western NC

 

Mobile Soils Classroom

Wilkes Soil & Water Conservation District

Grant Amount: $122,473.00

Area Served: Statewide

Educational Opportunities for Pecan Growers

North Carolina Pecan Growers Association Inc.

Grant Amount: $54,000.00

Area Served: Statewide

Healthy Farm, Strong Agriculture Community

The North Carolina Agricultural Foundation Inc.

Grant Amount: $194,888.00

Area Served: Edgecombe, Nash, Edgecombe

From Tobacco to Sustainable Forestry

Forest Education and Conservation Foundation

Grant Amount: $75,000.00

Area Served: Statewide

N.C. PSI Extension Agent Network

The North Carolina Agricultural Foundation Inc

Grant Amount: $301,338.00

Area Served: Statewide

Executive Farm Management

The North Carolina Agricultural Foundation Inc.

Grant Amount: $119,981.00

Area Served: Statewide

WNC Regional Livestock Center Refurbishment

WNC Communities

Grant Amount: $80,000.00

Area Served: Western Counties

FCEMC Hydroponic Farm

Four County Electric Membership Corporation

Grant Amount: $165,400.00

Area Served: Bladen, Duplin, Pender, Sampson

Supporting Small Farm Viability

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project

Grant Amount: $83,250.00

Area Served: Western NC

Research and Education Farm Equipment

Wingate University

Grant Amount: $49,391.00

Area Served: Union

Haywood County Outdoor Agriculture Classroom

Haywood County Consolidated School System

Grant Amount: $150,000.00

Area Served: Haywood

Soil Health for Farmland Preservation

NC Foundation for Soil And Water Conservation Inc

Grant Amount: $200,000.00

Area Served: Statewide

Harnett Agricultural Center Educational Kitchen

County of Harnett

Grant Amount: $130,000.00

Area Served: Harnett

Promoting Local Beekeeping in NC

The North Carolina Agricultural Foundation Inc.

Grant Amount: $263,860.00

Area Served: Statewide

Agricultural Education Program Improvement Grant

The North Carolina Agricultural Foundation Inc.

Grant Amount: $311,400.00

Area Served: Statewide

NC Real Time Network Upgrade

NC Department of Public Safety/Emergency Management

Grant Amount: $50,000.00

Area Served: Bertie, Forsyth, Lenoir


 

 

Caswell County Farmers Market

Town of Yanceyville

Grant Amount: $500,000.00

Area Served: Caswell

Connecting farmers to wholesale markets

Working Landscapes

Grant Amount: $251,440.00

Area Served: Statewide

Certified NC Christmas Tree Seed

North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services

Grant Amount: $50,000.00

Area Served: Statewide

Northeastern Agriculture Complex Facility Improvements

Northeastern High School Agricultural Complex Elizabeth City Pasquotank County Public Schools

Grant Amount: $145,152.00

Area Served: Pasquotank

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
MONDAY, OCT. 23, 2023

CONTACT:    
Andrea Ashby, director 
N.C. State Press Office 
919-707-3004; andrea.ashby@ncagr.gov  


926,425 people attended the 2023 N.C. State Fair
    RALEIGH – The 2023 N.C. State Fair ended its 11-day run with a strong final weekend that pushed total attendance to 926,425. Other fair highlights included a new auction record for the Livestock Sale of Champions and strong participation for Smithfield Foods Hunger Relief Day and competitive entries. 
     “I am grateful for our fairgoers, vendors and businesses that support the fair,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “It is a celebration of the best of North Carolina and feels like an annual reunion that brings together everything that makes North Carolina a great place to live. It is also a celebration of our state’s $103.2 billion agriculture industry, from the daily farm families highlighted, the mock tobacco auction, livestock competitions and horse shows to the horticultural displays, Got to Be N.C. Agriculture Pavilion and soil and forestry exhibits.”
    The N.C. State Fair Livestock Sale of Champions drew a record $217,850 in bids, breaking the previous record by $5,350. Monies from the sale go into a scholarship fund that all competitors are eligible to apply for and to the grand and reserve grand champion exhibitors.
    Smithfield Foods Hunger Relief Day saw fairgoers donate 253,000 pounds of canned goods this year compared to 214,000 last year combined with 500,000 servings of protein from Smithfield Foods for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. More than 6.3 million pounds of food have been collected since the hunger relief partnership started in 1993.
    This year’s fair had 21,626 entries in general competitions and 2,819 entries into livestock competitions. This year’s giant pumpkin and watermelon competitions by weight were the largest competitions of this type the fair has had. The competitions included a 308-pound watermelon, which was the largest grown in the world so far this year and a 2,124-pound pumpkin. 
    “While numbers help us tell the story of a successful N.C. State Fair it isn’t the only measure,” said Troxler. “We also gauge success from the happy and smiling faces we see on the fairgrounds as people enjoyed what we hope was their Best.Day.Ever! Mark your calendars now for Oct. 17-27, 2024.” 
    
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Bucolic briefs

The Veteran's Farm of NC, Inc. is seeking donations of farm equipment to use with programs to teach veterans how to start a farm. The organization offers access to farm equipment through its usage and grant programs and help network the farmer veteran community with each other and new opportunities in agriculture. This is a 501c (3) nonprofit organization is seeking donations of trucks, tractors, 3-point attachments, and any farm related supplies that we will then make available to the farmer veteran community. Donations are 100% tax deductible and a receipt is provided for tax purposes. Contact Robert Elliott, Executive Director, at vetfarmofnc@gmail.com with questions.

***
As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include: preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress, migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau, go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and Twitter (@NCDOL).
***
Landowners with farms for sale or lease and farmers seeking land can also post their information at the NC FarmLink website hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension at https://www.ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/
***
The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov
***
 

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, OCT. 24, 2023   

CONTACT:    Neil Bowman, director    
        N.C. State Fair Livestock Office            
        919-839-4679    / neil.bowman@ncagr.gov

Junior Livestock Sale of Champions sets record for second consecutive year with $217,850 for youth
Money goes to scholarships and winners

RALEIGH – For the second year in a row, junior winners in the N.C. State Fair livestock shows drew a record amount of money in the Junior Livestock Sale of Champions. The top steers, barrows, lambs, goats and turkeys earned $217,850 in the sale on Oct. 22. The figure surpasses the record of $212,500 set at the 2022 sale.
“The money raised rewards the winners of the livestock shows at the N.C. State Fair, and it also goes to scholarships for the other junior competitors. That helps with college educations, the cost of animal care and educational outreach,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “None of that would be possible without the North Carolina companies, organizations and individuals that show their support during the sale.”
•    The grand champion junior market steer was shown by Schyler Crocker of Selma, with a winning bid of $22,000 placed by Tractor Supply Company and Powers Great American Midways.
    
•    For the second year in a row, the grand champion Got to Be NC junior market steer was shown by Annah Claire Sullivan of Lucama. The top bid of $20,000 came from Farm Credit Associations of N.C., N.C. Farm Bureau Insurance, N.C. Egg Association and Lickskillet Cattle Company.

•    N.C. Farm Bureau Insurance and Farm Credit Associations of N.C. placed the winning bid for the reserve grand champion junior market steer at $18,500. Peyton Taylor of Caldwell County showed the steer.

•    The grand champion junior market barrow was shown by Hannah Cooper of Hertford, with a winning bid of $21,000 from N.C. Pork Council, Smithfield Foods, Prestage Farms and Agri Supply Company.

•    Travis Cox of Richlands showed the grand champion Got to Be NC junior market barrow. N.C. Pork Council, Hog Slat, Smithfield Foods and N.C. Soybean Producers Association placed the winning bid of $18,500.

•    N.C. Pork Council, Prestage Farm and Smithfield Foods placed a winning bid of $15,500 for the reserve grand champion junior market barrow, shown by Billie Faith Fulcher of Godwin.

•    Maggie Glass of Belhaven showed the grand champion junior market lamb and grand champion Got to Be NC junior market lamb, which together earned a winning bid of $15,500 from N.C. Farm Bureau Insurance.

•    Tractor Supply Company and ATM Auction and Realty had the winning bid of $13,500 for the reserve grand champion junior market lamb that was shown by Taylor Askew of Greenville.

•    Kennedy Lee of Smithfield showed the grand champion junior market meat goat. Agri Supply Company, Farm Credit Associations of N.C. and N.C. Farm Bureau Insurance placed the winning bid of $21,000.

•    The grand champion Got to be N.C. junior market meat goat was shown by Carter Jennings of Kenly. The winning bid of $16,500 came from Iron Horse Auction Company Inc., the campaign of state Sen. Tom McInnis and the Thomas M. McInnis Family Fund.

•    The reserve grand champion junior market meat goat was shown by Zade Jennings of Kenly. The winning bid of $12,000 was placed by N.C. Farm Bureau Insurance.

•    Hattie Jo Powell of Four Oaks showed the grand champion market turkey. The winning bid of $7,500 came from Talley Farms and the N.C. Soybean Producers Association.

•    For the second consecutive year, Sage Robertson of Burlington showed the reserve grand champion market turkey. N.C. Farm Bureau Insurance and the N.C. Soybean Producers Association placed the winning bid of $5,000.

•    In another repeat from 2022, Bryson Baldwin of Statesville showed the Supreme Dairy Female. The winning bid of $10,500 received a Taste of N.C. Dairy Basket. Buyers were  N.C. Farm Bureau Insurance, Farm Credit Association of N.C., N.C. Dairy Producers Association, Iredell County Farm Bureau Insurance, Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, White Rock Dairy, Piedmont Dairy, Appalachian Milk Cooperative, Major and Lou Bond, Weston and Shannon McCorkle, Thompson Cattle Company, Courtney Bumgarner, Carolina Livestock Vet Services, Nancy Keith, Eco Diesel Dynamics, Beam Dairy, Homeland Creamy, Cowbuyer.com, Drew & Dakota Sparks, Piedmont Dairy Equipment, Rocky Creek Veterinarian Services and Neal, Tonya & Hannah Loftin.
Additional support for bids on the grand champion, grand champion Got to Be NC and reserve grand champion junior market steers, barrows, lambs and meat goats provided by Apple Brandy Cuts, the Blinson family, WNC Livestock Exchange, John E. Ferebee Farming Inc., Land of Promise Farms, New Lake Seed Company, Stine Seed Company, Steve Carroll, Cleveland County Livestock Exchange and Stallings & Stallings Farms.

         
          
  

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November 2023

Tab/Accordion Items

RALEIGH – As North Carolina transitions to the fall, the N.C. Forest Service is reminding the public to be careful, ready and responsible when burning outdoors. 
Typically, wildfires occur more frequently from October through early December. Outdoor fires left unattended can get out of hand quickly, becoming wildfires that threaten lives and property. In 2022, there were nearly 6,400 wildfires that burned more than 24,000 acres in North Carolina, 99% of which were human caused.

“As more of our state’s acreage is developed and our population continues to grow, we’ll have more people actively living and recreating in areas where homes and forest and woodlands meet,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Increased human activity traditionally leads to more wildfires.”

North Carolina is in the top 5% nationally for the number of acreage and housing units in wildland urban interface (WUI). Recently identified in the North Carolina Forest Action Plan as a notable threat for increased wildfire impacts, WUI is the area where structures and other human development blend with undeveloped wildland, forest or vegetation. WUI acreage is increasing with more people moving to the state and into formerly rural areas. As of 2020, roughly 2.25 million homes and more than half of North Carolina’s citizens live in WUI areas.

 “Backyard debris burning, escaped campfires and machine and vehicle use are common forms of human-caused wildfires,” Troxler said. “Steps to reduce wildfire risks begin at home by creating a defensible space and making fire-resistant landscape choices. Remember, you are our best defense against wildfires.”

For those who choose to burn, the N.C. Forest Service offers the following tips:

  • Make sure you have a valid permit. You can obtain a burn permit at any N.C. Forest Service office or authorized permitting agent, or online at https://www.ncforestservice.gov/burnpermit.
  • Check the weather. Never burn on dry, windy days.
  • Keep your fire small, not tall.
  • Be sure you are fully prepared before burning. To control the fire, you will need a water hose, bucket, steel rake and a shovel for tossing dirt on the fire. Keep a phone nearby, too.
  • Never use kerosene, gasoline, diesel fuel or other flammable liquids to speed up burning.
  • Douse burning charcoal briquettes or campfires thoroughly with water. Drown all embers, not just the red ones. When soaked, stir the coals and soak them again. Make sure everything is wet and that embers are cold to the touch. If you do not have water, mix enough dirt or sand with the embers to extinguish the fire, being careful not to bury the fire. Never dump hot ashes or coals into a wooded area.
  • Never leave your fire. Stay with it until it is completely out.

Studies have shown that taking these and other measures can reduce the possibility of wildfires. For helpful information and tips to safely burn outdoors, visit our Fire Safety Outdoors webpage. Visit www.resistwildfirenc.org to learn more about creating a defensible space around your home to protect your property from wildfire.

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North Carolina receives $6.3 million USDA award for conservation easements in the Neuse River Basin

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services was awarded $6.3 million by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service to place conservation easements on farms in the Upper Neuse River Basin. This project was funded through USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).

“Securing more funding for conservation easements is a critical step in preserving our family farms and the rich agricultural heritage of the Triangle,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “As an area experiencing significant growth, saving our farmland is more important than ever. These easements protect working farms and forests from development and ensure that agriculture remains a viable livelihood for generations to come.”

RCPP is a partner-driven program that leverages resources to advance innovative projects that address climate change, enhance water quality, and address other critical challenges on agricultural land.

“Our partners are experts in their fields and understand the challenges in their own backyards,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “Through RCPP, we can tap into that knowledge, in partnership with producers and USDA, to come up with lasting solutions to the challenges that farmers, ranchers, and landowners face. We’re looking forward to seeing the results of a public-private partnership at its best, made possible through these RCPP investments.”

An agricultural conservation easement is a legal tool that restricts the residential, commercial and industrial development of land to maintain its agricultural production capability. The Preserving Upriver Farms to Reduce Flooding in N.C. proposal is a phased project to reduce the negative impacts of soil erosion and runoff in the river basins in the Piedmont and Sandhills. In the past several years, hurricanes, tropical storms, and significant rain events in the state have caused catastrophic flooding events in Eastern North Carolina. Several factors are linked to these flooding events, including increased residential and commercial development runoff.

Funding priority will be given to working areas that face the greatest threat to development and the best opportunity for runoff mitigation. This proposal will focus on parcels within the Neuse River Basin from the headwaters in Orange and Person counties to Interstate 95 in Johnston and Wilson counties. The counties in this targeted region include Durham, Franklin, Granville, Johnston, Nash, Orange, Wake, and Wilson.

Landowners interested in preserving their farms through conservation easements in the eligible region must work with county governments or land trusts to apply for grant funds. If awarded a grant in which the

application requests funds for the conservation easement purchase value, landowners will be compensated for the purchase of the development rights.

Applications for state funding open on Oct. 9 and have until Dec. 18 to apply. In addition to the state application, applications must be filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Services. Grant applications, rules, and information packets are available online at www.ncadfp.org/Cycle17.htm. For more information, call the Farmland Preservation office at 919-707-3074.

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The N.C. General Assembly passed the 2023-24 State Budget in late September and I am
grateful for the legislature’s continued investment in and support of agriculture, agribusinesses
and our farmers.
Agriculture and agribusiness represent a $103.2 billion industry in the state, and I believe
we will continue to see that number grow, especially as our population continues to grow. In
looking to the future, it is important that we invest now so we will have the resources we need to
be able to meet future food needs.
As longtime readers know, farmland preservation is one area I am particularly focused on
because of growing development pressure throughout the state. If we can invest in efforts to
attract new business to our state, I believe we should also be able to invest in agriculture, an
essential industry that feeds us.
Departmental efforts included in the new budget is $25 million in funding for Farmland
Preservation efforts; $20 million in the Streamflow Rehabilitation Assistance Program, which is
focused on reducing downstream flooding from tropical storms and hurricanes; $20 million for
the N.C. Agriculture Manufacturing and Processing Initiative, a new project to attract and
facilitate more agribusiness development; and, nearly $8 million in funding for our agricultural
research stations.
I believe these are practical and smart investments benefiting our whole state.
Other ag organizations and projects across the state received funding in the budget, too.
Some of those include, $3.5 million for an Agriculture Cost-Share Program; $2 million for an
Agriculture Cost-Share program for French Broad River Basin livestock farmers; $833,000 for
Community Conservation Assistance over two years; $512,000 for the N.C. Christmas Tree
Association; $350,000 for a Green Industry economic impact study; $250,000 for an inaugural
N.C. Farmers Appreciation Day and $100,000 for the N.C. Cattlemen’s Association.
I will continue to advocate for investments in our agriculture industry because it is the
economic driver in many of our rural communities. Farm dollars turn over many times in the
local economy as farmers spend money with farm supply businesses, car and truck dealerships,
grocery stores, utility companies, restaurants and more.
I am proud of how much our farm community contributes, not only by feeding and
clothing us, but by its economic impact.
As an industry, let’s keep growing!

Eight stores pay fines for price scanning errors

RALEIGH - The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Standards Division has collected fines from eight stores in eight counties because of excessive price-scanner errors.

“Our Standards Division does excellent work inspecting stores across the state for scanner errors that hurt consumers’ pockets,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “North Carolinians should only have to pay the price they see on the shelf and this work is vital to make sure that happens. Our Standards Division will continue to inspect stores, but consumers should also check their receipts often and notify store managers if they see an issue.”

The department conducts periodic, unannounced inspections of price-scanner systems in businesses to check for accuracy between the prices advertised and the prices that ring up at the register. If a store has more than a 2% error rate on overcharges, inspectors discuss the findings with the store manager and conduct a more intensive follow-up inspection later. Undercharges are also reported, but do not count against a store. Consumers who would like to file a complaint about scanner errors they encounter, can call the Standards Division at 984-236-4750.

Penalties are assessed if a store fails a follow-up inspection. In addition to the penalties paid, the store will be subject to reinspection every 60 days from the last inspection until it meets the 2%-or-less error rate. Additional penalties may be assessed if a store fails reinspection.

Following are civil penalties recorded in the third quarter of 2023:

· (Cabarrus) Circle K at 8502 Concord Mill Blvd., Concord paid $845 in penalties. An initial inspection in May found an error rate of 12% based on six overcharges in a 50-item lot. A follow-up inspection in June found an error rate of 4% based on four overcharges in a 100-item lot. A follow-up inspection in August found an error rate of 3% based on three overcharges in a 100-item lot. The store will be reinspected.

· (Catawba) Dollar General at 1125 Tenth St. Blvd. NW, Hickory paid $1,365 in penalties. An initial inspection in February found an error rate of 18% based on nine overcharges in a 50-item lot. A follow-up inspection in June found an error rate of 3.33% based on 10 overcharges in a 300-item lot. The store passed a follow-up inspection in May and paid its penalty in July.

· (Columbus) Walmart at 200 Columbus Corners, Whiteville paid $1,530 in penalties. An initial inspection in July found an error rate of 7% based on seven overcharges in a 100-item lot. A follow-up inspection in August found an error rate of 2.67% based on eight overcharges in a

300-item lot. The store will be reinspected.

· (New Hanover) Dollar General at 1136 Lake Park Blvd. N., Carolina Beach paid $3,480 in penalties. An initial inspection in March found an error rate of 10% based on five overcharges in a 50-item lot. A follow-up inspection in April found an error rate of 2.67% based on eight overcharges in a 300-item lot. A follow-up inspection in June found an error rate of 3% based on nine overcharges in a 300-item lot. A follow-up inspection in August found an error rate of 2.67% based on eight overcharges in a 300-item lot. The store will be reinspected.

· (Surry) Circle K at 1309 West Pine St., Mount Airy paid $2,005 in penalties. An initial inspection in December 2022 found an error rate of 30% based on 15 overcharges in a 50-item lot. A follow-up inspection in January found an error rate of 17% based on 17 overcharges in a 100-item lot. A follow-up inspection in April found an error rate of 28% based on 28 overcharges in a 100-item lot. A follow-up inspection in June found an error rate of 8% based on eight overcharges in a 100-item lot. The store paid its penalty in July and passed inspection in August.

· (Union) 7-11 at 304 Unionville-Indian Trail, Indian Trail paid $4,035 in penalties. An initial inspection in September 2022 found an error rate of 32% based on 16 overcharges in a 50-item lot. A follow-up inspection in November 2022 found an error rate of 4% based on four overcharges in a 100-item lot. A follow-up inspection in January found an error rate of 6% based on six overcharges in a 100-item lot. A follow-up inspection in March found an error rate of 8% based on eight overcharges in a 100-item lot. The store passed inspection in May and paid its penalty in September.

· (Vance) Walgreens at 201 Trade St., Henderson paid $495 in penalties. An initial inspection in February found an error rate of 14% based on seven overcharges in a 50-item lot. A follow-up inspection in March found an error rate of 3.67% based on 11 overcharges in a 300-item lot. A follow-up inspection in May found an error rate of 6.67% based on 20 overcharges in a 300-item lot. The store passed inspection in August and paid its penalty in September.

· (Warren) Dollar General at 211 E. Macon St., Warrenton paid $4,245 in penalties. An initial inspection in July found an error rate of 40% based on 20 overcharges in a 50-item lot. A follow-up inspection in August found an error rate of 18.33% based on 55 overcharges in a 300-item lot. The store will be reinspected.

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Final N.C. Mountain State Fair cooking contest winners announced

FLETCHER – Sharon Gates of Leicester continued to impress judges during the final week of the Mountain State Fair, winning the N.C. Blueberry Council’s From Scratch Contest and $200 for her blueberry mousse recipe. This victory was in addition to Gates’ wins in the Tomato Growers Association’s Fresh Tomatoes Contest and the N.C. Cattlemen’s Beef Council Classic Comfort Food Contest earlier in the Mountain State Fair.

Second prize in the From Scratch Contest and $100 went to Connie Pegg of Asheville for a recipe for spicy sausage blueberry breakfast cornbread cake. Amy Braman of Pisgah Forest earned $75 in third place with a recipe for blueberry stuffed mushrooms with blueberry balsamic sauce and herbs.

Jamie Dumas of Hendersonville won first place and $100 in the N.C. Apple Growers Association’s Just Desserts Contest for her pastila recipe. Jennifer Currie of Clyde won $75 in second place with a recipe for apple cranberry pie with walnuts and Chad McCall of Henderson County’s recipe for German apple pancakes won $50 in third place.

Jordan Robertson of Swanannoa won the N.C. Sweetpotato Commission’s Beat the Heat Contest and earned $250 with a winning recipe for sweet potato maple cheesecake cups.

Gates earned second place and $175 with a recipe for simply southern sweet potato banana pudding, while Susie Zuerner of Arden took home third place and $125 for a sweet potato chili recipe.

Following are the winning recipes:

Blueberry Mousse

Ingredients:

2 cups N.C. blueberries (fresh or frozen)                  
2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract                                          
1 block (3/4 cup) silken firm tofu
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Pinch of salt

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process for 1-2 minutes, until smooth. Chill until time to serve

Garnish with whipped cream and extra blueberries as desired.

Yields 6-8 servings

Apple Pastila

Ingredients:

6 Granny Smith apples, large
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 egg whites, large
1/2 cup powdered sugar for dusting

Directions:

Apple pureé

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash apples and place in 9-inch x 12-inch baking pan. Add ½ cup of water bnd bake for 1 hour or until apples are saggy and soft when pierced with a knife. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Batter
Into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites and apple pureé.
Turn the mixture on medium-high speed and slowly add the sugar. Continuing beating on medium-high speed for 10 minutes. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Line a rimmed baking pan (a half-sheet or 2, quarter-sheets) with parchment including the sides.
Reserve 2 cups of batter for gluing the layers.
Spread the remaining batter into the lined pans) and smooth into an even layer.
Bake at 180 degrees for 4-7 hours or until the dry to the touch.

Assembly
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
When the pastila is completely cool, gently peel the parchment paper away. If the pastry sticks to the paper use a spatula to gently scrape it off.
If using quarter-sheet pans cut each layer half for a total of 4 rectangles.
Line a baking sheet with parchment and place one layer of pastila.
Scoop a couple of teaspoons of the reserved batter and with an off-set spatula spread it out evenly. Add another layer of pastila. Repeat for the remaining layers.
Coat the sides and top of the layered pastilla with any remaining batter.
Bake at 180 degrees for an hour and a half.
Cool completely.
Using a dampened knife and a sawing motion, slice the pastila into 1-inch wide slices.
Gently roll the pastila slices in powdered sugar. Serve with a cup of tea.
Store in an airtight container for a couple of days.

Sweet Potato Maple Cheesecake Cups

Ingredients:
Crust:
6 graham crackers
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons melted butter
Sweet Potato Layer:
1 lbs. sweet potatoes
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 large eggs

Maple Cheesecake Layer:
24 oz cream cheese
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Crust
Preheat air fryer to 350 degrees. Spray 6 small glass bowls
Place graham crackers in food processor and pulse until they become fine crumbs
Add brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and melted butter. Pulse until fully combined
Add 1/6 of the graham cracker mixture to each glass bowl and press down to form a crust
Bake in air fryer for 7 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and set aside

Sweet Potato Layer
Place sweet potatoes in Potato Express (or similar microwave potato cooking bag) and let cook in microwave for 4 minutes each. Check occasionally to see if done. Once done, allow to cool and peel.
Add sweet potatoes to food processor and pulse until pureed.
Add remaining sweet potato layer ingredients and pulse until smooth and fully combined. Set aside.

Maple Cheesecake Layer
Add cream cheese, brown sugar, and cornstarch to food processor to combine.
Add in sour cream, maple syrup, and vanilla and pulse until smooth
Add in eggs and yolk one at a time and pulse until fully combined.

Prepare Cups
Fill one piping bag with sweet potato layer and another with maple cheesecake layer.
Pipe each layer onto crust, alternating between sweet potato filling and cheesecake layer until cups are 3/4 full
Place in air fryer to cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the edges are set.
Let cool and them place in refrigerator overnight.
To serve, top with marshmallow cream and graham crackers. Enjoy.

-30- 

Opening weekend N.C. Mountain State Fair cooking contest winners announced

FLETCHER – Sharon Gates of Leicester took home two top prizes and a total of $300 in prize money in the N.C. Tomato Growers Association’s Fresh Tomatoes Contest and the N.C. Cattlemen’s Beef Council Classic Comfort Food Contest. Her winning recipes were Is That Really A Tomato Cake? and Buncombe’s Best Beefed Up Chili.  

Jennifer Currie of Clyde earned first-place honors and $200 for her Trout Chowder recipe in the N.C. Mountain Trout Cook-Off. Both contests were held during the opening weekend of the Mountain State Fair.

Gates also took home second-place honors and $150 for her Pesto Parmesan Baked Trout recipe in the trout contest. Second place in the tomato contest and $75 went to Chad McCall of Hendersonville for his Tomato Feta Salad. Second place and $150 in the beef contest went to Justin Pegg of Asheville for his Sloppy Joes wth Bacon recipe.

Third place in the tomato contest and $50 went to Carole Carter of Mountain Home for her Tricolor Tomato Tian.  Third place in the trout contest and $100 went to Martha Gates of Candler for her North Carolina Trout Tacos. Third place and $100 went to Jordan Robertson of Swannanoa in the beef contest for his Basil Pesto Meatball Skewers recipe.

Following are the winning recipes:

Is That Really a Tomato Cake?

Ingredients:

¾ cup vegetable oil                                                     1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup granulated sugar                                                1 teaspoon baking soda

½ cup brown sugar                                                      1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs                                                                          ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract                                           4 medium NC tomatoes ( to make 2 cups pureed)

2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, combine oil and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and stir. Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg and add to batter.

Remove tops from tomatoes and roughly chop. Add to a blender and puree until smooth. Pass tomato puree through a sieve to strain out any large chunks. Add two cups of tomato puree to batter.

Grease and flour a large loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 55-60 minutes or until done in the middle. Yields 8-10 slices.

Trout Chowder

Ingredients:

  4 trout
   4 tablespoons butter  -2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
   1 cup chopped celery
   6 scallions – chopped (keep blub and tops separate)
   2 cloves garlic  - 2 tablespoons butter
   5 cups diced potatoes
   1/4 cup white wine (optional)
   2 cups water  - 4 cups chicken broth
   1 teaspoon thyme  
   1 bay leaf
   1 cup heavy cream
   1 cup half-n-half

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a 9x13 baking dish, melt butter. Sprinkle trout with seasoning and bake 15-20 minutes or until flaky. In a large pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add celery, scallion bulbs and garlic. Cook on medium-high heat stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Add potatoes, wine, water, broth, thyme and bay leaf.

Bring to a boil Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Stir in half-n-half and cream into the soup.  

Simmer until well incorporated – 5-7 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Remove bay leaf. Flake off chunks of fish with a fork and set aside. Gently stir in trout and scallion tops. Serves 6-8.

Buncombe’s Best Beefed Up Chili

Ingredients:

2 ½ lbs. of ground chuck                                                        2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce

½ cup chopped onions                                                           1 (28 oz.) large can crushed tomatoes

1 cup bell pepper, chopped                                                   1 (12 oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chilis

1 jalapeno pepper, ribs and seeds removed, minced      1 (12 oz.) can soda – Coke or Pepsi, etc.

1 teaspoon salt                                                                         1 (12 oz.) can soda – Coke or Pepsi, etc.

½ teaspoon ground black pepper                                         1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, drained

1 teaspoon garlic powder                                                       1 teaspoon chili powder                                

2 cups beef broth

Directions:

In a large pot over medium heat, cook chuck until no longer pink, 5-6 minutes, while breaking apart meat with e spoon or spatula. Add all other ingredients and spices and lower heat to simmer.

Cook chili on low heat until ready to serve, at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

To serve, top bowls of chili with cheese, sour cream or additional chopped onions, or garnish as desired. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers. Yield 10-12 servings.

-30- 

November 2023
Horse events
Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699
Nov. 4 & 5 Carolina Paint Horse show. Contact Elizabeth Goodale, 843-318-1735.
Nov. 6 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Dec. 1-3 Cowboy Mounted Shooting. Contact Pamela Lohrey, 540-570-8785.
Dec. 4 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
Nov. 3 & 4 Williamston Pro Rodeo -Revenge Roughstock Co. Contact Martin Towery, 540-521-
3959.
Nov. 17 & 18 N.C. Barrel Bonanza. Contact Fred Smith, 252-883-1641.
Dec. 2 & 3 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Emily Bates, 252-378-4474.
Dec. 7-10 Da Bomb Barrel Racing Finale. Contact Josh Smith, 910-639-6387.
WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
Oct. 5-7 North Carolina Walking Horse Show. Contact Myra Helton, 704-718-4152.
Nov. 17-19 Good Times Barrel Racing. Contact Stacey Warner, 864-992-8664.
Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, 919-821-7400
Nov. 3-5 Triangle Farms Indoors C Finale. Contact Joan Petty. 919-669-9877.
Nov. 8-12 Jump for the Children Duke II Benefit Hunter Jumper Classic. Contact Joan Petty.
919-669-9877.
Nov. 15-19 Jump for the Children Duke II Benefit Hunter Jumper Classic. Contact Joan Petty.
919-669-9877.
Dec. 1-3 Holiday Classic Open Horse Show. Contact Richard Isley, 336-908-3302.
Dec. 8 & 9 Carousel Farms Bulls, Bells and Barrels. Contact Jeff Mullen, 919-872-6898.
Dec. 28-31 Raleigh Indoor Holiday Classic. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.

Bucolic briefs
The 81st N.C. Gourd Arts and Crafts Festival will be held Nov. 4 and 5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the
Holshouser Building, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh. The festival features displays of gourds from around
the world, special gourd workshops, and vendors of dried gourds, gourd seeds, gourd crafts, gourd art,
books, t-shirts, and crafting supplies. A variety of competitive categories are awarded ribbons and
prizes. There is a raffle and a free gourd crafting table for kids. Details about the festival, a listing of
gourd crafting workshops, and information on how to enter the competitions are on the website at
www.ncgourdsociety.org. For more information, call 919-696-0744. Admission is $5 for adults age 13
and up; children 12 and under are free.
***
The Veteran's Farm of NC, Inc. is seeking donations of farm equipment to use with programs to teach
veterans how to start a farm. The organization offers access to farm equipment through its usage and
grant programs and help network the farmer veteran community with each other and new opportunities
in agriculture. This is a 501c (3) nonprofit organization is seeking donations of trucks, tractors, 3-point
attachments, and any farm related supplies that we will then make available to the farmer veteran
community. Donations are 100% tax deductible and a receipt is provided for tax purposes. Contact
Robert Elliott, Executive Director, at vetfarmofnc@gmail.com with questions.
***
As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor
offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include:
preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress,
migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers
program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and
preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau,
go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and
Twitter (@NCDOL).
***
Landowners with farms for sale or lease and farmers seeking land can also post their information at the
NC FarmLink website hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension
at https://www.ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/
***
Beekeepers with bees for rent and growers interested in bee pollination services can post their
information on the BeeLinked website at www.ncagr.com/beelinked. The site is hosted by the N.C.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. State University Apiculture Program.
Anyone interested in listing their information can do so by filling out an online Submit Your Ad form
on the BeeLinked page or by contacting NCDA&CS at 919-233-8214 or by email at
NCHoneybee@ncagr.gov or call NCSU at 919-515-1660. The NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division
regulates the movement of agricultural or related items capable of spreading harmful insects, diseases,
and other pests. Beekeepers participating in this program will be required to comply with all honey and
bee industry regulations.
***
The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available
at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business
loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for
agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance
Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at
RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov.

October 2023

Tab/Accordion Items

New rides, new entertainers and loads of new foods
on deck for the 2023 N.C. State Fair
RALEIGH – N.C. State Fair visitors should bring an appetite for fun with four new amusement rides,
two new grounds entertainers and over 30 new food items being part of the stellar lineup planned Oct. 12-22 in
Raleigh.
Rides
New rides range from the elegantly beautiful two-tiered Venetian Carousel to the high voltage thrills of
Tesla AC, which is capped offed with six brightly lit lightning bolts hovering above two-person cars that attach
to spinning and dipping arms.
Techno Jump and the surf-themed Wipeout round out the new ride offerings. On Techno Jump, riders
spin in a circle while the arms of the ride rise and fall in different rhythmic sequences – up and down on
alternating arms, up and down for all arms, a wave like upward and downward motion where one car follows
the lead of the other ones or something different all together. Riders on the Wipeout face outward around the
center orb as the ride churns in different directions, rocking and rolling like ocean waves.
Free grounds acts
The Birdman: World Class Bird Shows will perform daily near Gate 7 in the State Fair Conservation
Forest behind Heritage Circle. These educational and conservation minded shows seek to highlight the
relationship between humans and animals and showcase the natural abilities of the bird stars.
Also new in 2023 is the Melody Farm Follies an animatronic theater show featuring Rocky Broccoli and
his veggie friends plus a singing and dancing scarecrow. Catch at daily show in the breezeway between the Agri
Supply Expo Center and the Graham Building.
Fair favorites Rock-It the Robot and Dale Jones, the one-handed juggler return to the fairgrounds for
daily appearances. Look for Rock-It roaming around Kiddieland and check out Jones’ show at North Dorton
Area Patio.
New Food
The State Fair is well known for some pretty creative deep-fried delicacies plus a range of global
cuisines offered. Every year, fair vendors try to outdo themselves hoping to connect with fairgoer’s taste buds
and this year may top all other years in terms of new foods. Over 30 new foods will be offered running the
gamut from sweet to savory and including world-wide flavors from Africa, South America, Hungary, Jamaica,
Mexico, the Mediterranean region, Korea and New Orleans.
We’ll keep you in suspense a little longer on the specifics, but several new dishes involve mac and
cheese, BBQ pork, egg rolls, dill pickles, waffles, spiciness and bacon (of course).
Revamped Kiddieland Area – Coastal Credit Union Family Fun Zone at Cotton Park
Finally, the Coastal Credit Union Family Fun Zone at Cotton Park has been updated since the 2022 fair.
New seating options, lights in the trees and four new food vendors will be in the area that will host Casey’s
Clubhouse and daily visits by the fair mascot Casey Cardinal, plus daily fire safety shows for kids.
For more information, visit the State Fair website at www.ncstatefair.org. The 2023 N.C. State Fair will
run Oct. 12-22 at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. The fair offers an experience unique to North Carolina
and is an unparalleled value with free entertainment, thrilling rides and games, thousands of animals, endless
family activities, competitions, vendors and creative deep-fried delights. For more information, visit
www.ncstatefair.org or connect on Facebook, X and Instagram at @ncstatefair.org.
-aea-1

N.C. State Fair announces 2023 Farm Families of the Day
RALEIGH – The N.C. State Fair is honoring farm families again this year through its Farm Family of the Day
program, sponsored by Tractor Supply Company. The program is returning for its third year to recognize and
celebrate more of the state’s rich agricultural heritage and the farm families behind the $103.2 billion
agriculture and agribusiness industry.
“The State Fair’s earliest beginnings sought to elevate the understanding of new agricultural practices and
technology. Today, one of agriculture’s biggest challenges is helping people make the connection between
farming and the food they enjoy,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Farm families tell that story
the best because they are out there every day working hard to grow the food, fiber and fuel we need. We look
forward to recognizing these 11 families at the 2023 N.C. State Fair.”
The 2023 N.C. Farm Families are as follows:
• Thursday, Oct. 12: Willow Oak Farms of Fuquay-Varina
• Friday, Oct. 13: Rudd Farm of Greensboro
• Saturday, Oct. 14: S&L Riverside Dairy of Vale
• Sunday, Oct. 15: J and J Martin’s Farm Produce of Mount Olive
• Monday, Oct. 16: L&S Family Farms of Nashville
• Tuesday, Oct. 17: Lee’s Produce of Benson
[Type here]
The N.C. State Fair is a division of the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
1010 Mail Service Center * Raleigh, NC 27699,1010 * Tel (919) 821-7400 * Fax (919) 733-5079
Steve Troxler, Commissioner * G. Kent Yelverton, Manager
• Wednesday, Oct. 18: Windmill Acres Farm of Kernersville
• Thursday, Oct. 19: Gabor Farms of Rockingham
• Friday, Oct. 20: Hidden Acres Farm of Louisburg
• Saturday, Oct. 21: Andrews Family Farm of Trenton
• Sunday, Oct. 22: Bright Branch Farms of Hendersonville
The 11 families were nominated either by family or community members for their hard work and dedication to
our state’s No. 1 industry, as well as their overall love for the N.C. State Fair. The lucky winners were chosen at
random. Each farm family is assigned a specific day of the 2023 N.C. State Fair, taking place Oct. 12-22, where
they will be honored through public address announcements and on-grounds signage, as well as being featured
on both the N.C. State Fair and the NCDA&CS blogs and social media platforms. Follow along on those outlets
to learn about each farm and what made them outstanding candidates for this year’s Farm Family of the Day
program. Each family also received an N.C. State Fair prize pack, including fair tickets to use on any day of
their choosing. Congratulations to all the winners and we look forward to seeing you at the 2023 N.C. State
Fair!
The 2023 N.C. State Fair will run Oct. 12-22 at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. The fair offers
an experience unique to North Carolina for all who attend, and is an unparalleled value with free entertainment,
thrilling rides and games, thousands of animals, endless family activities, competitions, vendors, and creative
deep-fried delights. For more information, visit www.ncstatefair.org.
TP-2

Durham Toffee Company named grand champion in the 2023
N.C. Specialty Foods Awards Competition

RALEIGH - The N.C. Specialty Foods Association recently announced winners of its 2023 Best in Taste product competition during the final virtual Summer of Learning event. The Durham Toffee Company earned grand champion honors for its Espresso Crunch, beating out a total of 163 entries across 12 categories in this year’s competition.

“These winners plus other North Carolina food and beverage artisans in the association offer plenty of tasty options to add to your pantry,” said Sherry Barefoot, marketing coordinator for the NCSFA. “These products make great gifts, whether they are for a significant other, parent, boss, teacher or your kid’s coach.  These products are sure to make a good impression.”

Following are the 2023 Best in Taste winners and runners up in each category:

Grand Champion - The Durham Toffee Company, Durham, Espresso Crunch,

Baked Goods

  Firstplace: Boozie Bakes, Raleigh, French Vanilla Bliss Cupcakes
   Second place: Sweater Box Confections, Nags Head, Chai Shortbread Cookies

BBQ Sauces

  First place: Kitcheneez, Burlington, Kitcheneez BBQ Sauce Seasoning Mix
   Second place: Queen’s Jollof Sauce, Apex, Queen’s Honey Jerk BBQ Sauce

Beverages/Beverage Mixes

  First place: Sweet’s Elderberry, Charlotte, Sweet’s Elderberry Shrub
   Second place: Alley Twenty Six, Durham, Alley Twenty Six Raspberry Syrup

Condiments

  First place: Queen’s Jollof Sauce, Apex, Queen’s Jollof Sauce
   Second place:Kitcheneez, Burlington, Kitcheneez House Dressing Mix

Confections

  First place: The Durham Toffee Company, Durham, Durham Toffee
   Second place: America’s Best Nut Company, Rocky Mount, Carolina Cluster

Deli Meats, Cheese, Dairy

  First place: Nana's Porch Pimento Cheese, Charlotte, Nana's Porch Smoked Jalapeno Pimento Cheese
   Second place: Nana's Porch Pimento Cheese, Charlotte, Nana's Porch Original Pimento Cheese

Fruit Spreads, Jams and Jellies

  First place: Berry Best Jams, Four Oaks, Reduced Sugar Strawberry Fruit Spread
   Second place: Heaven’s Gate Orchard, Asheville, Nana’s Apple Butter

Hot Sauces

  First place: Rising Smoke Sauceworks, Efland, Synergy
   Second place: Oak City Hot Sauce, Raleigh, Reaper Madness

Pantry

  First place:Big Spoon Roasters, Durham, Lemon Coconut Cashew Butter
   Second place:Big Spoon Roasters, Durham, Pistachio Crunch Almond Butter

Plant Based

  First place:Darë Vegan Cheese, Asheville, Original Plant Based Cheesecake
   Second place: Darë Vegan Cheese, Asheville, Pepperjack Plant-Based Cheese Wedge

Snacks

  First place: The Durham Toffee Company, Durham, Espresso Crunch,
   Second place: JOY Filled Foods, Goldsboro, Sweet & Spicy Pecans

Sweets & Syrups

  First place: Happy Heart Elderberry, Faison, Elderberry Syrup
   Second place: Nurture By Nature, Clemmons, Elderberry Extract

The NCSFA serves more than 150 specialty food and beverage artisans. Its mission is to actively encourage and support the promotion and appreciation of the state’s specialty foods and beverages. Learn more and access the Dish This! catalog to find local, artisan, small-batch products made in N.C. at ncspecialtyfoods.org.

-30-1

It’s October so that means it’s time for the N.C. State Fair. This year’s theme is
Best.Day.Ever! and I’d say a day at the State Fair ranks right up there. I am looking forward to
the fair and I hope you are, too.
If you read through this newspaper, you will can learn about what’s new at the fair this
year and you will read about one of the featured chefs on the Got to Be NC Cooking Stage. You
can find the stage at the fair in the Got to Be NC Pavilion in Dorton Arena.
The Pavilion will host North Carolina food companies who will be sampling and selling
their products. It’s a great way to see AND TASTE some of the delicious products made right
here in our state. Please be sure to stop in Dorton Arena and see these vendors and products and
learn more about North Carolina’s $103.2 billion agriculture industry and our agricultural
commodities.
No matter what is written about the State Fair or how well it is written, it is an event that
has to be experienced in person to fully understand it. Words just don’t capture the essence of
being at the State Fair. Maybe it’s because there are so many sights, sounds and smells that come
with a fair.
Even with this being my 18 th fair as Commissioner of Agriculture, I never get tired of
seeing the excitement on kids’ faces as they look at farm animals, watch the Military Day parade,
spin around and squeal on a ride or share a deep-fried treat. It makes me happy to see
grandparents and grandkids participate in the tobacco tying contest; and seeing the older
generation showing the young ones how tobacco was tied onto a stick for curing.
It’s encouraging to see the young people in the ring showing the livestock they have
raised and prepared for the State Fair. I know they are learning skills that will stay with them for
a lifetime.
I see the future in their eyes and in their focus in the show ring. I know North Carolina
agriculture has a bright future ahead because of them.
I also love seeing the pride that people have for this state and in our traditions. The State
Fair showcases the best of the best in North Carolina.
But the very best thing about State Fairs is the memories that are made with families and
friends. To me, that’s what makes a day at the State Fair, the Best.Day.Ever!
Come see us at the State Fair and make your own memories!
***
The department recently wrapped up a successful Mountain State Fair run that saw
147,278 people come through the gates. The Mountain State Fair has become a great tradition in
Western North Carolina, showcasing mountain heritage, crafts, music and dancing and the best
of Western NC.
This year, the Mountain State Fair presented scholarships to the first recipients of the
N.C. Mountain State Fair Youth Livestock Endowment Honoring Edith Vanderbilt- Regan
Mitchem and Haley Hargus.
I had the distinct honor of meeting both of these young ladies and presenting them with
their scholarship certificate.
Both of them have been active in livestock shows at the Mountain State Fair and the State
Fair in Raleigh and both are interested in pursuing veterinary careers.
Regan is from Lincoln County and is a recent graduate of N.C. State University with
double majors in Anim

Final N.C. Mountain State Fair annouces youth livestock winners

FLETCHER –Following is a list of winners in the livestock shows held during the first weekend of the N.C. Mountain State Fair, Sept. 8-10:

ARBA Youth Rabbit Show

  Best Rabbit in Show
       Show A – Everitt Steiner, Henderson County
       Show B – Paisley Shumate, Hawkins County, Tenn.
         
   Reserve Grand Champion Rabbit in Show                 
   Show A – McKinley Breeding, Wilkes County
   Show B – McKinley Breeding, Wilkes County

  Showmanship Champions
       Non-Competitive Youth 8 and under: Aubree Coggins, Henderson County           
       Junior Youth 8 and under: Kylee Steiner, Henderson County
       Intermediate Youth 9 – 13 years old: Zane Capps, Henderson County
       Senior Youth 14 – 18 years old: Anna Cooke, Wayne County

Youth Poultry Show

  Overall Champion - Poultry Standard, Commercial Egg Layer, and Guinea Show: Carlton Schetter, McDowell County
   Overall Reserve Champion – Poultry Standard, Commercial Egg Layer, and Guinea Show: Gabriella Baldwin, Buncombe County
   Youth Standard Poultry Champion: Bentley Buckner, Buncombe County
   Youth Standard Poultry Reserve Champion: Hannah-Grace Buckner, Buncombe County
   Youth Commercial Class Egg Layers Champion: Carlton Schetter, McDowell County
   Youth Commercial Class Egg Layers Reserve Champion: Gabriella Baldwin, Buncombe County

ADGA Dairy Goat Show

        

  Showmanship Champions
       Junior Fitting and Showing, 9-12 years old: Abigail Whitney, Oglethorpe County, Ga.
       Senior Fitting and Showing, 13-18 years old: Kaitlyn Seitz, Union County

  Open Junior Doe Show Champions
       Nigerian Dwarf – Junior Doe Grand Champion: Erica Noble, Rowan County
       Nigerian Dwarf – Junior Doe Reserve Grand Champion: Dillon Buckner, Buncombe County
       Oberhasli – Junior Doe Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Roslyn Noar, Johnston County
       Recorded Grades – Junior Doe Grand Champion: Jessica Bell, Anderson County, SC
       Recorded Grades – Junior Doe Reserve Grand Champion:  Linda Giles, Union Country
       Saanens – Junior Doe Grand Champion: Anna Grace Stoltman, Lincoln County, Tenn.
       Saanens – Junior Doe Reserve Grand Champion: Jessica Bell, Anderson County, SC
       Toggenburgs – Junior Doe Grand Champion: Noah Johnson, Rowan County
       Toggenburgs – Junior Doe Reserve Grand Champion: Sandra Coffman, Oconee County, SC
       Alpines – Junior Doe Grand Champion:  Devin Stillwell, Harnett County
       Alpines – Junior Doe Reserve Grand Champion: Jessica Bell, Anderson County, SC
       LaManchas – Junior Doe Grand Champion: Linda Giles, Union County
       LaManchas – Junior Doe Reserve Grand Champion: Genevieve Cranford, Randolph County
       Nubians – Junior Doe Grand Champion: Devin Stillwell, Harnett County
       Nubians – Junior Doe Reserve Grand Champion: Jackson Noble, Rowan County

        

  Open Senior Doe Show Champions
       Nigerian Dwarf – Senior Doe Grand Champion and Senior Doe Reserve Grand Champion: Erica Noble, Rowan County
       Nigerian Dwarf – Champion Challenge: Erica Noble, Rowan County
       Nigerian Dwarf – Premier Exhibitor: Erica Noble, Rowan County
       Oberhasli – Senior Doe Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Roslyn Noar, Johnston County
       Oberhasli – Champion Challenge: Roslyn Noar, Johnston County
       Oberhasli – Premier Exhibitor: Roslyn Noar, Johnston County
       Recorded Grades – Senior Doe Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Sandra Coffman, Oconee County, SC
       Recorded Grades – Premier Exhibitor: Sandra Coffman, Oconee County, SC
       Saanens – Senior Doe Grand Champion: Cullen Owen, Madison County
       Saanens – Senior Doe Reserve Grand Champion: Christine Owen, Madison County
       Saanens – Champion Challenge: Cullen Owen, Madison County
       Saanens – Premier Exhibitor: Christine Owen, Madison County
       Toggenburgs – Senior Doe Grand Champion: Cullen Owen, Madison County
       Toggenburgs – Senior Doe Reserve Grand Champion: Anna Grace Stoltman, Lincoln County, Ky/
       Toggenburgs – Champion Challenge: Cullen Owen, Madison County
       Toggenburgs – Premier Exhibitor: Anna Grace Stoltman, Lincoln County, Ky.
       Alpines – Senior Doe Grand Champions: Devin Stillwell, Harnett County
       Alpines – Senior Doe Reserve Grand Champion: Cullen Owen, Madison County
       Alpines – Champion Challenge: Cullen Owen, Madison County
       Alpines – Premier Exhibitor: Devin Stillwell, Harnett County
       LaManchas – Senior Doe Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion:      Linda Giles, Union County
       LaManchas – Champion Challenge: Linda Giles, Union County
       LaManchas – Premier Exhibitor: Linda Giles, Union County
       Nubians – Senior Doe Grand Champion: Madison Noble Johnson, Rowan County
       Nubians – Senior Doe Reserve Grand Champion: Jackson Noble, Rowan County
       Nubians – Champion Challenge: Madison Noble Johnson, Rowan County
       Nubians – Premier Exhibitor: Jackson Noble, Rowan County
       Best Doe in Show Overall: Christine Owen, Madison County
       Best Udder in Show Overall: Erica Noble, Rowan County
       Best Dairy Herd in Show Overall: Christine Owen, Madison County
       Best of Show Overall: Christine Owen, Madison County

  Youth Junior Doe Show
       Nigerian Dwarf – Junior Doe Grand Champion: Abigail Whitney, Oglethorpe County, Ga.
       Nigerian Dwarf – Junior Doe Reserve Grand Champion: Morgan Lynn Buckner, Buncombe County
       Oberhasli – Junior Doe Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion:: Griffin Trafford, Johnston County
       Recorded Grades – Junior Doe Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Anna Grace Stoltman, Lincoln County, Ky.
       Saanens – Junior Doe Grand Champion: Anna Grace Stoltman, Lincoln County, Ky.
       Saanens – Junior Doe Reserve Grand Champion: Austin Seitz, Union County
       Toggenburgs – Junior Doe Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Anna Grace Stoltman, Lincoln County, Ky.
       Alpines – Junior Doe Grand Champion: Devin Stillwell, Harnett County
       Alpines – Junior Doe Reserve Grand Champion: Andi Setser, Macon County
       LaManchas – Junior Doe Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Genevieve Cranford, Randolph County
       Nubians – Junior Doe Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Madison Seitz, Union County

  Youth Senior Doe Show Champions
       Nigerian Dwarf – Senior Doe Grand Champion: Abigail Whitney, Oglethorpe County, Ga.
       Nigerian Dwarf – Senior Doe Reserve Grand Champion: Morgan Lynn Buckner, Buncombe County
       Oberhasli – Senior Doe Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Griffin Trafford, Johnston County
       Recorded Grades – Senior Doe Grand Champion: Genevieve Cranford, Randolph County
       Recorded Grades – Senior Doe Reserve Grand Champion: Anna Grace Stoltman, Lincoln County, Ky.
       Saanens – Senior Doe Grand Champion: Genevieve Cranford, Randolph County
       Saanens – Senior Doe Reserve Grand Champion: Anna Grace Stoltman, Lincoln County, Ky.
       Toggenburgs – Senior Doe Grand Champion: Anna Grace Stoltman, Lincoln County, Ky.
       Toggenburgs – Senior Doe Reserve Grand Champion: Rachel Glass, Lee County, Va.         
       Alpines – Senior Doe Grand Champions and Reserve Grand Champion: Devin Stillwell, Harnett County
       LaManchas – Senior Doe Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion:      Genevieve Cranford, Randolph County
       Nubians – Senior Doe Grand Champion: Madison Seitz, Union County
       Nubians – Senior Doe Reserve Grand Champion: Kaitlyn Seitz, Union County
       Best Doe in Show Overall: Devin Stillwell, Harnett County
       Youth Herd: Devin Stillwell, Harnett County

Junior Meat Breed Sheep Shows

  Junior Meat Breed Sheep Showmanship Champions
       Novice Youth 8 years old and under: Abilene Armstrong, Stokes County
       Junior Youth 9 – 13 years old: Elizabeth Sanner, Iredell County
       Senior Youth 14 - 18 years old: Jacob Meads, Pasquotank County
       Senior Plus Youth 19 - 21 years old: Anna Hill, Stokes County

  Junior Market Lamb Show Champions
       Grand Champion: Lydia Wilson, Rowan County
       Reserve Grand Champion: Harrison Ford, Caldwell County
       Got to Be NC Grand Champion: Lydia Wilson, Rowan County
       Got to Be NC Reserve Grand Champion: Harrison Ford, Caldwell County

  Junior Meat Breed Ewe Show Champions
       Dorset Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Meredith Poole, Franklin County
       Dorset Reserve Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Sarah Waller, Rowan County
       Dorset Got to Be NC Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Meredith Poole, Franklin County
       Dorset – Got to Be NC Reserve Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Sarah Waller, Rowan County
       Hampshire Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Lydia Wilson, Rowan County
       Hampshire Reserve Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: AnnaMarie Overcash, Iredell County
       Hampshire Got to Be NC Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Lydia Wilson, Rowan County
       Hampshire Got to Be NC Reserve Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Cynthia Connolly, Rowan County
       Southdown Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Charleigh Settle, Iredell County
       Southdown Reserve Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Addison Hendrix, Davie County
       Katahdin Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Clinton Mills, Anson County
       Katahdin Reserve Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Mason Mills, Anson County
       Katahdin Got to Be NC Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Clinton Mills, Anson County
       Katahdin Got to Be NC Reserve Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Mason Mills, Anson County
       Dorper Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Caleb Shaw, Davie County
       Dorper Reserve Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Rayne Atkinson, Davie County
       Dorper Got to Be NC Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Rayne Atkinson, Davie County        
       Other Purebreds Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Emry Starnes, Rowan County
       Other Purebreds Reserve Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Lauren Hayes, Rowan County
       Other Purebreds Got to Be NC Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Emry Starnes, Rowan County
       Other Purebreds Got to Be NC Reserve Champion: Abigail Stephens, Gaston County
       Commercial Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Brantley Meadows, Buncombe County
       Commercial Reserve Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Ellen Simmons, Caldwell County
       Commercial Got to Be NC Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Cynthia Connolly, Rowan County
       Commercial Got to Be NC Reserve Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Brantley Meadows, Buncombe County
       Commercial Hair Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe: Cayleigh Shaw, Davie County
       Commercial Hair Reserve Champion Juniot Meat Breed Ewe: Haylee Ledford, Macon County
       Commercial Hair Got to Be Champion Meat Breed Ewe: Mason Mills, Anson County
       Commercial Hair Got to Be Reserve Champion Meat Breed Ewe: Luke Bame, Rowan County
       Grand Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe (Overall): Brantley Meadows, Buncombe County
       Reserve Grand Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe (Overall): Ellen Simmons, Caldwell County
       Got to Be NC Grand Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe (Overall): Lydia Wilson, Rowan County
       Got to Be NC Reserve Grand Champion Junior Meat Breed Ewe Overall: Cynthia Connolly, Rowan County

Junior Beef Cattle Show

        

  Junior Beef Cattle Showmanship Champions
       Novice Showmanship – ages 8 and under: Barrett Devine, Lincoln County
       Junior Showmanship – ages 9 – 13: Kaylee Revis, Buncombe County
       Senior Showmanship – ages 14 – 18: Shelby Candler, Buncombe County
       Senior Plus Showmanship – ages 19 – 21: Emma Vanhoy, Catawba County
       WNC Dairy Steer Project – ages 8-13: Janie Kay, Polk County
       WNC Dairy Steer Project – 14-18: Addison Sprinkle, Buncombe County

  Open Junior Beef Steer Show Champions
       Open Feeder Steer Grand Champion: Cheyanne Gillespie, Buncombe County
       Open Feeder Steer Reserve Grand Champion: Caleigh Albert, Anderson County, SC
       Open Feeder Steer Got to Be NC Grand Champion: Karissa Collins, Macon County
       Open Feeder Steer Got to Be NC Reserve Grand Champion: Kenleigh Deal, Macon County
       Open Market Steer Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Karissa Collins, Macon County
       Open Market Steer Got to Be NC Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Karissa Collins, Macon County

        

  Open Junior Beef Heifer Show Champions
       Angus Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Maci Newton, Oconee County, SC
       Angus Reserve Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Emma Vanhoy, Catawba County
       Angus Got to Be NC Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Kaylee Revis, Buncombe County
       Angus Got to Be NC Reserve Grand Junior Heifer:  Nate Bowman, Stokes County
       Brahman Grand Champion Junior Heifer and Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Jade Young, Anderson County, SC
       Charolais Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Zoey Clary, Saluda County, SC
       Charolais Reserve Grand Champion Heifer: Hannah Vanhoy, Catawba County
       Charolais Got to Be NC Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Hannah Vanhoy, Catawba County
       Charolais Got to Be NC Reserve Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Cayte Mitchell, Alexander County
       Gelbvieh Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Maci Newton, Oconee County, SC
       Gelbvieh Reserve Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Bailee Worley, Buncombe County
       Gelbvieh Got to Be NC Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Bailee Worley, Buncombe County   
       Hereford Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Jordan Mitchem, Lincoln County
       Hereford Reserve Grand Champion Junior Heifer and Got to Be NC Grand Champion: Shelby Candler, Buncombe County
       Hereford Got to Be NC Reserve Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Ellen Simmons, Caldwell County
       Percentage Simmental Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Shelby Candler, Buncombe County
       Percentage Simmental Reserve Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Martina Alley, Madison County
       Red Angus Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Rex Howard, Cleveland County
       Red Angus Reserve Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Ellie Shuping, Burke County: Shorthorn Grand Champion Junior Heifer and Reserve Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Rylea Suddreth, Catawba County
       Shorthorn Got to Be NC Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Jana Walker, Catawba County
       Simmental Grand Champion Junior Heifer and Reserve Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Evie Jones, Cleveland County
       Simmental Got to Be NC Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Nate Bowman, Stokes County
       Simmental Got to Be NC Reserve Grand Champion Junior Heifer:             Montana Boatwright, Macon County
       All Other Breeds Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Shane Kendall, Duplin County
       All Other Breeds Reserve Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Macie Ledford, Macon County
       All Other Breeds Got to Be NC Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Shane Kendall, Duplin County
       All Other Breeds Got to Be NC Reserve Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Hannah Smith, Macon County
       Commercial Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Hannah Smith, Macon County
       Commercial Reserve Grand Champion Junior Heifer Champion: Emma Vanhoy, Catawba County
       Commercial Got to Be NC Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Allison Wilfong, Catawba County
       Commercial Got to Be NC Reserve Grand Champion Junior Heifer: Shane Kendall, Duplin County
       Supreme Champion Junior Heifer: Evie Jones, Cleveland County
       Reserve Supreme Champion Junior Heifer: Shelby Candler, Buncombe County
       Supreme Got to Be NC Champion Junior Heifer: Shane Kendall, Duplin County
       Reserve Supreme Got to Be NC Champion Junior Heifer: Hannah Smith, Macon County           
   WNC District Junior Beef Feeder Steer Show Champions
       WNC District Junior Feeder Steer Grand Champion: Cheyanne Gillespie, Buncombe County
       WNC District Junior Feeder Steer Reserve Grand Champion: Karissa Collins, Macon County
       WNC District Junior Feeder Steer Got to Be NC Champion: Karissa Collins, Macon County
       WNC District Dairy Steer Project Grand Champion: Makayla Hensley, Buncombe County
       WNC District Dairy Steer Project Reserve Grand Champion: Addison Sprinkle, Buncombe County

  WNC District Junior Beef Market Steer Show Champions:
   WNC District Market Steer Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion: Karissa Collins, Macon County
   WNC District Junior Market Steer Got to Be NC Champion: Karissa Collins, Macon County

                    

  WNC District Junior Beef Heifer Show Champions
       Supreme Champion Junior Beef Heifer: Evie Jones, Cleveland County
       Premier Junior Beef Exhibitor: Hannah Smith, Macon County
       Angus Grand Champion Heifer: Peyton Taylor, Caldwell County
       Angus Reserve Grand Champion Heifer: Ellie Shuping, Burke County
       Gelbvieh Grand Champion Heifer: Bailee Worley, Buncombe County
       Hereford Grand Champion Heifer: Shelby Candler, Buncombe County
       Hereford Reserve Grand Champion: Ellen Simmons, Caldwell County
       Percentage Simmental Grand Champion Heifer: Shelby Candler, Buncombe County
       Percentage Simmental Reserve Grand Champion Heifer: Peyton Taylor, Caldwell County
       Red Angus Grand Champion Heifer: Rex Howard, Cleveland County
       Red Angus Reserve Grand Champion Heifer: Ellie Shuping, Burke County
       Simmental Grand Champion Heifer and Reserve Grand Champion Heifer: Evie Jones, Cleveland County
       All Other Breeds Grand Champion Heifer: Macie Ledford, Macon County
       All Other Breeds Reserve Grand Champion Heifer: Hannah Smith, Macon County
       Commercial Grand Champion Heifer: Hannah Smith, Macon County
       Commercial Reserve Grand Champion Heifer: Rex Howard, Cleveland County

            

-30-

Two couples inducted in NC Mountain State Fair Livestock Hall of Fame

Photo of two couples inducted into the MSF Livestock Hall of Fame

 

FLETCHER – Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler inducted two couples into the N.C. Mountain State Fair Livestock Hall of Fame during the fair’s opening weekend. Troxler recognized Buddy and Janice Cochran of Waynesville and Tim and Sonia Worley of Leicester for their longtime support to the fair and the livestock industry in Western North Carolina.

“These two families are a big part of what makes the livestock shows at the Mountain State Fair a success,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “I am honored to present them with this award and thank them for their support of the N.C. Mountain State Fair livestock program.”

Buddy and Janice Cochran have been a part of the Mountain State Fair Livestock Shows since the fair started in 1994. They were also part of the livestock shows that took place at the fairgrounds since the mid-1980’s. Both their children, Karen and Scotty, grew up showing cattle and sheep. Courtney, their granddaughter, showed cattle, sheep and hogs from a baby until she aged out. She  became a high school ag teacher at Pisgah High School, with students involved in the fair since 2013.                    

"The Cochrans are generous with their time and resources, especially with youth that may not be able to participate in shows without their help,” said Troxler. “Buddy and Janice are always willing to help any youth in the area in any way they need to get them involved in livestock and showing.”                  

They are both members of the Pisgah FFA Alumni, and Buddy transports all Pisgah FFA livestock to the fair. Since the dairy steer project began, the Cochrans have helped find buyers, market the steers, and haul them after they are sold.                                                                                                                      

Since 2006, he has worked for the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as a market news reporter, recording cattle prices at Asheville, the old Canton yard, WNC Regional Livestock Center, North Wilkesboro and filling in at Shelby and Turnersburg.  He is also a long-time horse and cattle trader. Janice retired from First Citizens Bank and worked for Jackson County Schools Central Office.                                                                                                                         
Tim and Sonia Worley have been an essential part of the Mountain State Fair from the beginning, too. They are responsible for introducing dozens of youth to raising and showing animals. “The Worleys have provided countless livestock to young people without access over the years,” said Troxler. “Both of them stay in a camper at the fairgrounds each year and are always willing to pitch in and help no matter what is needed.”                                                                                                                    

Tim and Sonia operate a cattle farm and also grow corn and hay. This year they planted a pick- your-own flower field for the first time.  Their son Tucker works at the Mountain Research Station as a horticulture research specialist.                                                                                                                  

Tim has worked for the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for more than 10 years as a livestock health technician. Sonia works as a tax preparer based in Leicester.                                  

Tim’s father, Larry Worley, was inducted into the N.C. Mountain State Fair Livestock Hall of Fame in 2017.  “The Worley name has been associated with livestock shows in North Carolina for a very long time,” said Troxler. “Their legacy and the impact on countless generations of young people is immeasurable.”                                                                                                                                                            

The N.C. Mountain State Fair Livestock Hall of Fame was created by livestock show staff to recognize individual contributions to the livestock industry and livestock shows in Western North Carolina.

The N.C. Mountain State Fair runs through Sept. 17 at the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher. More information is available atwww.mountainfair.org.

-hso,1-

 October

  Ensure that adequate nutrients will be available for a newly planted wheat crop.

  If soil pH needs adjusting and you have not done so, go ahead and apply lime before planting. Next, give wheat a good start by fertilizing according to soil test recommendations, especially with regard to phosphorus, potassium and sulfur. When the crop is planted on time, 15 to 30 pounds of preplant nitrogen per acre should be sufficient to promote maximum growth and tillering.

  Nutrition will be especially important if wheat is planted after grain sorghum on sandy soils with low CEC because soil nutrient reserves may have been significantly depleted. In that situation, be particularly attentive to crop development. Yellowing, poor stand establishment and lack of tillering could signal a need for additional nitrogen as the season progresses.
   Remember to check for nematode problems during crop harvest.

  Plant-parasitic nematodes are common in all field crop soils and often lower yields without being very apparent. Fall is an excellent time to find out if nematode populations are high and, if so, to develop a plan to manage them. When the weather is good for harvest, it is also good for collecting soil samples for nematode assay.

  Nematode populations peak at the end of the growing season so samples assayed at this time provide an accurate description of potential hazards. If you submit samples in the fall, you will have time to plan a management strategy.

  If you noticed localized areas of poor growth during the growing season, it is a good idea to collect separate soil samples from good and poor areas. Submit two samples from each of these areas-one for nematode assay and one for soil fertility. Comparison of results from good and poor areas and from nematode assays and soil tests is helpful in pinpointing a problem.
   Before planting legume cover or forage crops, be sure to submit soil samples, or get revised recommendations based on recent soil report data.

  High fertilizer costs may have you considering the use of legumes as a cover crop or as part of a forage program. If so, be sure to refer to recent soil report data for your fields as you plan. Legumes have different fertility than many traditional crops.

  It is usually not necessary to collect new soil samples from fields that have been sampled within the last two (sandy soils) or three (clay soils) years. To get revised/updated recommendations for your current situation, consult your regional agronomist. If you need to collect new samples, send them to the Agronomic Division soil testing lab now to avoid the processing delays that are common during the fall/winter. The sooner you get your results, the sooner you'll be able to finalize lime and fertilizer purchases or make plans to plant legume cover or forage crops to supply additional nitrogen.
   Fall is an ideal time to apply lime.

  Fall liming is an excellent way to prepare for the spring growing season. Whether you are renovating your yard, preparing a new landscape planting or readying your fields for the next crop, fall is the best time to apply lime. However, lime should only be applied according to the recommendations from a recent soil report.

  Take advantage of dry fall weather to apply lime as soon as possible. If you delay, wet weather may prevent the application even longer. The earlier you put out lime, the sooner soil pH will be adjusted to meet your planting needs.
 

October 2023
Horse events
Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699
Oct. 2 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Oct. 7 NCBHA Barrel Show. Contact Justin Hill, 910-705-6900.
Oct. 13-15 Carolina Cutting Horse Association show. Contact Nic Johnson, 919-625-1677.
Oct. 21 BBHA Fun Show. Contact Jerry King, 910-237-4525.
Nov. 4 & 5 Carolina Paint Horse show. Contact Elizabeth Goodale, 843-318-1735.
Nov. 6 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
Oct. 14 & 15 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Emily Bates, 252-378-4474.
Oct. 19-22 SERHA Fall Spooktacular. Contact info@serha.org or Ag Center, 252-792-5111.
Nov. 3 & 4 Williamston Pro Rodeo -Revenge Roughstock Co. Contact Martin Towery, 540-521-
3959.
Nov. 17 & 18 N.C. Barrel Bonanza. Contact Fred Smith, 252-883-1641.
Dec. 2 & 3 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Emily Bates, 252-378-4474.
Dec. 7-10 Da Bomb Barrel Racing Finale. Contact Josh Smith, 910-639-6387.
WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
Oct. 5-7 North Carolina Walking Horse Show. Contact Myra Helton, 704-718-4152.
Nov. 17-19 Good Times Barrel Racing. Contact Stacey Warner, 864-992-8664.
Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, 919-821-7400
Oct. 5-9 N.C. State Fair Hunter/Jumper Show. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
Oct. 12-15 N.C. State Fair Saddlebred Horse Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
Oct. 16 N.C. State Fair Horse Show – Miniatures. Contact Richard Isley, 336-908-3302.
Oct. 17 N.C. State Fair Horse Show – Draft and Light Draft. Contact Richard Isley, 336-908-
3302.
Oct. 18 N.C. State Fair Horse Show – Welsh Breed/Open. Contact Richard Isley, 336-908-3302.
Oct. 19 N.C. State Fair Horse Show – NASMDA Mules/Donkeys/Ranch Riding. Contact
Richard Isley, 336-908-3302.
Oct. 20 N.C. State Fair Horse Show – Non-Trotting Breed of Color Show AmHC/PHBA/APHA
Riding. Contact Richard Isley, 336-908-3302.
Oct. 21 N.C. State Fair Horse Show – Breed of Color Show AmHC/PHBA/APHA Open/Youth
Show. Contact Richard Isley, 336-908-3302.
Oct. 22 N.C. State Fair Horse Show – Open/Youth Show/Mini Horse Pull. Contact Richard
Isley, 336-908-3302.
Nov. 3-5 Triangle Farms Indoors C Finale. Contact Joan Petty. 919-669-9877.
Nov. 8-12 Jump for the Children Duke II Benefit Hunter Jumper Classic. Contact Joan Petty.
919-669-9877.
Nov. 15-19 Jump for the Children Duke II Benefit Hunter Jumper Classic. Contact Joan Petty.
919-669-9877.
Dec. 1-3 Holiday Classic Open Horse Show. Contact Richard Isley, 336-908-3302.
Dec. 8 & 9 Carousel Farms Bulls, Bells and Barrels. Contact Jeff Mullen, 919-872-6898.
Dec. 28-31 Raleigh Indoor Holiday Classic. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.

Bucolic briefs
The 39th Annual Apple Country Antique Engine and Tractor WNC Fall Harvest Days show will be
held Oct. 13 and 14 at the WNC Ag Center in Fletcher. The event features International Harvester
brands, antique tractors, hit n' miss engines, crafters, antiques, toys, parts, tractor pull, tractor parade,
food and more. For more information, contact J. Holbrook at 828-435-0413.
***
The Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair will be held Oct. 20-22 at the WNC Ag Center in Fletcher, with
some workshops being held Oct. 19 only. This comprehensive show includes a Fiber Arts
Competition, a Fleece Show and Sale, Livestock Shows, workshops, sheep shearing demonstrations,
herding demonstrations, weaving opportunities and spinning, knitting, weaving and crocheting
demonstrations.Hours are Oct. 20 & 21, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Oct. 22, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5
per person per day or $10 for 3-day pass. Youth 13 years old and under are free. Bring cash. Only at
gate. No early ticket sales. Check online schedule at
https://saffregistration.org/secure/grouplistpublic.asp for workshop dates, times and costs. For more
information contact
The 81 st N.C. Gourd Arts and Crafts Festival will be held Nov. 4 and 5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the
Holshouser Building, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh. The festival features displays of gourds from around
the world, special gourd workshops, and vendors of dried gourds, gourd seeds, gourd crafts, gourd art,
books, t-shirts, and crafting supplies. A variety of competitive categories are awarded ribbons and
prizes. There is a raffle and a free gourd crafting table for kids. Details about the festival, a listing of
gourd crafting workshops, and information on how to enter the competitions are on the website at
www.ncgourdsociety.org. For more information, call 919-696-0744. Admission is $5 for adults age 13
and up; children 12 and under are free.
***
The Veteran's Farm of NC, Inc. is seeking donations of farm equipment to use with programs to teach
veterans how to start a farm. The organization offers access to farm equipment through its usage and
grant programs and help network the farmer veteran community with each other and new opportunities
in agriculture. This is a 501c (3) nonprofit organization is seeking donations of trucks, tractors, 3-point
attachments, and any farm related supplies that we will then make available to the farmer veteran
community. Donations are 100% tax deductible and a receipt is provided for tax purposes. Contact
Robert Elliott, Executive Director, at vetfarmofnc@gmail.com with questions.
***
As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor
offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include:
preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress,
migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers
program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and
preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau,
go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and
Twitter (@NCDOL).
***
Landowners with farms for sale or lease and farmers seeking land can also post their information at the
NC FarmLink website hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension
at https://www.ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/
***
Beekeepers with bees for rent and growers interested in bee pollination services can post their
information on the BeeLinked website at www.ncagr.com/beelinked. The site is hosted by the N.C.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. State University Apiculture Program.
Anyone interested in listing their information can do so by filling out an online Submit Your Ad form
on the BeeLinked page or by contacting NCDA&CS at 919-233-8214 or by email at
NCHoneybee@ncagr.gov or call NCSU at 919-515-1660. The NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division
regulates the movement of agricultural or related items capable of spreading harmful insects, diseases,
and other pests. Beekeepers participating in this program will be required to comply with all honey and
bee industry regulations.
***
The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available
at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business
loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for
agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance
Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at
RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov.

September 2023

Tab/Accordion Items

Applications open for N.C. State Fair Farm Family of the Day Program
RALEIGH – The N.C. State Fair is looking for 11 farm families to recognize during the fair for its Farm Family
of the Day, presented by Tractor Supply Company. Nominations are being accepted through Sept. 15. If you are proud to be an N.C. farmer, work hard to contribute to the state’s No. 1 industry and love both farming and the N.C. State Fair, your farm family could be one of the lucky ones selected.
Families recognized as Farm Family of the Day honorees will be awarded an N.C. State Fair gift basket including fair tickets to use on any day of their choice during the 2023 N.C. State Fair, ride passes and additional swag from Tractor Supply Company and the N.C. State Fair. Families will be chosen by both nomination and application. Applications can be found at https://www.ncstatefair.org/2023/Attractions/FarmFamilyOfTheDay.htm.

The N.C. State Fair is a division of the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
1010 Mail Service Center * Raleigh, NC 27699,1010 * Tel (919) 821-7400 * Fax (919) 733-5079
Steve Troxler, Commissioner * G. Kent Yelverton, Manager
The “Farm Family of the Day” program, sponsored by Tractor Supply Company, is returning for its third year
to recognize and celebrate more of our state’s rich agricultural heritage and the farm families that are behind our $103.2 billion agriculture and agribusiness industry.
“The State Fair’s earliest beginnings sought to elevate the understanding of new agricultural practices and
technology. Helping people make the connection between farming and the food that they enjoy is one of our top missions at the N.C. State Fair each year,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Thanks to Tractor
Supply Company, we can help tell the story of our farmers because they are the individuals out there every day working to grow the food, fiber and fuel that we need to survive.”
The 2023 N.C. State Fair will run Oct. 12-22 at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. The fair offers
an experience unique to North Carolina for all who attend, and is an unparalleled value with free entertainment, thrilling rides and games, thousands of animals, endless family activities, competitions, vendors and creative deep-fried delights. For more information, visit www.ncstatefair.org.
CD-2
 

NCDA&CS announces over $1.25 million in specialty crop block grant recipients
RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced that 10 specialty crop projects have received more than $1.25 million in USDA grants for 2023.
Funded projects focus on improving pest and disease management practices for tomatoes, sweet potatoes, apples, Christmas trees and truffles, plus assist with education and outreach for grapes and wines, and work to expand markets for specialty crops and underserved producers.
“Specialty crops offer tremendous opportunities for North Carolina farmers and the over $1.25 million in USDA grant funding will help continue to fuel growth in specialty crop production in North Carolina,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.
NCDA&CS administers the statewide program with project funding coming from the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
North Carolina’s specialty crops include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, turfgrass and sod, Christmas trees and nursery and greenhouse crops. Grant proposals were submitted by nonprofit organizations, commodity groups, government agencies and universities.
Following are 2023 grant recipients and projects through the USDA Specialty Crop
Block Grant funds:
• Carolina Farm Stewardship – Increasing Competitiveness for Historically Underserved Farmers, $135,003;
• N.C. A&T State University – Boosting Microgreen Production via Science Driven Approaches, $124,960;
• N.C. Potato Association – Expansion of NC Potato Markets 2024-2025, $44,123; 
• N.C. State University (multiple grants) –
o Developing Polygenic R Spotted Wilt Virus Resistance (RSWV) in Tomatoes, $185,134;
o Management of Sweetpotato Southern Blight, $106,729;
o Quantifying Risk of Colletotrichum on Apples, $110,796;
o Optimizing Truffle Orchard Evaluation for Growers, $156,505;
o Development of Vitaculture Extension Resources, $91,378;
o Rapid Development of Resistant Fraser Fir, $199,996;
• N.C. Sod Association – Understanding Natural Grass Sod Purchasing Decisions, $58,063.
For more information on the program, go to www.ncagr.gov/research/scgrant/.
-30-

The National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA) recently hosted the 2023 National Christmas
Tree and Wreath Contest where the Christmas tree farmers who will supply the 2023 and 2024
Christmas trees and wreaths to the White House and Vice President’s residence were selected. Both
winning growers are from North Carolina.
The 2023 Grand Champion Growers are Alex Church and Amber Scott with Cline Church
Nursery, in Fleetwood.
They will provide a North Carolina Fraser fir Christmas tree that will be displayed in the Blue
Room of the White House in 2023. White House staff will select the tree at Cline Church Nursery in
September or October on a date to be announced. That tree will be presented to the First Lady in
November 2023.
Cline and Ellen Church started as teenagers in 1974 preparing land and planting their dreams on
family farmland in Fleetwood, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. By 1977 Cline Church Nursery
was formed and the first trees were harvested in 1981. What began as a small operation is now a 700-
acre tree farm with Fraser Fir Christmas trees and nursery stock in various stages of growth as well as a
garden center open April through mid-December. A second generation is coming up in the company –
Cline and Ellen's children, Amber Scott and Alex Church both have a passion for the industry and have
plans to continue planting and harvesting trees for years to come.
Amber Scott was selected as Grand Champion for Decorated Wreath.
The 2024 Grand Champion Growers are David, Jim and Sam Cartner of Cartner Christmas Tree
Farm in Newland. The Cartners will provide a North Carolina Fraser fir Christmas tree that will be
displayed in the Blue Room of the White House in 2024.
The Cartner Christmas Tree Farm has been growing high quality Fraser fir Christmas trees for
wholesale and choose-and-cut customers since being founded in 1959 by Sam and Margaret Cartner.
The farm is managed by the Cartner brothers David, Jim and Sam Jr. David is a lawyer and
practices in Asheville. On the farm, he is responsible for sales and shipping logistics.
Jim Cartner owns and operates a veterinarian clinic in Statesville. Jim visits the farm throughout
the year and assists with order loading during harvest.
Sam Cartner is a veterinarian and director of the Animal Resources Program at the University of
Alabama at Birmingham. He makes frequent trips to the farm and visits customers throughout the year.
Ronnie Beam is the Field Manager. He implements the production aspects of the farm and is directly
responsible for selection and tagging as well as equipment maintenance.
Since 1966, members of the National Christmas Tree Association have presented the official
White House Christmas Tree for display in the Blue Room. Each year NCTA hosts a national tree contest
at which growers, industry experts and consumers vote to select the Real Christmas Tree grower who
will provide the official White House Christmas Tree. To qualify for the national contest, growers must
first win their state or regional competitions, so being named National Grand Champion is quite an
achievement.
2023 marks the 58th year a member from the National Christmas Tree Association has
presented the official White House Christmas Tree.

Advance tickets on sale now for 2023 N.C. State Fair
Buy tickets at www.ncstatefair.org
RALEIGH - The North Carolina State Fair is approaching quickly and it is a great time to start planning your trip
and save some money. Advance sales for tickets, wristbands for rides and ride tickets begins Aug. 15.
Advance sales will run through Oct. 12 and are $10 for adults and $5 for youth ages 6-12. Unlimited ride
wristbands are $30 each and can be purchased online. Wristbands are for one day only and vouchers can be
redeemed at the Ride Ticket Plazas once the Fair begins. They are not valid for the State Fair Flyer or the State
Fair SkyGazer.
“Advance sale tickets are the best prices you will see all year for the State Fair,” said Kent Yelverton, State Fair
manager. “Prices increase once the Fair begins, so buy your tickets now especially if you’re bringing a big
group.”
This year, ride ticket credits will be placed on a chipped card which will be presented at each ride and will
automatically debit the ticket count for that ride. Ride ticket credits will carry over year-to-year.
“Like many other big state fairs, we have decided to make the switch to ride ticket cards for our guests to
use,” Yelverton said. “This new system is easy to use and ensures that everyone spends less time in lines and
more time enjoying their time at the Fair.”
Other special themed ticket packages offered include:
• Dizzy Pass – One gate admission ticket and one unlimited ride wristband for $38
• Kegs & Cork Pass – One gate admission ticket, one NC Public House beer + wine ticket for $17
• State Fair Flyer Package – Two gate admission tickets and two round-trip State Fair Flyer tickets for $34
• State Fair SkyGazer – One gate admission ticket and one State Fair SkyGazer ticket for $14

The N.C. Mountain State Fair offers fun for all ages Sept. 8-17 at the WNC Ag Center in Fletcher.
Thrilling rides, delicious foods, educational exhibits, livestock shows, free grounds entertainment, music, clogging and crafters are just part of the 2023 fair’s lineup.
The Got to Be NC Pavilion featuring North Carolina food companies and offering items for sampling and sale marks its debut this year at the Mountain State Fair. Regular and sugar-free barbecue sauces, spices, fudge, popcorn, candies, canned teas, honey, elderberry products, nut
butters, apple butter, wine, snack mixes, pecan brittle, sunflower oil, baked goods, and jams and jellies are among the featured products in the Pavilion. The Pavilion is located in the Chevrolet Davis Event Center.
Fair hours are Fridays and Saturdays 9 a.m. to midnight, first Sunday 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday 3 to 11 p.m. and second Sunday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Tickets for adults 13 to 64 are $9 in advance or $12 at the door; $5 in advance or $7 at the gate for kids 6 to 12 years old and free for kids 5 and under. Admission for seniors 65 and up is $5. Buy tickets online in advance at mountainfair.org.

Come November, a North Carolina Christmas tree will again be going to the White House to be
displayed in the Blue Room.
Tree growers Alex Church and Amber Scott with Cline Church Nursery, in Fleetwood were selected as
Grand Champions in the National Christmas Tree Association contest, earning them the right to send the
2023 tree. Scott and Church’s parents Cline and Ellen Church started the farm in 1974.
It will mark the 15th tree from North Carolina that is White House bound. The last North Carolina
Christmas tree on display was in 2021 and came from growers Rusty and Beau Estes of Peak Farms in
Ashe County. It marked the third time Peak Farms had sent a tree to the White House.
But here’s the “rest of the story” as radio broadcaster Paul Harvey liked to say … we will also send a
Christmas tree to the White House in 2024. In both cases, the trees will be Fraser firs, which we grow a lot
of in Western N.C.
The 2024 Grand Champion growers are David, Jim and Sam Cartner of Cartner Christmas Tree Farm
in Newland. Their tree farm was started by their late father and mother Sam and Margaret Cartner.
I am not surprised North Carolina trees are regularly selected for such a high honor. North Carolina trees
are beautiful and fragrant, and fresh trees really add a warm and inviting touch at the holidays.
My grandchildren would agree. Every year at Christmas we put up a fresh tree in our event space
and it is something they always look forward to.
I did little digging to find out previous winners in the national contest. I have to say that judges really
seem to like Christmas trees from Ashe, Avery and Alleghany counties. Mitchell County is the only other
North Carolina represented at the White House.
Past winners have been Kermit Smith in 1971 (Avery), Homer and Bruner Sides in 1975 (Alleghany),
Hal and Sarah Johnson in 1982 and 1984 (Ashe), R. Bruce and Michael Lacey in 1990 (Avery), Wayne
Ayers in 1993 (Mitchell), Ron Hudler and Danny Dollar in 1995 (Ashe), Sanford Fishel in 1997 (Ashe),
Earl, Betsy and Buddy Deal in 2005 (Alleghany), Joe and Linda Freeman in 2007 (Ashe), Jesse Davis and
Rusty Estes in 2008 (Ashe), Rusty and Beau Estes in 2012 and 2021 (Ashe), and Larry Smith in 2018
(Ashe).
You can read more about this year’s winners in the story on pages 2 and 4
I want to congratulate both groups of winners on being selected at the state level and for winning at the
national level. You carry on a great tradition of Christmas tree production in North Carolina and I am proud
your trees will be up in Washington D.C. representing North Carolina.
I will also put in a plug to shoppers to buy a fresh North Carolina Christmas tree this year. You are
supporting North Carolina farmers and our agriculture community when you shop local. You can find pick-
your-own tree farms and retail sellers at www.ncfarmfresh.com.
I know we will be sharing more stories about the trees and their journeys in upcoming issues of the Ag
Review, so stay tuned!

 September

  Test your bulk soilless potting media before planting greenhouse crops.

  Before planting greenhouse crops, propagating woody plants or beginning seasonal flower production, commercial producers should sample and test the bulk soilless media they plan to grow their plants in. The procedure, known as saturated media extract (SME), measures nutrient concentration, electrical conductivity and pH. The cost is $5 per sample for North Carolina residents and $25 for out-of-state residents, and test results are available online two working days after samples are checked in to the laboratory. Sampling instructions and sample information forms can be found online at www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/uyrmedia.
   Prepare gardens for fall/winter.

  First, if you haven’t had your soil tested in the last three years, do it now! Instructions for collecting samples are online at www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/uyrst.htm#sampling. Act now because after October the lab will begin receiving end-of-season samples from farmers, and the wait for reports will be longer.

  If your report indicates that lime should be applied to raise soil pH, don’t delay. Winter soil is usually moist and helps lime neutralize soil acidity before spring planting. However, don’t add lime unless the soil report recommends it! Excess lime can make some nutrients unavailable to plants.

  Second, consider protecting garden soils by planting a cover crop or putting out mulch. Legumes—such as crimson clover, hairy vetch, Austrian winter pea—add nitrogen to the soil as well as organic matter when they decompose in the spring. In addition, crimson clover is a beautiful sight when it blooms! Another option is to plant greens such as mustard or kale and enjoy eating the small leaves as they grow.

  If you don’t plant a cover crop, you should apply a 2-inch layer of mulch, such as composted leaf material, shredded or chipped pine bark, or pine needles. Straw can also be used if it is good quality without weed seeds. The mulch should be thick enough to reduce weed seed germination and retain soil moisture without impeding adequate water and air movement.

  Once you have made these preparations, do not apply fertilizer until spring unless you are planting a fall vegetable garden. In that case, you can still follow these suggestions (even sowing a cover crop around the vegetable beds!), but you will also need to apply fertilizer as recommended on your soil report.
 

September 2023
Horse events
Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699
Sept. 1 Keuring. Contact Melanie Harper, 802-233-1591.
Sept. 2 Barrel Racing Shaun McMillian Memorial. Contact Donald McMillian, 910-374-1483.
Sept. 4 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Sept. 9 BBHA Fun Show. Contact Jerry King, 910-237-4525.
Sept. 23 Da Bomb Barrel Racing. Contac Josh Smith, 910-639-6387.
Oct. 2 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
Sept. 8-10 MCQHA-Tarheel Fall Classic. Contact Lynn Bodine, 704-905-6540.
Sept. 15-17 Sunnyside Open Horse Show Produced by Equine Event Planning LLC. Contact
Travis Alford, 252-450-5438.
Sept. 23 & 24 United Horsemen of the Carolinas Open Horse Show. Contact Nancy Barbee, 919-
619-1786.
Oct. 14 & 15 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Emily Bates, 252-378-4474.
Oct. 19-22 SERHA Fall Spooktacular. Contact info@serha.org or Ag Center, 252-792-5111.
Nov. 3 & 4 Williamston Pro Rodeo -Revenge Roughstock Co. Contact Martin Towery, 540-521-
3959.
Nov. 17 & 18 N.C. Barrel Bonanza. Contact Fred Smith, 252-883-1641.
WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
Oct. 5-7 North Carolina Walking Horse Show. Contact Myra Helton, 704-718-4152.
Nov. 17-19 Good Times Barrell Racing. Contact Stacey Warner, 864-992-8664.
Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, 919-821-7400
Sept. 2 & 3 Labor of Love Dressage Show. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307.
Sept. 9 & 10 UPHA Chapter 12 Academy Show. Contac Peyton Hamilton, 803-431-1991.
Sept. 13-16 UPHA Chapter 12 NC State Championship Show. Contact Peyton Hamilton, 803-
431-1991.
Sept. 23 & 24 TWHA Fall Fantastic. Contact Kim Moser, 919-201-3606.
Sept. 23 & 24 Finally Farm Horse Show Series. Contact Lesley Jenks, 919-280-8087.
Sept. 29-
Oct. 1 Triangle Farms Fall Fling Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
Oct. 5-9 N.C. State Fair Hunter/Jumper Show. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
Oct. 12-15 N.C. State Fair Saddlebred Horse Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
Oct. 16 N.C. State Fair Horse Show – Miniatures. Contact Richard Isley, 336-908-3302.
Oct. 17 N.C. State Fair Horse Show – Draft and Light Draft. Contact Richard Isley, 336-908-
3302.
Oct. 18 N.C. State Fair Horse Show – Welsh Breed/Open. Contact Richard Isley, 336-908-3302.
Oct. 19 N.C. State Fair Horse Show – NASMDA Mules/Donkeys/Ranch Riding. Contact
Richard Isley, 336-908-3302.
Oct. 20 N.C. State Fair Horse Show – Non-Trotting Breed of Color Show AmHC/PHBA/APHA
Riding. Contact Richard Isley, 336-908-3302.
Oct. 21 N.C. State Fair Horse Show – Breed of Color Show AmHC/PHBA/APHA Open/Youth
Show. Contact Richard Isley, 336-908-3302.
Oct. 22 N.C. State Fair Horse Show – Open/Youth Show/Mini Horse Pull. Contact Richard
Isley, 336-908-3302.
Oct. 23 N.C. State Fair Horse Show – Open/Youth Show. Contact Richard Isley, 336-908-3302.

Bucolic briefs

The N.C. Simmental Association will host its Fall Harvest Sale Sept. 2 at Shuffler Farms in Union Grove. Selling Simmental and SimAngus bulls, cow/calf pairs, bred and open heifers, and embryos. For a sale catalog, call 336-468-1679 or email ncsa@yadtel.net. Go to ncsimmental.com for more information.   
***
The Equestrian Exchange Tack Consignment Fall Sale will be held through Sept. 4 at the Holshouser Building at the State Fairgrounds, 4285 Trinity Road, Raleigh. This marks the sale’s 20th year of service to the equine community. Sale, buy and consign anything related to the equestrian sport, including all types of saddles, tack, driving equipment, show clothing for all disciplines of riding. Also, for sale are barn supplies, carts, other animal items and horse trailers for a representation fee only. Bar code tagging allows consignor to view sales from home. Tagging guidelines are mandatory. Open shopping with free admission is Sept. 1 and 2 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sept. 3 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sept. 4 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Some items discounted 1/2 off on last shopping day. Consignors pick up unsold items on Sept. 6 from 1:30 to 9 :30 p.m. or they are donated to N.C. non-profit equestrian organizations. Please make arrangements if you want unsold items returned. Items cannot be stored or transferred from sale to sale. Items must be clean and tagged properly. Consignors earn 70%. Payment accepted: cash, N.C. checks with 2 IDs approved, credit cards with 3 % fee/per card transaction. N.C. government regulations for COVID followed for everyone's safety. DROP and GO and PICK up and Go (no wait or scanning in items waived) consigning available, see website. Waivers to be signed at drop off. Passes for consignors given at drop off for early admission. For more details go to www.EquestrianExchange.com  or contact Lynn Beeson at 336-362-6248 or Tanya Wright at 540-977-1950. 
***
The 39th Annual Apple Country Antique Engine and Tractor WNC Fall Harvest Days show will be held Oct. 13 and 14 at the WNC Ag Center in Fletcher. The event features International Harvester brands, antique tractors, hit n' miss engines, crafters, antiques, toys, parts, tractor pull, tractor parade, food and more. For more information, contact J. Holbrook at 828-435-0413.
***
The 81st N.C. Gourd Arts and Crafts Festival will be held Nov. 4 and 5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Holshouser Building, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh. The festival features displays of gourds from around the world, special gourd workshops, and vendors of dried gourds, gourd seeds, gourd crafts, gourd art, books, t-shirts, and crafting supplies. A variety of competitive categories are awarded ribbons and prizes. There is a raffle and a free gourd crafting table for kids. Details about the festival, a listing of gourd crafting workshops, and information on how to enter the competitions are on the website at  www.ncgourdsociety.org.  For more information, call 919-696-0744. Admission is $5 for adults age 13 and up; children 12 and under are free.
***
The Veteran's Farm of NC, Inc. is seeking donations of farm equipment to use with programs to teach veterans how to start a farm. The organization offers access to farm equipment through its usage and grant programs and help network the farmer veteran community with each other and new opportunities in agriculture. This is a 501c (3) nonprofit organization is seeking donations of trucks, tractors, 3-point attachments, and any farm related supplies that we will then make available to the farmer veteran community. Donations are 100% tax deductible and a receipt is provided for tax purposes. Contact Robert Elliott, Executive Director, at vetfarmofnc@gmail.com with questions.

***
As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include: preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress, migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau, go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and Twitter (@NCDOL).
***
Landowners with farms for sale or lease and farmers seeking land can also post their information at the NC FarmLink website hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension at https://www.ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/
***
Beekeepers with bees for rent and growers interested in bee pollination services can post their information on the BeeLinked website at www.ncagr.com/beelinked. The site is hosted by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. State University Apiculture Program. Anyone interested in listing their information can do so by filling out an online Submit Your Ad form on the BeeLinked page or by contacting NCDA&CS at 919-233-8214 or by email at NCHoneybee@ncagr.gov or call NCSU at 919-515-1660. The NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division regulates the movement of agricultural or related items capable of spreading harmful insects, diseases, and other pests. Beekeepers participating in this program will be required to comply with all honey and bee industry regulations.
***
The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov
***
 

August 2023

Tab/Accordion Items

The 2023 N.C. Mountain State Fair in Fletcher and the 2023 N.C. State Fair in Raleigh are currently hiring seasonal staff to work the fairs. The Mountain State Fair runs Sept. 8-17 and the N.C. State Fair runs Oct. 12-22.
If you enjoy people, working in a fast-paced environment, could use a little extra cash, and being part of a team essential to a safe and fun event, we need you!
The Mountain State Fair is hiring for information personnel, ticket seller, ticket taker and entry personnel, with hourly rates ranging from $15-$16. 
To view the job posting and apply for a N.C. State Fair position, go to
https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/northcarolina/jobs/4129923/mount…
The N.C. State Fair is hiring head cashier, exhibit manager, exhibit worker, competition worker, gateman, information booth attendant, public announcer, receptionist, cash room worker, ticket seller and ticket taker. The hourly rates range from $15-$22.
To view the job posting and apply for a N.C. State Fair position, go to https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/northcarolina/jobs/4129815/2023-…-
opportunities?pagetype=jobOpportunitiesJobs.

The destructive tornado that hit Nash and Edgecombe counties in July with little advance
warning is a reminder that it is important to be prepared and have an emergency response plan
for your family, home and farm.
Trust me when I say you do not need to figure out your plan in the middle of a storm or
disaster. Planning ahead means you will have important documents and phone numbers ready
and all members of your team will know their roles and responsibilities. That last part is
especially true if you have new team members involved. Having a response plan is also critical
when you care for livestock.
In North Carolina, we have had plenty of opportunities to learn from storms in the past. I
know at a department level, we have staff that train and conduct exercises annually involving
situations that could happen or have happened.
We also work on developing technological tools, maintaining equipment, participating in
specialized training and evaluating our capability to respond effectively.
Through our training and exercising, our team can work through questions that may come
up in a real-world scenario, but without the pressure of an actual event taking place. After every
storm-related response, we go back over our efforts to try to better anticipate needs and
challenges, so we can better prepare for future events.
I am proud we are looked to as a national leader in agricultural emergency response and
are often called on to assist other states in times of agricultural crisis.
We have links to a lot of emergency preparedness resources online at
https://www.ncagr.gov/oep/Prepare#farmPlanning. On that site, you can find a farm emergency
plan template that includes a lot of helpful information and checklists of emergency supplies to
have on hand and a sheet to list important phone numbers. The specific link to this information is
https://www.ncagr.gov/oep/documents/Farm_Emergency_Plan_Template_Final2….
I truly hope we don’t have any opportunities this year, or need, to activate our emergency
response activities, but we stand willing to help residents and our agriculture community if
necessary.
Please check out the resources we have online and make sure you have a plan in place
and that everyone involved in your operation knows the plan.

Atley Jordan Wilson of Stokesdale and Rebekah Ellen Russell of Mount Ulla received the N.C. Tomato
Growers Association’s annual $1,000 merit/need-based scholarship for the 2023-24 academic year. Each
student will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
Wilson will be attending N.C. State University and Russell will be attending the University of Mount Olive
in the fall.
The scholarship is open to any North Carolina resident pursuing a horticulture or agribusiness
undergraduate or graduate degree at a four-year North Carolina college or university. The student’s
demonstrated scholastic achievement, initiative, leadership, financial need and extracurricular activities
are considered in the scholarship selection. The scholarship is contingent on the recipient maintaining at
least a 2.5 grade point average out of a possible 4.0 on all course work during the scholarship period.

County Fair dates
Surry County Agricultural Fair – Aug. 9-13
Hickory American Legion Fair – Aug. 30-Sept. 4
Iredell County Agricultural Fair – Sept. 1-9
Cumberland County Fair – Sept. 1-10
Cabarrus County Fair – Sept. 8-16
N.C. Mountain State Fair – Sept. 8-17
Onslow County Agricultural Fair – Sept. 10-14
Richmond County Agricultural Fair – Sept. 10-17
Stokes County Agricultural Fair – Sept. 12-16
Lee Regional Fair – Sept. 13-17
Duplin County Agricultural Fair – Sept. 14-16
Davidson County Agricultural Fair – Sept. 18-23
Wilson County Fair – Sept. 19-24
Pitt County American Legion Agricultural Fair – Sept. 19-25
Chowan County Regional Fair – Sept. 26-30
Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair – Sept. 28-Oct. 7
Heritage Days Fair – Sept. 29-Oct. 1
Carolina Classic Fair – Sept. 29-Oct. 8
Lenoir County Fair – Oct. 3-7
Wilkes County Agricultural Fair – Oct. 4-7
Moore County Agricultural Fair – Oct. 10-14
N.C. State Fair – Oct. 12-22

Two move into leadership roles with N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
RALEIGH – Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler recently selected a Boone man and a Raleigh woman to head the Division of Soil and Water Conservation and the Budget and Finance Division with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
David Williams was promoted to director of the Soil and Water Conservation Division after having served as deputy director of the division since 2010. He replaces Vernon Cox who retired following a 30-plus year career at the end of June.
Pamela Allen returns to NCDA&CS to serve as the department’s chief financial officer. She began work July 10, following the retirement of Catherine Stogner.
David Williams
Williams has 35 years of state government experience, beginning his career first in the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources before joining NCDA&CS in 2010 when the Division of Soil and Water Conservation moved to the department.
He is a technical expert in a range of environmental programs and has served as chief of the Nonpoint Source Program Section, chief of the Industrial Pollution Prevention Section and as an environmental engineer over his career.
He also has worked with local soil and water conservation districts, the Soil and Water Conservation Commission, USDA and other conservation partners on legislative and policy development.
David grew up on a Davie County dairy farm and earned bachelor and master’s degrees in biological and agricultural engineering from N.C. State University.
“We are fortunate to be able to replace experienced individuals in key roles with other experienced people, and David is a great example of that,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “He has moved up through the division during his career and has extensive knowledge of every facet of the soil and water conservation program and the groups and people involved in those efforts.
That will greatly benefit our farmers, the environment and organizations working on conservation.”

Pamela Allen
Allen has over 19 years of state government experience, including two years with the NCDA&CS’ Emergency Programs Division where she served as a grants administrator.
She joins the department from the N.C. Division of Environmental Quality, where she served as a Budget Manager II. Prior to that Allen worked with the Office of the State Auditor as a Business Manager I.
Additionally, she has worked with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Public Safety.
Allen earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Meredith College and went on to earn her master’s degree in business administration from Strayer University. She is currently a doctoral candidate in business administration with a specialization in accounting at Capella University.
“The Budget and Finance Division supports our entire operation and programs and keeps us running effectively,” Troxler said. “I look for Pam to provide important financial leadership and oversight for our department.”

 August

  Turnaround time is optimal for soil samples submitted in August.

  The Agronomic Division’s soil testing lab is processing samples quickly now but will be increasingly busy toward the end of the year. Homeowners, landscapers, golf course superintendents and others with flexible schedules are urged to submit samples before the lab's fall busy season. If cool-season lawn grasses and pastures need to be reseeded, sampling now will make it possible to apply lime well in advance of September or October planting.
   Get rapid identification of plant-parasitic nematode species with new test.

  The Agronomic Division's Nematode Assay Section offers a new test that identifies plant-parasitic nematodes based on analysis of molecular DNA. The test costs $10 per sample (instead of $3), but results are available within a couple of days (instead of weeks), and reports can identify nematodes accurately to species. This is particularly useful information for growers who depend on resistant cultivars and/or crop rotation to suppress nematode populations. For more information on this test and how to sample, contact Dr. Weimin Ye at 919-733-2655 or via e-mail at weimin.ye@ncagr.gov.
   Tissue test now to plan for blackberry fertilization next season.

  Collect a plant tissue sample about 10–14 days after harvest. Each sample should include 25–30 most recent mature leaves from the primocane. Sampling the floricane is not recommended unless it is specifically to diagnose a problem. If you have different varieties, submit separate samples for each one. Now is also an appropriate time to submit a corresponding soil sample.
   Focus on strawberry fertility.

  Take soil samples and apply any recommended lime as soon as possible. Generally, strawberries need 100–120 lb of nitrogen per acre per season. Prior to building the beds and laying plastic, apply 30–60 lb of nitrogen along with any phosphorus or potassium recommended on the soil report. Even when soils are high in phosphorus, an additional application of 30 lb can be beneficial for root growth in the fall. Other nutrients that may have a beneficial effect at this time are sulfur and boron (1 lb/acre).
   Continue to use tissue analysis to optimize timing of flue-cured tobacco harvest.

  Collect tissue samples five to ten days before each anticipated leaf harvest to determine ripeness. An appropriate sample consists of 10 to 12 leaves from the appropriate stalk position.
 

August 2023
Horse events
Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699
Aug. 5 Carolina Paint Horse Assoc. Show. Contact Lori Smith 336-309-9470.
Aug. 7 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Aug. 18-20 Cowboy Mounted Shooting. Contact Pamela Lohrey, 540-570-8785.
Sept. 1 Keuring. Contact Melanie Harper, 802-233-1591.
Sept. 2 Barrel Racing Shaun McMillian Memorial. Contact Donald McMillian, 910-374-1483.
Sept. 4 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
Aug. 12 & 13 August’s Just Horsin’ Round Open Show. Contact Ag Center, 252-792-5111.
Aug. 18-20 NCQHA-D5 Endless Summer Horse Show. Contact Susan Daniels, 919-894-0600.
Aug. 25-27 Fallin’ into Autumn. Contact Travis Alford, 252-450-5438.
WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
Oct. 5-7 North Carolina Walking Horse Show. Contact Myra Helton, 704-718-4152.
Nov. 17-19 Good Times Barrell Racing. Contact Stacey Warner, 864-992-8664.
Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, 919-821-7400
Aug. 5 & 6 Finally Farm Horse Show Series. Contact Lesley Jenks, 919-280-7307.
Aug. 5 & 6 TWHA Youth Benefit Show. Contact Kim Moser, 919-201-3606.
Aug. 16-19 Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse Adoption. Contact Demetrius Sanders,
601-919-4742.
Aug. 25-27 Triangle Farms Summer Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
Sept. 2 & 3 Labor of Love Dressage Show. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307.
Sept. 9 & 10 UPHA Chapter 12 Academy Show. Contac Peyton Hamilton, 803-431-1991.
Sept. 13-16 UPHA Chapter 12 NC State Championship Show. Contact Peyton Hamilton, 803-
431-1991.
Sept. 23 & 24 TWHA Fall Fantastic. Contact Kim Moser, 919-201-3606.
Sept. 23 & 24 Finally Farm Horse Show Series. Contact Lesley Jenks, 919-280-8087.
Sept. 29-
Oct. 1 Triangle Farms Fall Fling Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.

Bucolic briefs
The election of pork producer delegate candidates for the 2024 National Pork Producers (Pork Act)
Delegate Body will take place at 1 p.m., Aug. 2, in conjunction with a Board of Directors meeting of the
N.C. Pork Council at the N.C. State University Club in the University Room, 4200 Hillsborough St.,
Raleigh. All North Carolina pork producers are invited to attend.
Any producer, 18 or older, who is a resident of North Carolina and has paid all assessments due since
August 2022 may be considered as a delegate candidate and/or participate in the election. All eligible
producers are encouraged to have available a sales receipt proving that hogs were sold in their name and
the checkoff deducted. For more information, contact the N.C. Pork Council, at 919-781-0361 or
amy@ncpork.org.
***
The Veteran's Farm of NC, Inc. is seeking donations of farm equipment to use with programs to teach
veterans how to start a farm. The organization offers access to farm equipment through its usage and
grant programs and help network the farmer veteran community with each other and new opportunities
in agriculture. This is a 501c (3) nonprofit organization is seeking donations of trucks, tractors, 3-point
attachments, and any farm related supplies that we will then make available to the farmer veteran
community. Donations are 100% tax deductible and a receipt is provided for tax purposes. Contact
Robert Elliott, Executive Director, at vetfarmofnc@gmail.com with questions.
***
As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor
offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include:
preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress,
migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers
program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and
preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau,
go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and
Twitter (@NCDOL).
***
Landowners with farms for sale or lease and farmers seeking land can also post their information at the
NC FarmLink website hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension
at https://www.ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/
***
Beekeepers with bees for rent and growers interested in bee pollination services can post their
information on the BeeLinked website at www.ncagr.com/beelinked. The site is hosted by the N.C.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. State University Apiculture Program.
Anyone interested in listing their information can do so by filling out an online Submit Your Ad form
on the BeeLinked page or by contacting NCDA&CS at 919-233-8214 or by email at
NCHoneybee@ncagr.gov or call NCSU at 919-515-1660. The NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division
regulates the movement of agricultural or related items capable of spreading harmful insects, diseases,
and other pests. Beekeepers participating in this program will be required to comply with all honey and
bee industry regulations.
***
The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available
at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business
loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for
agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance
Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at
RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov.

July 2023

Tab/Accordion Items

Upcoming Field Days
July 11 – Randolph County Amazing Grazing Workshop, 4669 Pollyfield Road, Seagrove, 9
a.m. to noon.
July 13 – Landscape Professional and Color Field Day, JC Raulston Arboretum and HFL Field
Lab, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
July 13 CEFS Small Farm Unit Field Day, CEFS, Small Farm Unit, Goldsboro, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
July 18 2023 Organic Commodities Field Day, 604 Farm Road, Goldsboro, 8:30 a.m. to noon.
July 20 Mountain Research Station Field Day, 265 Test Farm Road, Wayneville.
July 21 – 5 County Beef Tour, 8800 Cassam Rosd, Bahama, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
July 27 – Northeast Ag Expo Summer Field Day, 72 Indian Neck Road, Hobbsville, 8 a.m. to 2
p.m.

Commissioner’s column
Summer months might be the fastest months of the year.
When you are a kid, you looked forward to being out of school and then before you know it, you are back in school wondering where June, July and August went.
When I was growing up, I remember my summers being pretty busy. In high school, I worked on my granddaddy’s farm and as a three-sport athlete, I was either playing American Legion baseball or was beginning football practice at the end of summer.
During my college years, I came back home and got to do what I loved the most, which was farming. Sharon and I would farm and make money to go back to school. 

This summer, the department is hosting a number of college students and graduates in internship opportunities across the state and I must say I have been impressed with the ones I have met so far. I hope I get to meet them all this summer, but I know this time will go very quickly.
A good number of our interns are interested in pursuing careers in agriculture or ag-related industries, but we also have interns working in many areas of the department including Research Stations, Soil and Water Conservation, Legal Affairs, Marketing, Farmers Markets, Small Farms and Public Affairs.
We have an excellent department and these interns will help provide valuable assistance for department programs and the state’s agricultural industry while learning more about careers in agriculture, ag-related support industries and state government.
I consider internships to be invaluable. Students can gain actual working experience plus can network for potential careers after graduation. I appreciate their initiative and drive and I know it will be a great summer.
Among the areas of study are mechanical engineering, marketing, horticulture, crop science, animal science, environmental systems, biological engineering, poultry and livestock management and communications and public relations. In the mix, we have students planning to go into veterinary medicine, law and crop sciences.
I’ve said it many times, we need bright young minds in agriculture to grow into the leaders and producers of the future. It is an exciting time to be in agriculture and I hope these summer internships fuel their desire to work in or support agriculture in the future.
As you can imagine, we have students from our main agricultural schools – N.C. State University, N.C. A&T State University and the University of Mount Olive – but we also have students from Elon College with us as well.
I hope we can continue to offer internship experiences to young people for many years to come. We plan to highlight all the interns working with us this summer on our social media platforms of Facebook and Instagram. Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with the latest department and agricultural news.

 July

  Mulch to prevent blossom-end rot of tomatoes.

  If garden soils have adequate moisture and a pH in the range of 6.3 to 6.5, tomatoes are not likely to have blossom-end rot. Although this common problem is largely due to calcium deficiency, fertilization is not usually the answer. Any soil with a pH of 6.3 to 6.5 will contain enough calcium. However, during dry periods, plants cannot take up the calcium that is there. If your soil pH is good, you can optimize calcium availability by managing soil moisture. Make sure your plants get an inch of water each week, but be careful not to overwater! Apply 2 to 4 inches of mulch (pine bark, straw, leaf compost or other organic material) to help the soil retain moisture.
   Collect cotton tissue samples.

  Collect tissue samples (MRMLs + detached petioles) weekly beginning at early growth (at least by matchhead square or one week before first bloom) and continuing for three to four weeks after first bloom. Follow current NCDA&CS cotton tissue sampling protocol:  www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/pdffiles/14cotton.pdf.
   Collect other agronomic samples as needed.

      Forages
       Note: Forage samples for animal feed analysis should be sent to the NCDA&CS Food & Drug Protection Division. The plant tissue analysis service offered through the NCDA&CS Agronomic Division provides nutrient information relevant to crop fertilization not animal nutrition.

      Home & Garden
       Take soil samples now to prepare for fall planting projects such as vegetable gardens, tree and shrub installation and renovation/maintenance of cool-season lawns. Remember:  1) Do not wait until fall to submit soil samples for home landscape projects. There is a fee for soil tests in late fall and winter. 2) You can submit your soil sample information online through PALS all year!

      Nursery Crops
       Collect pour-thru leachate solution samples to monitor pH, electrical conductivity (EC) and nutrient levels.

      Tobacco
       Collect tissue samples five to ten days before each anticipated leaf harvest to determine ripeness. An appropriate sample consists of 10 to 12 leaves from the appropriate stalk position.
 

Horse events
Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699
July 3 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Aug. 5 Carolina Paint Horse Assoc. Show. Contact Lori Smith 336-309-9470.
Aug. 7 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
July 28-30 Little River Circuit. Contact Susan Daniels, 919-894-0600.
Aug. 12 & 13 August’s Just Horsin’ Round Open Show. Contact Ag Center, 252-792-5111.
Aug. 18-20 NCQHA-D5 Endless Summer Horse Show. Contact Susan Daniels, 919-894-0600.
Aug. 25-27 Fallin’ into Autumn. Contact Travis Alford, 252-450-5438.
WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
July 12-15 Asheville Summer Fun. Contact Liz Holmes, Lizholmes1957@gmail.com
July 18-22 Blue Ridge Classic Horse Show. Contact Liz Holmes, Lizholmes1957@gmail.com.
Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, 919-821-7400
July 5-9 State 4-H Horse Show. Contact Lori Stroud, 919-515-5788.
July 21-23 Triangle Farms Summer Indoors “C.” Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
July 22 & 23 TWHA July Show. Contact Kim Moser, 919-219-0256.
July 29 & 30 Raleigh Summer Dressage I & II. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307.
Aug. 5 & 6 Finally Farm Horse Show Series. Contact Lesley Jenks, 919-280-7307.
Aug. 16-19 Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse Adoption. Contact Demetrius Sanders,
601-919-4742.
Aug. 25-27 Triangle Farms Summer Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
Sept. 2 & 3 Labor of Love Dressage Show. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307.
Sept. 9 & 10 UPHA Chapter 12 Academy Show. Contac Peyton Hamilton, 803-431-1991.
Sept. 23 & 24 TWHA Fall Fantastic. Contact Kim Moser, 919-201-3606.
Sept. 23 & 24 Finally Farm Horse Show Series. Contact Lesley Jenks, 919-280-8087.
Sept. 29-
Oct. 1 Triangle Farms Fall Fling Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.

Bucolic briefs
The election of pork producer delegate candidates for the 2024 National Pork Producers (Pork Act)
Delegate Body will take place at 1 p.m., Aug. 2, in conjunction with a Board of Directors meeting of the
N.C. Pork Council at the N.C. State University Club in the University Room, 4200 Hillsborough St.,
Raleigh. All North Carolina pork producers are invited to attend.
Any producer, 18 or older, who is a resident of North Carolina and has paid all assessments due since
August 2022 may be considered as a delegate candidate and/or participate in the election. All eligible
producers are encouraged to have available a sales receipt proving that hogs were sold in their name and
the checkoff deducted. For more information, contact the N.C. Pork Council, at 919-781-0361 or
amy@ncpork.org.
***
The Veteran's Farm of NC, Inc. is seeking donations of farm equipment to use with programs to teach
veterans how to start a farm. The organization offers access to farm equipment through its usage and
grant programs and help network the farmer veteran community with each other and new opportunities
in agriculture. This is a 501c (3) nonprofit organization is seeking donations of trucks, tractors, 3-point
attachments, and any farm related supplies that we will then make available to the farmer veteran
community. Donations are 100% tax deductible and a receipt is provided for tax purposes. Contact
Robert Elliott, Executive Director, at vetfarmofnc@gmail.com with questions.
***
As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor
offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include:
preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress,
migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers
program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and
preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau,
go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and
Twitter (@NCDOL).
***
Landowners with farms for sale or lease and farmers seeking land can also post their information at the
NC FarmLink website hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension
at https://www.ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/
***
Beekeepers with bees for rent and growers interested in bee pollination services can post their
information on the BeeLinked website at www.ncagr.com/beelinked. The site is hosted by the N.C.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. State University Apiculture Program.
Anyone interested in listing their information can do so by filling out an online Submit Your Ad form
on the BeeLinked page or by contacting NCDA&CS at 919-233-8214 or by email at
NCHoneybee@ncagr.gov or call NCSU at 919-515-1660. The NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division
regulates the movement of agricultural or related items capable of spreading harmful insects, diseases,
and other pests. Beekeepers participating in this program will be required to comply with all honey and
bee industry regulations.
***
The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available
at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business
loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for
agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance
Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at
RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov.

June 2023

Tab/Accordion Items

Donate your farm equipment! The Veteran's Farm of NC, Inc. teaches veterans how to start a farm, gain
access to farm equipment through our usage and grant programs, and we help network our farmer
veteran community with each other and new opportunities in agriculture. We are a 501c(3) nonprofit
organization and we're asking for donations of trucks, tractors, 3-point attachments, and any farm
related supplies that we will then make available to the farmer veteran community. Your donation is
100% tax deductible, and we're happy to provide a receipt for your tax purposes. If anyone has any
questions, feel free to contact Robert Elliott, Executive Director, at vetfarmofnc@gmail.com

I hope readers of the Agricultural Review pay special attention to the article at the top of
Page 1. To me, this is one of the biggest news articles we have ever had in this newspaper
because it is a milestone a long time in the making and it is a milestone achieved on the
foundation of all those who have labored before us.
I have always been proud to be a farmer and I am humbled and honored to serve as North
Carolina’s Agriculture Commissioner.
I have been talking about reaching the $100 billion mark for several years now, but I
never doubted we would get here. It’s hard not to recall the setbacks that hurricanes, tropical
storms, supply chain issues and COVID dealt agriculture and agribusiness.
But our ag community stood strong and kept working following each setback.
Reaching this milestone is an accomplishment shared by many. I hope every farmer,
every agribusiness owner, every commodity leader, every farm organization and all our
legislators take a moment to reflect on how much this industry of agriculture and agribusiness
provides to this state. It’s astonishing and at the end of the day it is absolutely necessary.
We know we cannot rest here, but we must remain focused on increasing production to
feeding a growing world. We must also increase production, so we are more efficient with the
land producing our food. We all can help support North Carolina farmers and agribusiness
owners.
As we enter the summer months, I would remind consumers to look for local products
wherever they shop – farmers markets, grocery stores, restaurants or roadside stands. Look for
the Got to Be NC Agriculture logo on products or menu items.
By shopping local, you are helping support our farmers and agribusinesses, and you are
ensuring access and availability to local foods.
The N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services operates four regional farmers
markets across the state in Asheville, Charlotte, Colfax and Raleigh. You will also find many
local markets opening in towns and cities as more produce comes into season. Find out more on
local farmers market at https://gottobenc.com/find-local/farmers-markets/.

 June

  Prepare for a fall vegetable garden by soil testing.

  Now is the best time to submit your soil samples for planning a fall vegetable garden. Soil samples submitted have faster turnaround times as the lab is less busy. This will allow for plenty of time to plan for liming and fertilizing. There is a belief among some gardeners that lime cannot be over-applied. Well, it can be. Soil pH that is too high from its over-application can adversely affect plant growth by potentially causing problems with micronutrient availability. Lime also works best if incorporated several months prior to planting since its reaction time is not immediate. Unlike fertilizer, however, it can be applied at any time when its recommended. For N-P-K fertilizers as recommended by soil test, their application needs to be timed near the time of planting and during the actual growing season, depending on the plant’s needs. Additional information about timing of fertilizer application is found in this note www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/pdffiles/stnote4.pdf. So, begin planning and take the first step, submit a soil sample!
   Test source water for irrigation systems.

  Before you turn on that drip or overhead irrigation system, it is a good idea to collect samples of your source water and have it tested by the NCDA&CS Agronomic Division. Chemical problems with source water can affect plant growth and quality. By testing water now, you can correct any problems before you start irrigating your crops.

  Solution analysis is a service that measures the chemical properties of water that affect plants. In eastern North Carolina, high alkalinity is a potential water problem. Irrigating with highly alkaline water can lead to an increase in soil pH that can limit availability of some essential plant nutrients, especially micronutrients.

  The solution report indicates whether alkalinity is a potential problem and, if so, provides helpful advice to correct it. Some other potential source water problems include high soluble salts, iron, boron, sodium or chloride. Once identified, these problems can either be corrected or effectively managed to prevent plant growth problems.
   If crop plants are stunted and/or discolored, check for nematodes.

  The best way to find out if nematodes are responsible for an area of poor crop growth is to collect and submit two sets of soil samples: one for nematode assay and one for fertility analysis. An accurate diagnosis of nematode populations during the growing season provides a sound basis for effective management in the future. Knowing the species and numbers present facilitates informed selection of resistant varieties and crop rotation strategies.
   Fertilize centipedegrass lawns in June.

  June is the month to fertilize your centipede grass. Centipede grass differs in rate and schedule of fertilization from other warm season grasses. Centipede requires only 0.5 pound of nitrogen each year. Higher than desired soil pH and phosphorus or inadequate potassium may result in centipede growth problems. If soil sampling was not done in the previous 2-3 years, now is an excellent time to submit samples for faster turnaround times and to determine the rate and best fertilizer to use. Lime will also be recommended if needed.

  Important Reminder: Do not fertilize cool-season lawn grasses—fescue, ryegrass and bluegrass—during the summer. Wait until September.
   Summer is a good time to submit soil samples from lawns & gardens.

  Summer is when the NCDA&CS soil testing lab can process samples most quickly —usually ten days or less. Homeowners and landscapers are urged to submit samples at this time and avoid the peak-season fee (late November through March). Farmers who are maintaining cool-season pastures can also submit soil samples now so they will be ready to apply phosphorus and potassium in late summer or fall.
 

Horse events
Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699
June 5 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
June 16-18 Da Bomb Barrel Racing. Contact Josh Smith, 910-639-6387.
July 3 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
June 3 & 4 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Bethanna Perry, 252-675-3017.
June 17 & 18 June’s Just Horsin’ Round Open Horse Show. Contact Beth Tew,
btew2@nc.rr.com.
June 29-
July 2 Red White Boom Barrel Show. Contact Josh Smith, 252-378-4474.
July 28-30 Little River Circuit. Contact Susan Daniels, 919-894-0600.
WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
June 15-18 Piedmont Paso Fino. Contact Ashley Aldred, 704-778-6717.
June 19-21 West District 4-H 3-Day Horsemanship Clinic. Contact Shannon Coleman, 828-837-
2210, ext. 4 or Shannon_coleman@ncsu.edu
July 12-15 Asheville Summer Fun. Contact Liz Holmes, Lizholmes1957@gmail.com
July 18-22 Blue Ridge Classic Horse Show. Contact Liz Holmes, Lizholmes1957@gmail.com.
Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, 919-821-7400
June 3 & 4 Capital Dressage Classic. Contact Teresa Uddo, 352-636-2669.
June 8-11 Tar Heel Summer Classic Show. Contact Randy Ratliff, 336-339-8773.
June 15-17 Capital City Classic. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
June 24 & 25 NCAHA Open Summer Extravaganza. Contact Myra Daniel, 919-614-7477.
July 6-10 State 4-H Horse Show. Contact Lori Stroud, 919-515-5788.
July 15-17 SERHA. Contact Terri Mainey, 919-623-6054.
July 22-24 Triangle Farms Summer Indoors “C.” Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
July 23 & 24 TWHA July Show. Contact Kim Moser, 919-219-0256.
July 30 & 31 Raleigh Summer Dressage I & II. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307.

Bucolic briefs
***
The North Carolina Apple Growers Association will conduct a referendum June 27 for the assessment
of apples sold to first purchasers in North Carolina. Voting will take place at extension offices in counties where commercial apple growing occurs, during regular business hours. The method and amount of assessment being considered will remain as it has been in the past. Individuals may belong to multiple categories and are responsible to each where applicable. • PACKERS - $.05 per pack bushel – This is anyone that puts apples into a box. A bulk box/volume filled carton qualifies for this charge. • PROCESSORS - $.05 per hundred weight ($.021 per bushel if the fruit is not weighted) - This is any company that buys apples for slicers, sauce, juice, or other forms of processing. This would also be any roadside market that presses apples for fresh cider. 
• BROKER – See packer or processor depending on the market. If you are a broker that markets fruit for growers and pays the grower. The broker is responsible for paying the assessment if your customer is not paying the assessment.
• ROADSIDE MARKETS - $100 per year. – This is anyone that grows fruit and sells direct to the general public.
• GROWER - $.05 per hundred weight ($.021 per bushel if fruit is not weighed) – This is any grower that sells fruit by the bin to someone such as a roadside market or farmers market.
• Funds from the assessment will be used to promote marketing, research, use and sale of North Carolina apples.
Votes will be collected and tabulated by N.C. State University and results published by the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services.
The NCAGA is governed by an all-volunteer board of apple growers and industry advisors. Assessment allows N.C. growers to have a unified voice in the protection and advancement of the apple industry.
***
As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include: preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress, migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau, go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and Twitter (@NCDOL).
***
Landowners with farms for sale or lease and farmers seeking land can also post their information at the
NC FarmLink website hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension at https://www.ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/
***
Beekeepers with bees for rent and growers interested in bee pollination services can post their information on the BeeLinked website at www.ncagr.com/beelinked. The site is hosted by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. State University Apiculture Program. Anyone interested in listing their information can do so by filling out an online Submit Your Ad form on the BeeLinked page or by contacting NCDA&CS at 919-233-8214 or by email at NCHoneybee@ncagr.gov or call NCSU at 919-515-1660. The NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division regulates the movement of agricultural or related items capable of spreading harmful insects, diseases, and other pests. Beekeepers participating in this program will be required to comply with all honey and bee industry regulations.
***
The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov.

May 2023

Tab/Accordion Items

The 2023 Got to Be NC Festival runs May 19-21 at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, with family friendly fun, local North Carolina food and drinks in the Food Lion Local Goodness Marketplace, animal exhibits, the Masonic Carolina Pig Jig, Action Alley featuring big work vehicles kids (and big kids) can check out, rides, music and a daily tractor parade.
Around 80 North Carolina food and beverage vendors will be featured in the Food Lion Local Goodness Marketplace. Come sample and buy local products and support North Carolina agriculture and agribusiness. Cost is $3, free for kids 6 and under. Marketplace hours are May 19, noon to 8 p.m.; May 20, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and May 21, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission and parking are free, with pay as you go for rides and food. Festival hours are May 19, noon to 10 p.m.; May 20, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and May 21, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Rides and buildings open one hour later May 20 and 21 at 10 a.m.

U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for $1 billion in grants to help agricultural
producers and rural small businesses invest in renewable energy systems and make energy-efficiency
improvements. USDA is making the $1 billion in grants available under the Rural Energy for America
Program (REAP), with funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, the nation’s largest-ever investment in
combatting the climate crisis.
“Supporting renewable energy and energy-saving systems helps the people of rural America create
thriving, livable communities,” said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. “When we invest in rural communities,
we are supporting hard work that sends a ripple effect across our country. Clean energy is critical to the
future of our economy.”
Recipients may use REAP funds to install renewable energy systems or to make energy-efficiency
improvements. Eligible applicants include rural small businesses and agricultural producers. USDA will
hold competitions quarterly through Sept. 30, 2024. The funding will also include the creation of the first
underutilized technology fund in the REAP program, with $144.5 million available in dedicated funding.
For additional information on application deadlines and submission details, see page 19239 of the
March 31 Federal Register.

Spring is a busy time, especially for farmers as they ready fields for planting and begin setting
plants or sowing seeds. It is also a time when drivers are more likely to come across farm
equipment on the road as farmers and their employees go about their business.
Farming is a dangerous job and statistics back that up. According to the CDC, workers in the
agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry experienced one of the highest fatal injury
rates in 2021 at 20 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers, compared to a rate of 3.6 deaths per
100,000 workers for all U.S. industries.
And the leading cause of death were transportation accidents, which include tractor overturns
and roadway crashes.
I urge drivers to be especially mindful of farmers and farm equipment on the road as they head
out to their fields to work. Use patience and don’t try to pass in areas where you cannot see what
is coming. Doing so, puts yourself and others at risk.
As more and more people have returned to in-office work, traffic has increasingly picked up and
I would think it might even be back up to pre-pandemic levels. I know it is busy when I go to
Raleigh from Browns Summit and on roads around home. There are a lot more drivers, with, it
seems, a lot less patience.
Farmers and their workers are doing important work to feed us. Please patient when you
encounter farming equipment on the road.
I was reminded again the other day about the dangers of farming when I read about a death of a
young worker involving a soybean storage silo in Mississippi.
Accidents can happen quickly, so it is important that farmers and farm workers are sure safety
equipment is engaged and shortcuts are not taken when it comes to anything involving safety. I
understand the temptation to bypass a safety protocol, but it’s not worth the loss of life or any
kind of serious life changing injury.
Please be safe out there as you plant, tend and harvest this year’s crops.

2023 N.C. State Fair Youth Livestock Scholarship recipients announced
31 students awarded scholarships

RALEIGH – Thirty-one North Carolina students have been named recipients of 2023 N.C. State Fair Youth Livestock Scholarships, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced.

The scholarships are designed for high school seniors and students currently enrolled in an institute of higher education who have participated in the junior livestock or market turkey shows at the N.C. State Fair.

The scholarships are funded from a percentage of the total sales at the N.C. State Fair Sale of Champions. The number of scholarships awarded each year is based on qualified applicants and funds available from the previous year’s Sale of Champions. Because of strong support of the 2022 sale, 30 scholarships valued at $2,000 each were awarded this year. One $2,500 scholarship was also sponsored by Farm Credit Associations of North Carolina.

“We greatly appreciate the numerous buyers and sponsors that help make the Sale of Champions a success," said Neil Bowman, director of the N.C. State Fair livestock shows.

A selection committee evaluated applicants based on their involvement with N.C. State Fair junior livestock shows, academic achievement, extracurricular activities and an essay. Each application was assigned a number and identifying information was removed before evaluation.

Following is a list of scholarship recipients by county. All scholarships are for $2,000 unless otherwise noted:

Alamance
-- Alexis Hester of Graham plans to attend N.C. State University or N.C. A&T State Univeristy                                   
-- Aiden Kernodle of Graham plans to attend Virginia Tech or N.C. State University
-- Louis Williard of Graham will attend N.C. State University

Anson
-- Lynlee Martin of Wadesboro plans to attend N.C. State University

Buncombe
-- Shelby Candler of Weaverville plans to attend Redlands Community College
-- Anna Reeves of Swannanoa plans to attend AB-Tech Community College

Catawba
-- Emma Vanhoy of Catawba will attend N.C. State University
-- Hannah Vanhoy of Catawba plans to attend N.C. State University – Farm Credit Associations of NC Scholarship recipient - $2,500

Cleveland
-- Rex Howard of Lattimore plans to attend N.C. State University

Davidson
-- Salem Ward of Davidson plans to attend UNC-Greensboro

Franklin
-- Hope Latta of Zebulon plans to attend N.C. State University

Halifax
-- Zachery Keeter of Enfield will attend N.C. State University

Henderson
-- Haley Hargus of Zirconia will attend Mars Hill University

Hyde
-- Maggie Glass of Belhaven plans to attend N.C. State University

Iredell
-- Hannah Loftin of Troutman will attend University of Mount Olive
                                                                                  
Jackson
-- Avery King of Sylva plans to attend the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
-- Abbegail King of Sylva plans to attend Clemson University

Johnston
-- Emily Oberman of Clayton plans to attend Johnston County Community College
-- Anna Taylor of Princeton will attend Barton College
-- Mary Wood of Willow Spring will attend Oklahoma State University

Macon
-- Hannah Smith of Franklin plans to attend Appalachian State University or Western Carolina University

Nash
-- Leah Suydam of Middlesex is undecided

Pitt
-- Conner Mills of Greenville will attend Lees-McRae College

Randolph
-- Rylee Schofield of Trinity will attend University of Mount Olive

Richmond
-- Savannah Shepard of Ellerbe is planning to attend N.C. State University

Rowan
-- Josie Correll of Cleveland will attend Connors State College

Stokes
-- Lynae Bowman of Germanton will attend Oklahoma State University
-- Amber Shutsky of Pinnacle is undecided

Wayne
-- Jacob Hinson of Princeton will attend N.C. State University

Wake
-- Mason Judy of Raleigh plans to attend N.C. State University

Wilson
-- Emma Vick of Wilson will attend N.C. State University


For more information on how individuals and organizations can support the 2023 Junior Livestock Sale of Champions or the scholarship program, contact Neil Bowman, director of N.C. State Fair livestock shows, at neil.bowman@ncagr.gov or 919-270-7094.

As the North Carolina Peanut Growers Association celebrates seventy years of serving the peanut
producers of North Carolina, the association unveiled a new consumer-focused logo that represents the
three components of the peanut plant but also symbolizes the three missions of the association: advocacy,
research, and promotion. Additionally, the logo includes the words nutritious and flavorful, two unique
identifiers of the Virginia-type peanut widely produced in North Carolina.
The logo was unveiled during a luncheon celebrating the fourteen growers who achieved top yields
in the state’s peanut production contest. Statewide, growers in North Carolina ended the 2022 growing
season with 244,441 tons produced in North Carolina, equating to a statewide average of 4,260 lbs. per
acre.
“It is an exciting time to be in the peanut industry,” states Ashley Collins, Chief Executive Officer
for the North Carolina Peanut Growers Association. “Our growers produce more than just a commodity;
peanuts are an affordable plant-based protein source and a versatile ingredient in the food industry. Our
seventieth anniversary is an excellent opportunity to launch a new identity that is more relevant to today’s
consumer audience and will generate demand for North Carolina-grown peanuts.”
Collins adds, “It was important to solicit input in this process from a cross-section of past and
current board members, as well as external stakeholders, including consumers and parents, and our
extension and research partners for input on the design.”
Throughout the process, a resounding message from stakeholders was that North Carolina peanut
growers produce quality peanuts that are nutritious and flavorful which are points of differentiation for
the type of peanut produced in North Carolina. Participants wanted a look relevant to today’s consumer
and a modern representation of the association's diligent work to advance the grower’s interest within the
industry. The goal is for this new logo to represent a mark of distinction that inspires confidence and trust
for the consumer and pride and honor for the peanut producers of North Carolina.
About The North Carolina Peanut Growers Association
The North Carolina Peanut Growers Association (NCPGA) represents nearly 650 peanut growers across
North Carolina. North Carolina ranks third nationally in peanut production, producing more than 240,000
tons of peanuts annually. The Association is funded by a voluntary grower assessment of their annual crop.
Formed in 1953, the Association is governed by a board of 26 grower members. The purpose of the
Association is to represent peanut growers through marketing efforts to drive demand for the consumption of
Virginia-type peanuts, supporting research that increases producer yields and profitability as well as being an
advocate for the peanut producer at the state and national levels.

Corn Growers Association of North Carolina Referendum Passes
The Corn Growers Association of North Carolina held a referendum on March 14, 2023 to
affirm the assessment of corn growing in North Carolina and sold to first purchasers. The
referendum changed the assessment from the flat rate of 1.25 cents per bushel to .30% of
settlement. This change brings the assessment of corn in line with other row crop
commodities such as soybean and small grains.
The Corn Growers Association is led by a volunteer board comprised of farmers and allied
industry professionals. The assessment funds for corn grown in the state are used for
research, marketing and promotion of corn, both domestically and internationally.
The research Corn Growers has funded with farmers’ assessment dollars through the years
has helped to increase bushels per acre of corn production state-wide, as well as effective
and cost-effective pest and weed management, plus the creation of more profitable
marketing tools, and weather prediction programs.
Corn Growers is appreciative of all the growers that participated in the referendum.
For more information or to learn more about the Corn Growers Association of North
Carolina feel free to reach out to us via our website; nccorngrowers.com.

May

  • Use tissue testing to optimize yield of pecan trees.

    Sufficient nutrient uptake is critical for nut development. Tissue testing after bloom and during early fruiting helps detect hidden hunger and can help in the adjustment of a fertilizer program. Visit www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/pdffiles/isplant.pdf for general tissue sampling and submission instructions.

    Use of correct sampling procedure is critical. Collect only the middle pair of leaflets from a compound leaf on the terminal shoot of the current season’s growth. Each sample should consist of a minimum of 30–45 leaflets. Try to choose undamaged leaflets growing in full sun. Do not collect samples after recent pesticide or nutrient spray applications.

     


     

  • Sidestep the high cost of fertilizer by using animal waste as a plant nutrient source.

    Farm-generated wastes are a widely available and inexpensive alternative to commercial fertilizers. Animal wastes provide essential plant nutrients and also improve soil physical properties, such as water infiltration, aeration and nutrient-holding capacity. Before applying waste material as fertilizer, send a sample to the NCDA&CS Plant/Waste/Solution/Media Section. This laboratory tests for levels of plant nutrients and, when necessary, can measure pH, lime value and soluble salts. Based on analytical results, the waste report provides estimated rates of nutrient availability for the first growing season. With this information, you can figure out how much waste it will take to meet the specific nutritional needs of a crop. Supplemental applications of commercial fertilizer may be necessary, depending on rate of nutrient availability, cropping system, environmental guidelines and other factors.

     


     

  • Use tissue test results to improve crop production.

    For high-value crops, in particular, plant tissue analysis is a valuable tool for optimizing monetary inputs and yield. It is a way to monitor the effectiveness of an ongoing fertilization program. It is a way to identify existing or potential nutrient problems. It can also be a way to gauge plant readiness for harvest.

    The part of the plant to be sampled and the time of sampling vary by crop. Visit www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/pictorial.htm for specific sampling instructions for several major crops. Samples can be dropped off at the NCDA&CS Plant/Waste/Solution/Media lab in Raleigh, mailed through the U.S. Postal Service, or shipped via UPS or Fed Ex. Basic tissue testing costs $5 per sample, and results are typically posted on the NCDA&CS Agronomic Division website [www.ncagr.gov/agronomi] two business days after samples arrive at the lab. Special tests to measure chloride, molybdenum or petiole nitrates cost an extra $2 per test per sample.

     


     

  • Spring and summer are the best times to take soil samples from established lawns and gardens.

    It is always a good idea to take soil samples several weeks before planting a garden or renovating a lawn; then if lime is needed, you have time to apply it properly and let it begin to work before planting. For established plantings, spring and summer are good times to submit samples because there is no peak-season fee. Reports are usually posted online within 10 days.

    The soil lab urges clients to enter and submit soil sample information online via the PALS website instead of filling out a paper sample information form. The online option sends sample information to the lab electronically and helps prevent data entry errors and duplications. A printed copy of the electronic Soil Sample Information form must be submitted with the samples. Links on the Agronomic Division homepage — www.ncagr.gov/agronomi  — provide detailed instructions.

    Samples must be submitted in NCDA&CS soil boxes, which are available from all county Cooperative Extension offices and from the Agronomic Division office in Raleigh. Reports are posted online in PALS.

  • Collect petiole samples from vinifera vineyards during full bloom.

    To monitor the nutrient status of vinifera grapes, collect a tissue sample during full bloom. The sample should consist of at least 50 petioles collected from leaves opposite the first or second bloom cluster from the bottom of the shoot. Collect petioles randomly from throughout the entire vineyard. Do not collect more than two petioles per vine. Place the sample in a paper bag or envelope. The plant tissue report—available in a few days—will let you know if your fertilization program is meeting your crop's needs.

    If you want to use tissue analysis to diagnose a suspected nutrient problem, collect a petiole sample as soon as you see symptoms. Don't delay—time is critical when correcting nutrient problems. To troubleshoot a problem, you should collect four different samples: 1) a petiole sample from symptomatic leaves, 2) a similar petiole sample from healthy plants, 3) a soil sample from the problem area and a soil sample from the healthy area. Send all samples along with a completed Plant Sample Information form and Diagnostic Soil Sample Information form to NCDA&CS Plant/Waste/Solution/Media Section. There is a $5.00 processing fee for each grape petiole sample.

Horse events
Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699
April 3 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
April 15 Four Beats for Pleasure Versatility Clinic. Contact
April 21-23 Cowboy Mounted Shooting. Contact Pam Lohrey, 540-570-8785.
May 1 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
April 8 & 9 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Emily Bates, 252-378-4474.
April 14-16 ECMHC Spring Fling Miniature Horse Club. Contact Katie Pulley, 757-334-6016.
April 22 & 23 April’s Just Horsin’ Round Open Show. Contact Beth Tew, btew2@nc.rr.com.
April 29 & 30 NC East Regional Qualifying 4-H Show. Contact Wilson County Cooperative
Extension, 252-237-0111.
May 6 & 7 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Emily Bates, 252-378-4474.
May 12-14 Four Beats for Pleasure Gaited Horse Show. Contact Shannon Gibbs, 919-255-0429.
May 25-28 SERHA Main Event. Contact info@serha.org.
June 3 & 4 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Bethanna Perry, 252-675-3017.
June 17 & 18 June’s Just Horsin’ Round Open Horse Show. Contact Beth Tew,
btew2@nc.rr.com.
WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
April 20-22 Good Times Barrel Racing. Contact Stacey Warner, 864-992-8664.
April 29 & 30 West District 4H Horse Show. Contact Shannon Coleman at
Shannon_coleman@ncsu.edu
May 5 & 6 Asheville Spring Warm Up. Contact Liz Holmes, lizholmes1957@gmail.com
May 10-13 Asheville Saddlebred Classic Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
June 15-18 Piedmont Paso Fino. Contact Ashley Aldred, 704-778-6717.
June 19-21 West District 4-H 3-Day Horsemanship Clinic. Contact Shannon Coleman, 828-837-
2210, ext. 4 or Shannon_coleman@ncsu.edu
July 12-15 Asheville Summer Fun. Contact Liz Holmes, Lizholmes1957@gmail.com
July 18-22 Blue Ridge Classic Horse Show. Contact Liz Holmes, Lizholmes1957@gmail.com.
Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, 919-821-7400
April 1-3 NCHJA “C” Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
April 8-10 Region 12 & 15 Arabian Show. Contact Myra Daniel, 919-614-7477.
April 14-16 Raleigh Invitational Show. Contact Joyce Wilson, 919-365-5149.
April 22-24 Spring Holiday Classic. Contact Travis Alford, 252-450-5438.
April 22-24 NCHJA “C” Outdoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-699-9877.
April 29 & 30 Revenge Roughstock Rodeo. Contact Zack Towery, 540-581-4993.
May 7 & 8 TWHA May Days Show. Contact Kim Moser, 919-201-3606.
May 14 &15 Raleigh Spring Dressage. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307.
May 21 & 22 Wake County & District 4-H Show. Contact Heather Schaffer, 919-250-1093.
May 25-28 Southern States Regional Morgan Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
June 4-5 Capital Dressage Classic. Contact Teresa Uddo, 352-636-2669.
June 9-12 Tar Heel Summer Classic Show. Contact Randy Ratliff, 336-339-8773.
June 16-18 Capital City Classic. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
June 25-26 NCAHA Open Summer Extravaganza. Contact Myra Daniel, 919-614-7477.
July 6-10 State 4-H Horse Show. Contact Lori Stroud, 919-515-5788.
July 15-17 SERHA. Contact Terri Mainey, 919-623-6054.
July 22-24 Triangle Farms Summer Indoors “C.” Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
July 23 & 24 TWHA July Show. Contact Kim Moser, 919-219-0256.
July 30 & 31 Raleigh Summer Dressage I & II. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307.

Bucolic briefs
***
As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor
offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include:
preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress,
migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers
program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and
preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau,
go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and
Twitter (@NCDOL).
***
Landowners with farms for sale or lease and farmers seeking land can also post their information at the
NC FarmLink website hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension
at https://www.ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/
***
Beekeepers with bees for rent and growers interested in bee pollination services can post their
information on the BeeLinked website at www.ncagr.com/beelinked. The site is hosted by the N.C.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. State University Apiculture Program.
Anyone interested in listing their information can do so by filling out an online Submit Your Ad form
on the BeeLinked page or by contacting NCDA&CS at 919-233-8214 or by email at
NCHoneybee@ncagr.gov or call NCSU at 919-515-1660. The NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division
regulates the movement of agricultural or related items capable of spreading harmful insects, diseases,
and other pests. Beekeepers participating in this program will be required to comply with all honey and
bee industry regulations.
***
The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available
at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business
loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for
agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance
Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at
RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov.
***

April 2023

Tab/Accordion Items

The N.C. Tomato Growers Association is offering a $1,000 merit/need-based scholarship
for the 2023-2024 academic year. Any North Carolina resident who pursues a horticulture or
agribusiness undergraduate or graduate degree at a four-year North Carolina college or university
is eligible to apply. The deadline for submitting an application is May 31.
The award will be based on a student’s demonstrated scholastic achievement, initiative,
leadership, financial need and extracurricular activities. The scholarship is contingent on the
recipient maintaining at least a 2.5 grade point average out of a possible 4.0 on all course work
during the scholarship period.
The student must be enrolled for the entire school year to receive the full scholarship.
Scholarship funds will be distributed through the financial aid office of the attending student’s
college or university. The scholarship will be paid in two installments, $500 per semester.
Applications are available with additional information at www.nctomatoes.com.
Completed applications should be mailed to: N.C. Tomato Growers Association, c/o
Melinda James, 1604 Hale Ridge Road, Scaly Mountain, NC 28775. If you need additional
information you may contact James, at 828-526-3989, or by e-mail at osagem@msn.com.

Be warned, there are people out there that are trying to rip folks off.
One of our subscribers and advertisers reached out to offer a warning about scammers,
including ones that offer to buy your equipment listed in the Ag Review.
Evan Meyers, a retired school principle and retired farmer from Wallburg, contacted my
chief of staff Zane Hedgecock to tell him what happened, explaining he thought the scammer
saw the listing online since he was from out of state.
I’ll start by saying it’s always a good idea to be on alert for scams and anything that
doesn’t seem or sound right when doing business with someone you do not know. In Meyers
case, the man contacted him about buying a 1982 combine he had for sale in the newspaper.
Part of the man’s story was that he was in the hospital undergoing chemo, but was
planning to move to North Carolina soon and farm.
After discussing the price, the man agreed to send Meyer a check. When the check
arrived, it was for more than double what had been agreed upon.
Meyer said THAT was the first red flag.
When he called the man, the man gave him a story about his secretary having
accidentally combined the price of the combine with a fee that was supposed to be paid to the
person who would be transporting the combine.
So, to keep the sale moving along, the man asked Meyers if he would go ahead and cash
the check and transfer the extra amount of money to the man who was supposed to be
transporting the piece of equipment.
And, THAT was the second red flag. At that point Meyers said he was pretty sure the
whole transaction was a scam.
Meyer talked with his bank and had a hold put on the check to ensure it was legitimate.
Sure enough, he said, the very convincing looking check from a credit union in Michigan was no
good.
The man meanwhile had continued to contact Meyer asking him if he deposited the check
and transferred the extra money yet. Once he knew the check was no good, Meyers said he wrote
back a particularly pointed note basically saying no, because you are trying to scam me.
Thanks to Meyers suspicions, he avoided being scammed, but scams involving checks
written for over the amount of a sale are one of the more common scams these unscrupulous
people try.
In fact, it made the list of top three scams, which included:
• Lotteries and Sudden Riches Scams
• Online Auctions, Classified Listing Sites, and Overpayment Scams
• Secret or Mystery Shopper Employment Scams
There are a lot of online resources discussing these scams and what to watch out for,
including one from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) at this link:
https://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/august2019.html
Meyers said he had heard about similar types of scams before, but he had never
personally been scammed by one. It hit a little too close to home and he wanted to be sure others
were aware of what had happened.
That’s why I chose to write about this in my column. I want people to be aware and
watchful, too. I’m sorry that someone tried to use the Agricultural Review as part of their scam.
Pay extra attention to out-of-state buyers and if something doesn’t sound right, pay attention.
Stay safe!

The following information was provided by the N.C. Invasive Plant Council, which hosts North Carolina’s
annual Invasive Plant Awareness Week. This year it runs April 1-7.
Non-native plants are those that have been introduced by humans, deliberately or accidentally, to locations
outside of their native range, especially from other continents. Many of these plants become invasive,
outcompeting native species for space, sunlight, water and nutrients. They also exhibit rapid growth over large
areas and produce an abundance of seeds, which have a high germination rate. Once in place, they become
persistent and may have a longer growing season than native plants. Ultimately, non-native invasive plants reduce biodiversity by displacing native plants and providing reduced nutrition for wildlife. Some are overlooked by pollinators and other wildlife that do not recognize their flowers and fruits. In some cases, native animals have died from direct consumption of non-native species, or from harmful
cyanobacteria which these plants may carry.
The good news is that anyone can control non-native invasive plants in their yards by using strategies and
methods developed by public land managers and conservation organizations over the last two decades. Then, by replacing them with native species, homeowners can bring back wildflowers, trees shrubs, and pollinators that belong in our region. A recent study conducted by the Smithsonian Institution found that survival of baby
chickadees declines in yards with less than 70% native plants. And, research by the entomologist Doug Tallamy has shown that native oak trees support over 500 species of caterpillars, whereas Asian ginkgoes host only five.
Benefits of Native Plants:
• Require lower maintenance
• Require fewer chemical treatments
• Provide beautiful color and foliage
• Are usually better at sequestering carbon
• Are better at conserving water and surviving weather extremes
• Provide the best food, cover, and nesting habitat for wildlife
What can you do to stop the spread of invasive plants?
• Learn about invasive plants and how to identify them
• Landscape your yard and gardens with native plants
• Clean boots, equipment, tires, and the dog before and after hiking or working in an infested area
• Know the source of your fill dirt, gravel or mulch to be sure they are free of invasive plants or seeds
• Get involved in volunteer control efforts with local organizations, garden clubs, and county/municipal
parks, which hold invasive plant control events
Probably everyone can recognize kudzu, since it is highly visible along highways where it was once planted.
But here are 10 other problematic non-native invasive plants that homeowners may find (and hopefully remove) from their yards:
• Bradford Pear (Pyrus calleryana)
• Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus)
• Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii)
• Chinese Silvergrass (Miscanthus sinensis)
• Fig Buttercup (Ficaria verna)
• Japanese Spirea (Spiraea japonica)
• Mimosa (Albizzia julibrissin)
• Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora)
• Olive species (Eleagnus spp.)
• Privet Species (Ligustrum spp.)
More information about invasive plants can be found by visiting the NC Invasive Plant Council website:
http://nc-ipc.weebly.com/

One of the NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division’s greatest responsibilities is to safeguard
North Carolina agriculture from the introduction or spread of injurious plant pests and invasive
weeds.
Each year dedicated teams of surveyors and trappers are deployed across the state to
monitor for the presence of regulated pests that have the potential to impact agriculture by
damaging crops and impeding trade. Each insect, plant disease and weed survey follows well
defined protocols implemented at biologically significant times to ensure the most efficient and
effective results.
To complete the annual trapping and pest surveys, the Plant Protection Section hires and
trains temporary employees with a passion for agriculture who love working outdoors. The work
is rewarding, and many temporary employees return to work with the same programs year after
year. All employees begin their workday from their home, are assigned state vehicles and
provided all supplies needed to complete their job responsibilities.
Retirees, students or recent graduates seeking agriculture or horticulture experience, or
individuals who work well independently and have availability Monday through Friday during
the timeframe for each program are an excellent match for these field-based jobs.
Plant Industry Division is accepting applications for all temporary positions needed for
the 2023 season. If interested in any of the following programs and positions, please contact the
following:
-- The Spotted Lanternfly Program needs temporary survey staff in Forsyth and Guilford
counties for around June and July. Contact Paul Adams at paul.adams@ncagr.gov or by phone at
919-707-3742
-- The Witchweed Program needs survey staff in Cumberland, Sampson, Pender, Bladen and
Robeson counties for July 5-Oct. 27. Contact James Ballard at james.ballard@ncagr.gov or 919-
303-0479 or Carlie Averitte at carlie.averitte@ncagr.gov or 919-606-2396.
-- The Sweet Potato Weevil trapping program runs Sept. 18 through Oct. 31 in Eastern North
Carolina. Contact Paul Adams at paul.adams@ncagr.gov or 919-707-3735.

Chandler James of Nashville was the winner of the N.C. Ag Star Finale that was held
recently at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. James competed against 15 N.C. finalists ages 13 to
22 who were selected from four semifinal competitions across the state. Kaden Thrower of Cary
and Trenice Atkinson of Greenville tied for second place. The third-place winner was Scarlet
Tantrum of Carthage.
James has recently relocated to Nashville, Tenn. to pursue his music dreams, but can be
found performing around the state. Follow James on Facebook at chandlerjmusic to see where he
is performing.

Individual landowners are critical to the health and longevity of forests across the state, and the N.C.
Forest Service offers several financial assistance programs designed to help landowners achieve a wide
range of management objectives.
The Forest Development Program (FDP), North Carolina’s flagship tree-planting program, provides
financial assistance for landowners with reforestation, afforestation and forest stand improvement
projects. Private landowners are eligible to receive up to 100 acres of FDP cost share annually and may
be partially reimbursed for the cost of site preparation, seedling purchases, tree planting, release of
desirable seedlings from competing vegetation, or any other work needed to establish a new forest.
Since 1977, the FDP has helped plant 820 million trees on more than 1.5 million acres. With support
from state appropriations and forest industry assessments, this program is an example of immense
collaboration that successfully bolsters our state’s vibrant forest sector.
Contact your NCFS county ranger to learn more about the Forest Development Program and whether it
can help manage your woodland. Find out more at https://bit.ly/3lpoWR0

Mark your calendar for May 19-21 for the return of the Got to Be NC Festival. This free
family-friendly event features a large collection of tractors on display plus a daily tractor parade,
carnival rides and games, agricultural exhibits, antique farm equipment, kids activities, fair food
and music.
The Food Lion Local Goodness Marketplace will showcase some of North Carolina’s
tastiest products. Visitors can sample and shop the marketplace for their favorites. Marketplace
admission is $3.
On Saturday, May 20, the Carolina Pig Jig will feature more than 20 chapters of Masons
in a BBQ competition to benefit the Masonic Homes for Children at Oxford. Food will be served
to the public after judging Saturday morning beginning at 11 a.m. Tickets for all-you-can-eat
BBQ is $20 for adults 11 and older, $10 for kids 5 to 10, and free for kids 4 and under.
Festival gate hours are Friday, noon to 10 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 9
a.m. to 8 p.m. Building and exhibit hours are Friday noon to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Carnival hours are Friday noon to 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 10
p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Carnival hours may extend one hour depending on
attendance.


April

  Check your crop's sulfur needs.

  Before planting, study your soil report carefully. Throughout North Carolina, soil levels of sulfur can be critically low. This plant nutrient moves easily out of the root zone in sandy coastal plain soils or sandy bottom lands in the western part of the state. In the piedmont, heavy clay soils may restrict root growth and limit access to sulfur reserves. Your NCDA&CS soil report indicates whether application of additional sulfur is necessary. If heavy rains occur early in the season, it is advisable to check sulfur levels again.
   Use plant tissue and solution analyses to manage fertility of greenhouse tomatoes.

  Tomatoes and other greenhouse crops benefit from intensive management. Have source water samples tested before nutrient solutions are mixed so you can identify and correct any potential problems. After mixing nutrient solutions, submit samples to make sure injectors are working properly and target concentrations are being achieved. Finally, collect plant tissue samples weekly to monitor the crop's nutrient status and adjust fertilizer rates accordingly.
   Fertilize Christmas trees.

  Each spring, apply 1/2 ounce of nitrogen uniformly over a 5×5-ft area around each tree. If trees were transplanted the previous fall and the potassium recommendation was 100 lb/acre or more, apply the remainder of the recommended potassium.
   For effective bermudagrass sprayfield maintenance, remove winter annuals.

  Harvest on time, even if weather is less than ideal. Remove the overseed at the "boot" stage of growth-prior to emergence of seed heads from the sheath. For rye, this is usually early April but varies with species and weather. In some years, follow-up harvests of the winter annual may be needed.

  Early April is seldom a good time to dry hay in the field, so plan to remove the winter annual as chopped or baled silage. Timely harvest of the winter annual permits bermuda to emerge from dormancy and develop leaf area before summer annual grasses and weeds germinate. If annual ryegrass was sown, plan on multiple harvests. A herbicide may be warranted for heavy regrowth.
   Submit soil samples for lawns and gardens (and some crops) now.

  Now is a good time for horticulturists and homeowners to prepare for their spring gardening and landscape projects by taking soil samples. Warm-season grasses and many landscape plants will benefit from lime and fertilizer applied in the coming months. If you haven't already done so, there is still time to take samples from fields where you intend to plant late spring crops like burley tobacco, cotton, and bermudagrass pastures. In April, the lab can normally process samples within two weeks. When you receive your report, pay particular attention to lime recommendations and make application as soon as possible for maximum effectiveness.

Horse events
Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699
April 3 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
April 15 Four Beats for Pleasure Versatility Clinic. Contact
April 21-23 Cowboy Mounted Shooting. Contact Pam Lohrey, 540-570-8785.
May 1 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
April 8 & 9 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Emily Bates, 252-378-4474.
April 14-16 ECMHC Spring Fling Miniature Horse Club. Contact Katie Pulley, 757-334-6016.
April 22 & 23 April’s Just Horsin’ Round Open Show. Contact Beth Tew, btew2@nc.rr.com.
April 29 & 30 NC East Regional Qualifying 4-H Show. Contact Wilson County Cooperative
Extension, 252-237-0111.
May 6 & 7 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Emily Bates, 252-378-4474.
May 12-14 Four Beats for Pleasure Gaited Horse Show. Contact Shannon Gibbs, 919-255-0429.
May 25-28 SERHA Main Event. Contact info@serha.org.
June 3 & 4 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Bethanna Perry, 252-675-3017.
June 17 & 18 June’s Just Horsin’ Round Open Horse Show. Contact Beth Tew,
btew2@nc.rr.com.
WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
April 20-22 Good Times Barrel Racing. Contact Stacey Warner, 864-992-8664.
April 29 & 30 West District 4H Horse Show. Contact Shannon Coleman at
Shannon_coleman@ncsu.edu
May 5 & 6 Asheville Spring Warm Up. Contact Liz Holmes, lizholmes1957@gmail.com
May 10-13 Asheville Saddlebred Classic Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
June 15-18 Piedmont Paso Fino. Contact Ashley Aldred, 704-778-6717.
June 19-21 West District 4-H 3-Day Horsemanship Clinic. Contact Shannon Coleman, 828-837-
2210, ext. 4 or Shannon_coleman@ncsu.edu
July 12-15 Asheville Summer Fun. Contact Liz Holmes, Lizholmes1957@gmail.com
July 18-22 Blue Ridge Classic Horse Show. Contact Liz Holmes, Lizholmes1957@gmail.com.
Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, 919-821-7400
April 1-3 NCHJA “C” Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
April 8-10 Region 12 & 15 Arabian Show. Contact Myra Daniel, 919-614-7477.
April 14-16 Raleigh Invitational Show. Contact Joyce Wilson, 919-365-5149.
April 22-24 Spring Holiday Classic. Contact Travis Alford, 252-450-5438.
April 22-24 NCHJA “C” Outdoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-699-9877.
April 29 & 30 Revenge Roughstock Rodeo. Contact Zack Towery, 540-581-4993.
May 7 & 8 TWHA May Days Show. Contact Kim Moser, 919-201-3606.
May 14 &15 Raleigh Spring Dressage. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307.
May 21 & 22 Wake County & District 4-H Show. Contact Heather Schaffer, 919-250-1093.
May 25-28 Southern States Regional Morgan Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
June 4-5 Capital Dressage Classic. Contact Teresa Uddo, 352-636-2669.
June 9-12 Tar Heel Summer Classic Show. Contact Randy Ratliff, 336-339-8773.
June 16-18 Capital City Classic. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
June 25-26 NCAHA Open Summer Extravaganza. Contact Myra Daniel, 919-614-7477.
July 6-10 State 4-H Horse Show. Contact Lori Stroud, 919-515-5788.
July 15-17 SERHA. Contact Terri Mainey, 919-623-6054.
July 22-24 Triangle Farms Summer Indoors “C.” Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
July 23 & 24 TWHA July Show. Contact Kim Moser, 919-219-0256.
July 30 & 31 Raleigh Summer Dressage I & II. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307.

Bucolic briefs
***
As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor
offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include:
preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress,
migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers
program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and
preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau,
go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and
Twitter (@NCDOL).
***
Landowners with farms for sale or lease and farmers seeking land can also post their information at the
NC FarmLink website hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension
at https://www.ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/
***
Beekeepers with bees for rent and growers interested in bee pollination services can post their
information on the BeeLinked website at www.ncagr.com/beelinked. The site is hosted by the N.C.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. State University Apiculture Program.
Anyone interested in listing their information can do so by filling out an online Submit Your Ad form
on the BeeLinked page or by contacting NCDA&CS at 919-233-8214 or by email at
NCHoneybee@ncagr.gov or call NCSU at 919-515-1660. The NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division
regulates the movement of agricultural or related items capable of spreading harmful insects, diseases,
and other pests. Beekeepers participating in this program will be required to comply with all honey and
bee industry regulations.
***
The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available
at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business
loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for
agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance
Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at
RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov.
***

March 2023

Tab/Accordion Items

Column
Ok, farmers, if you haven’t filled out the Census of Agriculture survey, I encourage you to do so.
I understand from our state statistician that only about 35 percent of producers have filled out the
survey.
We need more participation in order to get the most accurate snapshot of North Carolina
agriculture. Survey information is kept confidential, but the aggregated information helps inform
state and federal ag policy, infrastructure and rural development, disaster relief, research and
education.
This is every farmer’s opportunity to be heard and counted, so it is important they each person
takes the time to fill out the survey. Agriculture risks being underserved without strong data.
Email reminders and follow-up questionnaires are being sent out to those who have not
responded. You may receive a phone call as well.
Please take the survey and have your information counted in this Census of Agriculture.
***
If you missed the annual Ag Development Forum, you missed an excellent program that
included an economic update from Dr. Blake Brown, professor emeritus at N.C. State University,
a panel discussion about the impact on North Carolina agriculture from the war on Ukraine and a
presentation on national agricultural insights from Ted McKinney, CEO of the National
Association of State Departments of Agriculture.
I also presented my annual State of Agriculture address, where I shared about the department’s
focus for 2023 along with the legislative agenda. I’ll share the following highlights:
 Farmland preservation will remain a key focus for the department as development
continues to accelerate the conversion of farmland to both large-scale industrial projects
and smaller housing developments and retail sites.
 Our legislative requests can be summed up by the word “investment:”
o In our human resources, aka staff
o In our natural resources, farmland preservation
o In agricultural research
 I am requesting $15 million for the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation
Trust Fund, based on the fact that North Carolina ranks third in population growth in the
country and American Farmland Trust’s recent report noting that North Carolina ranks
second in the country for most potential farmland loss by 2040. For perspective, there are
8.3 million acres of farmland in the state today. This reported projected the loss of 1.1
million acres by 2040 based on current development with the potential to jump to 1.6
million acres if development increased.
 Ag exports will also remain another priority for the department. One point Blake Brown
made was the need to diversify when it comes to export, meaning we need to also focus
attention on developing trade with other countries such as Canada, Mexico and India.

One of the NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division’s greatest responsibilities is to safeguard
North Carolina agriculture from the introduction or spread of injurious plant pests and invasive
weeds.
Each year dedicated teams of surveyors and trappers are deployed across the state to
monitor for the presence of regulated pests that have the potential to impact agriculture by
damaging crops and impeding trade. Each insect, plant disease and weed survey follows well
defined protocols implemented at biologically significant times to ensure the most efficient and
effective results.
To complete the annual trapping and pest surveys, the Plant Protection Section hires and
trains temporary employees with a passion for agriculture who love working outdoors. The work
is rewarding, and many temporary employees return to work with the same programs year after
year. All employees begin their workday from their home, are assigned state vehicles and
provided all supplies needed to complete their job responsibilities.
Retirees, students or recent graduates seeking agriculture or horticulture experience, or
individuals who work well independently and have availability Monday through Friday during
the timeframe for each program are an excellent match for these field-based jobs.
Plant Industry Division is accepting applications for all temporary positions needed for
the 2023 season. If interested in any of the following programs and positions, please contact the
following:
-- The Spongy Moth Program (formerly Gypsy Moth), which employs temporary
employees statewide from April 4 to May 20 and Aug. 12 to Sept. 16. Contact Sara Lalk at
sara.lalk@ncagr.gov or 919-707-3743.
-- The Witchweed Program needs survey staff in Cumberland, Sampson, Pender, Bladen
and Robeson counties for July 5-Oct. 27. Contact James Ballard at james.ballard@ncagr.gov or
919-303-0479 or Carlie Averitte at carlie.averitte@ncagr.gov or 919-606-2396.
-- The Sweet Potato Weevil trapping program runs Sept. 18 through Oct. 31 in Eastern
North Carolina. Contact Paul Adams at paul.adams@ncagr.gov or 919-707-3735.
-- The Red Imported Fire Ant Survey has a flexible timeline for someone located around
Burke County. Contact Paul Adams at paul.adams@ncagr.gov or 919-707-3735.

 March

  Test for nematodes before planting vegetables.

  Nematodes pose a major threat to nearly all vegetable crops in all soils. Unless you intend to apply a preplant fumigant, it is a good idea to collect soil samples for nematode assay before seedlings are planted and mulched. Any steps to prevent nematode problems must be taken long before the crop is established. For information on collecting and submitting samples for nematode assay, visit www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/uyrnem.htm.

  In home gardens, no chemicals are available for nematode management. However, there are some plant cultivars with resistance to root-knot nematodes. See NemaNote 12 for details.
   Now is the time to collect tissue samples from wheat.

  Depending on where you live, you may need to sample now (eastern counties) or wait until late March (western counties). The best time to take tissue samples is when the wheat is at Zadoks Growth Stage 30 or Feekes Stage 4–5. At these growth stages, stems are upright and tillering has stopped. To collect a sample, break wheat plants off about 1/2 inch above the ground. Each sample should consist of about two handfuls of wheat—a composite gathered from 10 to 20 areas throughout the field. A pictorial guide to tissue sampling is available online at www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/pictorial.htm. Be sure to read the new wheat sampling and fertilization guidelines from NCSU.
   When growing peanuts, use agronomic tests to monitor zinc levels in the soil.

  Growers who value the prime farmland where peanuts are produced should consider using alternate sites for waste application. Peanuts are very sensitive to certain metals found in waste, particularly zinc. Soils with NCDA&CS zinc index (Zn-I) values as low as 300 can be toxic to peanuts, even though other crops can tolerate levels up to Zn-I=2000.

  In some areas, soil test data for peanut land already appear to show increases in zinc levels, indicating that waste is being applied to these fields. An important aspect of managing sites where waste is applied is to maintain a pH of 6.0–6.5. Low soil pH increases the availability and toxicity of metals.
   Apply lime now if recommended by your soil report.

  By now, you should have already submitted soil samples and received your report. If lime is recommended, go ahead and apply it as soon as possible. For lawns, you may want to aerate the ground before application to maximize the ability of the lime to move into the soil profile. Liming soils to the target pH of the intended crop increases availability of plant nutrients already in the soil and supplies additional calcium and/or magnesium. Since liming can take up to 6 months to adjust pH, it is important to apply lime as far in advance of planting as possible.
 

Horse events
Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699
March 4 & 5 Cowboy Mounted Shooting. Contact Pam Lohrey, 540-570-8785.
March 6 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
March 25 BBHA Open Show. Contact Jerry King, 910-237-4525.
April 3 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
March 4 & 5 Cowboy Mounted Shooting. Contact Pam Lohrey, 540-570-8785.
Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
March 3-5 Hoppin’ Into Spring. Contact Travis Alford, 252-450-5438.
March 10 & 11 N.C. Barrel Bonanza. Contact Fred Smith, 252-450-9752.
March 17-19 SERHA Slide Into Spring. Contact Terry Mainey, 919-623-6054.
March 30-April 2 2023 Martinganza Quarter Horse Show and Futurity. Contact Susan Daniels
919-894-0600.
April 8 & 9 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Emily Bates, 252-378-4474.
April 14-16 ECMHC Spring Fling Miniature Horse Club. Contact Katie Pulley, 757-334-6016.
April 22 & 23 April’s Just Horsin’ Round Open Show. Contact Beth Tew, btew2@nc.rr.com.
April 29 & 30 NC East Regional Qualifying 4-H Show. Contact Wilson County Cooperative
Extension, 252-237-0111.
May 6 & 7 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Emily Bates, 252-378-4474.
May 12-14 Four Beats for Pleasure Gaited Horse Show. Contact Shannon Gibbs, 919-255-0429.
May 25-28 SERHA Main Event. Contact info@serha.org.
WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
March 3-5 NBHA Super Show. Contact 706-722-7223.
March 4 Coggins Vaccine Clinic. Contact Animals R Us, 828-693-7387.
April 20-22 Good Times Barrel Racing. Contact Stacey Warner, 864-992-8664.
April 29 & 30 West District 4H Horse Show. Contact Shannon Coleman at
Shannon_coleman@ncsu.edu
May 5 & 6 Asheville Spring Warm Up. Contact Liz Holmes, lizholmes1957@gmail.com
May 10-13 Asheville Saddlebred Classic Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
June 15-18 Piedmont Paso Fino. Contact Ashley Aldred, 704-778-6717.
Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, 919-821-7400
March 4 & 5 Raleigh Winter Dressage. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307.
March 10-12 NCHJA “C” Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
March 16-19 Raleigh Indoor Spring Classic. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
March 22-25 Raleigh Spring Premier Benefit. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-365-5149.
April 1-3 NCHJA “C” Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
April 8-10 Region 12 & 15 Arabian Show. Contact Myra Daniel, 919-614-7477.
April 14-16 Raleigh Invitational Show. Contact Joyce Wilson, 919-365-5149.
April 22-24 Spring Holiday Classic. Contact Travis Alford, 252-450-5438.
April 22-24 NCHJA “C” Outdoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-699-9877.
April 29 & 30 Revenge Roughstock Rodeo. Contact Zack Towery, 540-581-4993.
May 7 & 8 TWHA May Days Show. Contact Kim Moser, 919-201-3606.
May 14& 15 Raleigh Spring Dressage. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307.
May 21 & 22 Wake County & District 4-H Show. Contact Heather Schaffer, 919-250-1093.
May 25-28 Southern States Regional Morgan Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.

Bucolic briefs
Johnston Community College is offering Beekeeping Class for Beginners on Thursdays, March 9
through May 11 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the JCC Arboretum, 1024 E. Market St., Smithfield. Cost is
$110 for class; books are provided by the college. Contact Robbie Carver at Rfcarver@Johnstoncc.edu
or 919-209-2127 for more information.
***
The Corn Growers Association of North Carolina will hold a referendum vote of corn producers March
14 during regular business hours at county Cooperative Extension offices. Farmers currently engaged
in the production of #2 yellow dent corn intended for livestock feed, including tenants, sharecroppers
or other persons sharing in production income from corn are eligible to vote on a voluntary assessment
of .30 % of settlement of corn marketed. The assessment will be used to promote all phases of
marketing, promotion and market development, research and education benefitting all growers. For
more information on the referendum, contact your county Cooperative Extension office, Rhonda
Garrison with the Corn Growers Association at 919-803-4778 or Karla Frizzell at N.C. State
University at 919-515-3252.
***
The Equestrian Exchange Spring Tack Consignment Sale will be held March 23-26 at the Holshouser
Building at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, 4285 Trinity Road. Buy and consign anything related to
the equestrian sport including all types of saddles, tack, driving equipment, show clothing for all
disciplines of riding, barn supplies, carts, other animal items and more. Sell horse trailers for
representation fee only. Bar code tagging on the Equestrian Exchange web site allows consignor to
view sales from home. Tagging guidelines mandatory. Consignors drop off priced, tagged items March
21 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and March 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Special premier shopping night open to
public for $10 cash only on March 23 from 5-10 p.m. Kids age 12 and under are free. Open shopping
with free admission is March 24 and 25 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and March 26 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Some items are discounted half off on March 26. Consignors pick up unsold items on March 28 from 3
to 8 p.m. or March 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or they are donated. Consignors should make
arrangements if they want unsold items returned. We cannot store or transfer consignors items from
sale to sale. Consignors earn 70%, donate unsold items to NC nonprofit equestrian organizations if
desired. Volunteers needed March 21-Marc 30 and shop before consignors. Consignors shop before
public. Sign up on web site. Payment accepted: cash, NC checks with 2 IDs approved, credit cards
with 3 % fee/per card transaction. N.C. government regulations for COVID followed for everyone's
safety. Waivers to be signed at drop off. For more details, go to www.EquestrianExchange.com or
contact Lynn Beeson at 336-362-6248 or Tanya Wright at 540-977-1950.
***
As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor
offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include:
preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress,
migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers
program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and
preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau,
go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and
Twitter (@NCDOL).
***
Landowners with farms for sale or lease and farmers seeking land can also post their information at the
NC FarmLink website hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension
at https://www.ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/
***
Beekeepers with bees for rent and growers interested in bee pollination services can post their
information on the BeeLinked website at www.ncagr.com/beelinked. The site is hosted by the N.C.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. State University Apiculture Program.
Anyone interested in listing their information can do so by filling out an online Submit Your Ad form
on the BeeLinked page or by contacting NCDA&CS at 919-233-8214 or by email at
NCHoneybee@ncagr.gov or call NCSU at 919-515-1660. The NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division
regulates the movement of agricultural or related items capable of spreading harmful insects, diseases,
and other pests. Beekeepers participating in this program will be required to comply with all honey and
bee industry regulations.
***
The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available
at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business
loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for
agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance
Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at
RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov.
***

February 2023

Tab/Accordion Items

The Southern Farm Show will be held Feb. 1-3 at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh with free
admission and free parking.
Several special events and meetings will be held during the farm show including the Ag
Development Forum on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 9:30 a.m.; the N.C. Growers Association meeting Feb. 2 at 1
p.m.; the annual Breakfast with the Commissioner fundraiser for the Tobacco Farm Life Museum on Feb.
3 at 7:3 0 a.m.; and the annual meeting of the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina on Feb. 3.
For information on the Southern Farm Show go to https://southernshows.com/sfs

I am proud that North Carolina farmers feed people locally, nationally and
internationally. Ag exports are significant to the state’s $92.9 billion ag economy, with
the state producing around $3 billion in ag exports annually.
We continue to work to open new markets for North Carolina products through
established trade offices, trade shows and trade missions. With more than 95 percent of
the world’s 7.7 billion population living outside the United States, the global marketplace
represents tremendous opportunity for North Carolina.
Based on our latest numbers from 2021, our top trade countries are China at $566
million, Canada at $396 million, Mexico at $260 million, South Korea at $187 million,
Vietnam at $148 million, and Taiwan and the Netherlands at $106 million each.
Meat and meat products accounted for 29 percent of total ag exports at $842
million. Miscellaneous value-added products such as Campbell canned soup and some
BBQ sauces came in second in leading ag products at 16 percent or $470 million in
exports. Just behind that is tobacco at $403 million or 14 percent. Lumber products also
are a significant export at $311 million or 11 percent of total exports.
We also export $171 million in vegetables including sweet potatoes, which
account for nearly 90 percent of our vegetable exports and are popular exports to Canada,
the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
Muscadine grapes are another crop that we are hoping to make progress with in
China and South Korea, where the grapes have been well received because of the fruit’s
health benefits and taste.
I am optimistic about the future of North Carolina ag exports as the world
population continues to grow. The positive business relationships we build today help
reinforce our state’s reputation for providing top quality products whether that’s fresh
fruits and vegetables, quality protein products, beverages, seafood, timber or value-added
processed foods.
Growers or agribusiness owners interested in learning more about international
markets and opportunities that may be available should contact the International
Marketing Section at 919-707-3153.
Our International team, led by Cathy Ma, assistant director of International
Marketing, has the expertise and experience to help businesses navigate the rules and
requirements to sell products overseas. The idea of finding an overseas market for
products and the regulations involved in export may seem daunting, but our International
team can help walk producers through the steps needed to determine if exports makes
sense for your business.
In other news, I want to extend my congratulations to Russell Hedrick of Catawba
County for topping the 400 bushel yield for acre for corn in the 2022 North Carolina
Corn Growers Association yield contest
I have always said that I would present $100 to the first farmer that topped the
400 bushels per acre yield mark and I am pleased to stand by that promise. Well done,
Russell!

The North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission is accepting applications for its
2023 grant cycle, which will be awarded in the fall. The deadline to apply is March 3.
`The goals of the grants are to support the agricultural industry, impact rural communities and
stimulate economic development.
Application information is now online at www.tobaccotrustfund.org for qualifying
organizations.
"Applications will be accepted online for innovative projects within North Carolina.
Selected projects should expect to start in November," said William H. “Bill” Teague, NCTTFC
Chairman.
The NCTTFC was established in 2000 by the N.C. General Assembly to help members of
the tobacco community including farmers, tobacco workers and related businesses. Its original
funding was established through tobacco industry annual payments as a result of the Master
Settlement Agreement. Funding is now appropriated to the NCTTFC which then reviews, selects
and disperses the funds to grant projects.
Past NCTTFC projects includes fair and farmers market improvements, cost-share grant
programs for farmers, commodity marketing, researching alternative crops and support of
agricultural education programs.
More information can be found at the NCTTFC’s website at https://tobaccotrustfund.org/,
or by calling Jeff Camden at 919-733-2160, ext. 1.

The Marketing Division of The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Marketing Division is planning a series of free risk management workshops on “Managing Price
Volatility/Identifying Macro Indicators.”
Topics to be covered include: Introduction to Grain Hedging, Basis Trading, Cost of
Carry, ICE Cotton Futures, Option Trading on Futures, Energy Derivatives, and macro forces
impacting the hedger. There will be an emphasis on the principles of options, spreading
strategies, and using options to manage agricultural price risk.
Following are dates and locations:
 Tuesday Feb. 7, 10 a.m. to noon - Person County Extension Office, 304 S. Morgan St.,
Roxboro, 336-599-1195.
 Thursday, Feb. 9, 10 a.m. to noon - Granville County Extension Office, 125 Oxford
Outer Loop Oxford, 919-603-1350.
 Tuesday, Feb. 21, 10 a.m. to noon - Northampton Cooperative Extension Center, 9495
N.C. Hwy. 305 N, Jackson, 252-534-2831.
 Tuesday, Feb. 28, 10 a.m. to noon - Rowan County Extension Office 2727 Old Concord
Road, Salisbury, 704-216-8970.
 Thursday, March 2, 10 a.m. to noon - Stanly County Extension Office, 26032-E Newt
Road, Albemarle, 704-983-3987.

One of the NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division’s greatest responsibilities is to safeguard
North Carolina agriculture from the introduction or spread of injurious plant pests and invasive
weeds.
Each year dedicated teams of surveyors and trappers are deployed across the state to
monitor for the presence of regulated pests that have the potential to impact agriculture by
damaging crops and impeding trade. Each insect, plant disease and weed survey follows well
defined protocols implemented at biologically significant times to ensure the most efficient and
effective results.
To complete the annual trapping and pest surveys, the Plant Protection Section hires and
trains temporary employees with a passion for agriculture who love working outdoors. The work
is rewarding, and many temporary employees return to work with the same programs year after
year. All employees begin their workday from their home, are assigned state vehicles and
provided all supplies needed to complete their job responsibilities.
Retirees, students or recent graduates seeking agriculture or horticulture experience, or
individuals who work well independently and have availability Monday through Friday during
the timeframe for each program are an excellent match for these field-based jobs.
Plant Industry Division is accepting applications for all temporary positions needed for
the 2023 season. If interested in any of the following programs and positions, please contact the
following:
-- The Spongy Moth Program (formerly Gypsy Moth), which employs temporary
employees statewide from April 4 to May 20 and Aug. 12 to Sept. 16. Contact Sara Lalk at
sara.lalk@ncagr.gov or 919-707-3743.
-- The Witchweed Program needs survey staff in Cumberland, Sampson, Pender, Bladen
and Robeson counties for July 5-Oct. 27. Contact James Ballard at james.ballard@ncagr.gov or
919-303-0479 or Carlie Averitte at carlie.averitte@ncagr.gov or 919-606-2396.
-- The Sweet Potato Weevil trapping program runs Sept. 18 through Oct. 31 in Eastern
North Carolina. Contact Paul Adams at paul.adams@ncagr.gov or 919-707-3735.
-- The Red Imported Fire Ant Survey has a flexible timeline for someone located around
Burke County. Contact Paul Adams at paul.adams@ncagr.gov or 919-707-3735.

 February

  Tobacco transplant producers should doublecheck the nutrient content of their float-bed water by submitting a sample for solution analysis.

  Visit www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/pdffiles/2013FloatBed.pdf for details.
   Gear up for spring gardening by checking the quality of your compost.

  Everyone knows that the NCDA&CS Agronomic Division analyzes soil samples, but most people are surprised when they find out that it tests compost too. Putting out compost is a good way to improve the physical properties of the soil and increase its moisture-holding capacity. However, compost also contains organic fertilizer nutrients. For this reason, you really ought to know ahead of time how much “fertilizer” you are applying.

  To determine the fertilizer value of compost, collect a good, representative sample and send it in for waste analysis. Resultswill tell you the concentrations of nutrients that are available to your plants the first season the compost is applied as well as the compost’s pH and electrical conductivity (a measure of soluble salts). The report also provides the ratio of total carbon to nitrogen, which helps commercial compost producers decide how to best mix feed stocks to optimize decomposition rate.

  Visit www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/uyrwaste.htm for instructions on how to collect and submit samples. Additional information is available in our Waste and Compost Analysis Guide.
   Familiarize yourself with wheat tissue sampling guidelines.

  Dr. Randy Weisz of N.C. State University has refined wheat fertilization guidelines for North Carolina conditions. Visit www.smallgrains.ncsu.edu/_Pubs/PG/Nitrogen.pdf for details. These guidelines tie recommended fertilizer rates to wheat biomass measurements and tissue test results. Growers who want to use these guidelines must submit both types of samples (biomass and tissue) to the Agronomic Division. For more information, contact your regional agronomist or other agricultural advisor.
   Monitor strawberry nutrient status by tissue sampling.

  The Agronomic Division recommends monitoring the nutritional status of strawberries and the efficiency of fertilizer programs by submitting a plant tissue sample at least once a month, preferably every two weeks. Sampling should begin with the first flush of growth in the spring and continue throughout the flowering and fruiting season.

  Plant tissue samples should be representative of conditions in the field. A good sample includes the most recently mature trifoliate leaves (leaf blades and petioles) from 20 to 25 locations in the field. Detach petioles from the leaves as you collect them but include them in the sample. Information on collecting and submitting strawberry tissue samples is available online at www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/pictorial.htm.

  Petiole analysis is a good indicator of the nitrogen currently available for growth and development. Be sure to provide the name of the strawberry cultivar on the Plant Sample Information form.

  If tissue analysis reveals plant nutrient deficiencies, consider the following factors before taking corrective action:
       soil pH and nutrient levels,
       environmental conditions such as rainfall and temperature,
       disease and insect pressure, and
       plant appearance and stage of development.

  Check source water used in greenhouse and nursery operations and correct any SAR (sodium adsorption ratio) problems.

  Water used in plant production, including greenhouse-grown tobacco transplants, should have an SAR value of 4 or less. For ornamental plants in a nursery setting, SAR values of 10 or greater are cause for concern. High SAR values are most common for water samples from coastal areas.

  A high SAR value on a solution report indicates an imbalance among sodium (Na), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) cations. This imbalance can cause leaf burn due to foliar uptake of Na. In mineral soils, this imbalance can also lead to poor soil structure, which hinders infiltration of water. In soilless container media, however, this effect is negligible.

  The best way to reduce SAR to the desired level is to add calcium from a source such as gypsum. To calculate the amount of gypsum needed to reduce SAR to 4, follow these steps.
       Calculate the amount of calcium required in parts per million (ppm).

      Ca needed = 0.004725 Na² – 1.64 Mg – Ca,

      where Na, Mg and Ca are the ppm concentrations listed on the solution report.

      Calculate the appropriate rate of gypsum (22% Ca) to apply by inserting the Ca needed value from step 1 into the following equation.

      Ca needed × 0.0607 = ounces gypsum per 100 gallons of water
 

Horse events
Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699
Feb. 4 NCBRA Barrel Race. Contact Justin Hill, 910-705-6900.
Feb. 6 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Feb. 11 & 12 Roping. Contact Coltin Nobles, 803-671-3775.
Feb. 18 & 19 Carolina Cutting Horse Association. Contact Nic Johnson, 919-625-1677.
Macrh 4 & 5 Cowboy Mounted Shooter. Contact Pam Lohrey, 540-570-8785.
March 6 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
Feb. 3 & 4 VA & NC Pullers First Winter National. Contact Walter Vann, 252-287-1397.
Feb. 17 & 18 2023 Old Ford Volunteer Fire Department Survivor Series Rodeo. Contact Frankie
Buck, 252-946-9780.
Feb. 24 & 25 Hook & Book Draft Horse Pull & IBRA Super Show Barrel Race. Contact Travis
Alford, 252-450-5438.
March 3-5 Hoppin’ Into Spring. Contact Travis Alford, 252-450-5438.
March 10 & 11 N.C. Barrel Bonanza. Contact Fred Smith, 252-450-9752.
March 17-19 SERHA Slide Into Spring. Contact Terry Mainey, 919-623-6054.
March 30-April 2 2023 Martinganza Quarter Horse Show and Futurity. Contact Susan Daniels
919-894-0600.
WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
Feb. 9-12 N.C. High School Rodeo. Contact Sharon Livengood, 704-798-0432.
March 3-5 NBHA Super Show. Contact 706-722-7223.
March 4 Coggins Vaccine Clinic. Contact Animals R Us, 828-693-7387.
April 20-22 Good Times Barrel Racing. Contact Stacey Warner, 864-992-8664.
April 29 & 30 West District 4H Horse Show. Contact Shannon Coleman at
Shannon_coleman@ncsu.edu
Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, 919-821-7400
Feb. 3 Southern National Draft Horse Pull. Contact Calvin Davis, 919-812-0831.
Feb. 10 & 11 American Bullriders Finals. Contact Jeff Mullen, 919-796-8375.
Feb. 17-19 Triangle Winter Indoors II C. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
Feb. 23-26 Raleigh Winter II Hunter. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
March 4 & 5 Raleigh Winter Dressage. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307.
March 10-12 NCHJA “C” Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
March 16-19 Raleigh Indoor Spring Classic. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
March 22-25 Raleigh Spring Premier Benefit. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-365-5149.
April 1-3 NCHJA “C” Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
April 8-10 Region 12 & 15 Arabian Show. Contact Myra Daniel, 919-614-7477.

Bucolic briefs
The Southern Farm Show will be held Feb. 1-3 at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. This is the largest
annual agricultural exposition in the Carolinas and Virginia. Filling the NC State Fairgrounds, the
show hosts over 400 exhibitors, agricultural meetings, workshops and training, and everything farmers
need to prepare for the coming growing season. In conjunction with the Farm Show, the Southern
National Draft Pull and Coon Mule Jump returns to the Hunt Horse Arena Feb. 3. Watch giant teams
for Percheron and Belgian draft horses match their strength to determine this year's winners. Starting at
6 p.m., pre-pull entertainment includes a parade of antique farm equipment and the ever-popular Coon
Mule Jump. For more details, visit Southern National Draft Horse Pull.
***
The Equestrian Exchange Spring Tack Consignment Sale will be held March 23-26 at the Holshouser
Building at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, 4285 Trinity Road. Buy and consign anything related to
the equestrian sport including all types of saddles, tack, driving equipment, show clothing for all
disciplines of riding, barn supplies, carts, other animal items and more. Sell horse trailers for
representation fee only. Bar code tagging on the Equestrian Exchange web site allows consignor to
view sales from home. Tagging guidelines mandatory. Consignors drop off priced, tagged items March
21 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and March 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Special premier shopping night open to
public for $10 cash only on March 23 from 5-10 p.m. Kids age 12 and under are free. Open shopping
with free admission is March 24 and 25 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and March 26 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Some items are discounted half off on March 26. Consignors pick up unsold items on March 28 from 3
to 8 p.m. or March 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or they are donated. Consignors should make
arrangements if they want unsold items returned. We cannot store or transfer consignors items from
sale to sale. Consignors earn 70%, donate unsold items to NC nonprofit equestrian organizations if
desired. Volunteers needed March 21-Marc 30 and shop before consignors. Consignors shop before
public. Sign up on web site. Payment accepted: cash, NC checks with 2 IDs approved, credit cards
with 3 % fee/per card transaction. N.C. government regulations for COVID followed for everyone's
safety. Waivers to be signed at drop off. For more details, go to www.EquestrianExchange.com or
contact Lynn Beeson at 336-362-6248 or Tanya Wright at 540-977-1950.
As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor
offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include:
preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress,
migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers
program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and
preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau,
go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and
Twitter (@NCDOL).
***
Landowners with farms for sale or lease and farmers seeking land can also post their information at the
NC FarmLink website hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension
at https://www.ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/
***
Beekeepers with bees for rent and growers interested in bee pollination services can post their
information on the BeeLinked website at www.ncagr.com/beelinked. The site is hosted by the N.C.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. State University Apiculture Program.
Anyone interested in listing their information can do so by filling out an online Submit Your Ad form
on the BeeLinked page or by contacting NCDA&CS at 919-233-8214 or by email at
NCHoneybee@ncagr.gov or call NCSU at 919-515-1660. The NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division
regulates the movement of agricultural or related items capable of spreading harmful insects, diseases,
and other pests. Beekeepers participating in this program will be required to comply with all honey and
bee industry regulations.
***
The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available
at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business
loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for
agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance
Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at
RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov.
***

January 2023

Tab/Accordion Items

The Southern Farm Show will be held Feb. 1-3 at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh with free
admission and free parking.
Several special events and meetings will be held during the farm show including the Ag
Development Forum on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 9:30 a.m.; the N.C. Growers Association meeting Feb. 2 at 1
p.m.; the annual Breakfast with the Commissioner fundraiser for the Tobacco Farm Life Museum on Feb.
3 at 7:3 0 a.m.; and the annual meeting of the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina on Feb. 3.
For information on the Southern Farm Show go to https://southernshows.com/sfs

I spend a great deal of time on the road with my job. Seeing the state, particularly the areas
outside of our urban centers, is something I enjoy most about my work.
Seeing both the rural and urban areas serves as an excellent reminder that North Carolina is
more rural than urban, but it also gives me a front row seat to the acceleration of development and how
quickly areas can change in and around our big cities.
While we remain a mostly rural state, make no mistake some of our cities are experiencing
explosive growth. North Carolina is a destination state for many people and studies show this.
I recently read a news report that noted two of North Carolina’s metropolitan areas fall into the
Top 10 of fastest growing metro areas in the United States.
In fact, Raleigh ranks second in the country only behind Austin, Texas. And Charlotte comes in at
number 6. The population growth for Austin from 2016 to 2021 was 14.1 percent, for Raleigh it was 11.1
percent for the same time period and 8.1 percent for Charlotte.
In the Top 15 noted in this report, Texas placed four cities on the fastest growing list, Florida had
three of its cities on the list and North Carolina had two. I think it is interesting that each of these are
states with large agricultural footprints and production.
I talk a lot about farmland preservation. Some of you may even be tired of me making it a
frequent topic of discussion, but there is a real urgency to ensuring we have the natural resources to be
able to provide food, fiber and fuel for ourselves and others.
This year we topped 30,000 acres protected through our Ag Development and Farm
Preservation Trust Fund since its beginning, which is a great milestone. But our work is nowhere near
done.
For example, an electric vehicle manufacturing plant planned for Chatham County is expected to
sit on 1,765 acres. A total of 280 acres were purchased in the Research Triangle Park for the planned
Apple campus.
In July of this year, the American Farmland Trust released its report Farms Under Threat 2040 in
which it noted that North Carolina ranks second in the country in potential farmland loss by 2040. The
report projected 1.1 million acres of farmland would be converted from agricultural use. That number
was based on current development numbers, but land loss could increase to 1.6 million if development
increases.
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this column, nearly everywhere I travel development is
taking place. As a department, we will continue to rally support for Farmland Preservation efforts so we
can secure the natural resources we need for future generations. We cannot afford to wait until we are
in a crisis with land loss. We have to have the foresight to understand the long-term needs today,
because we know others are eyeing the future and projected population increases.

RALEIGH- Following are winners in youth and open N.C. State Fair livestock shows.
Open Dairy -Ayrshire
 Grand champion female shown by Russell Isley of Burlington
 Reserve grand champion female shown by Lainey Nolan of Cochranville, Penn.
Open Dairy – Brown Swiss
 Grand champion and reserve grand champion females shown by Derek Heizer of Snow Camp
Open Dairy - Guernsey
 Grand champion and reserve grand champion females shown by Dennett Withington of Goldston
Open Dairy – Holstein
 Grand champion female shown by Shanna Langley of Staley
 Reserve grand champion shown by Plessed-Rose Dairy of Goldvein, Va.
Open Dairy -Jersey
 Grand champion female shown by Amanda Baldwin of Statesville
 Reserve grand champion female shown by Valerie Langley of Staley
Junior Dairy – Ayrshire
 Grand champion shown by Colton Oliver of Burlington
 Reserve grand champion shown by Landon Oliver of Burlington
Junior Dairy – Brown Swiss
 Grand champion shown by Maddi Heffner of Liberty
 Reserve grand champion shown by Margaret Mehaffey of Rural Hall
Junior Dairy – Guernsey
 Grand champion shown by Charlie McMurry of Shelby
 Reserve grand champion shown by Mason Woody of Snow Camp
 Supreme champion shown by Bryson Baldwin of Statesville
 Reserve supreme champion shown by Coet Munden of Advance
Junior Dairy – Holstein
 Grand champion shown by Rilen Wright of Franklinville
 Reserve grand champion shown by Reagan Tompkins of Ennice
Junior Dairy – Jersey
 Grand champion shown by Bryson Baldwin of Statesville
 Reserve grand champion shown by Coet Munden of Advance
Open Beef Cattle – All other breeds
 Grand champion female shown by Rex Howard of Lattimore
 Reserve champion female shown by Cody Clary of Saluda
 Grand champion reserve grand champion bulls shown by Savannah McIntire of Ivanhoe
Open Beef Cattle – Angus
 Grand champion female shown by Wood Angus of Willow Spring
 Reserve grand champion female shown by Emma Vanhoy of Catawba
 Grand champion and reserve grand champion bulls shown by Wood Angus of Willow Spring
Open Beef Cattle – Belted Galloway
 Grand champion and reserve grand champion females shown by Abigail Gant of Pisgah Forest
Open Beef Cattle – Charolais
 Grand champion female shown by Brooke Harward of Richfield
 Reserve grand champion female shown by Cody Clary of Saluda
 Grand champion bull shown by Timothy Vanreenen of Hillsboro, W.Va.
Open Beef Cattle – Gelbvieh
 Grand champion female shown by Todd Hodges of Ruffin
 Reserve grand champion female shown by Colton Cox of Spruce Pine
 Grand champion bull shown by Todd Hodges of Ruffin
Open Beef Cattle – Hereford
 Grand champion cow/calf shown by Mitchem’s Farm 3c of Vale
 Reserve grand champion shown by NCSU E. Carroll Joyner Beef Education Unit of Raleigh
 Grand champion bull shown by Pd Farms of Elkin
 Reserve grand champion bull shown by Mitchem’s Farm 3c of Vale
Open Beef Cattle – Limousin
 Grand champion female shown by Edwards Land & Cattle of Beulaville
 Reserve grand champion female shown by Caleb Davis of Zebulon
 Grand champion and reserve grand champion bulls shown by Edwards Land & Cattle of Beulaville
Open Beef Cattle – Miniature Hereford
 Grand champion female shown by Wyatt Knotts of Greenville
 Reserve grand champion female shown by Cow Swamp Creek Farms of Grimesland
Open Beef Cattle – Percentage Simmental
 Grand champion heifer shown by Shelby Candler of Weaverville
 Reserve grand champion heifer shown by Evie Jones of Shelby
 Grand champion bull shown by Charlie Thomas of Winston-Salem
 Reserve grand champion bull shown by Evie Jones of Shelby
Open Beef Cattle – Piedmontese
 Grand champion female shown by Rachel Brown of Zebulon
 Reserve grand champion female shown by Edwin Johnson of Fisherville, Ky.
 Grand champion bull shown by AJ Strickland of Middlesex
 Reserve grand champion bull by Edwin Johnson of Fisherville, Ky.
Open Beef Cattle – Red Angus
 Grand champion and grand champion Got to Be NC female shown by Abigail Edwards of Shelby
 Reserve grand champion female shown by Brooke Harward of Richfield
 Grand champion and reserve grand champion bulls shown by Amber Stephens of Quicksburg, Va.
Open Cattle Show – Santa Gertrudis
 Grand champion and reserve grand champion females shown by Thomas Benfield of Statesville
 Grand champion bull shown by Morse View Farm of Mountain Grove, Mo.
 Reserve grand champion bull shown by Thomas Benfield of Statesville
Open Cattle Show – Shorthorn
 Grand champion female shown by Emma Beasley of Youngsville
 Reserve grand champion shown by Rylea Suddreth of Catawba
Open Cattle Show – Simmental
 Grand champion heifer shown by Rylea Suddreth of Catawba
 Reserve grand champion heifer shown by Evie Jones of Shelby
 Grand champion bull shown by Charlie Thomas of Winston-Salem
 Reserve grand champion bull shown by Cayte Mitchell of Hiddenite
Open Cattle Show – Star 5
 Grand champion female shown by Morse View Farm of Mountain Grove, Mo.
 Reserve grand champion female shown by Alan Barlowe of Lenoir
Junior Feeder Calf – Individual feeder calf
 Grand champion prospect shown by Lakota Sockwell of McLeansville
 Reserve grand champion prospect shown by Michelle Hartman of Walnut Cove
 Got to Be NC prospect shown by Lakota Sockwell of McLeansville
 Grand champion progress shown by Annah Claire Sullivan of Lucama
 Reserve grand champion progress shown by Nate Bowman of Walnut Cove
 Got to Be NC Progress shown by Annah Claire Sullivan of Lucama
 Grand champion overall shown by Annah Claire Sullivan of Lucama
 Reserve grand champion overall shown by Lakota Sockwell of McLeansville
Junior Market Steer – British breeds
 Grand champion shown by Amber Shutsky of Pinnacle
 Reserve grand champion shown by Lakota Sockwell of McLeansville
Junior Market Steer – Crossbred market steers
 Grand champion junior market steer shown by Cole Williams of Waynesville
 Reserve grand champion junior market steer shown by Michelle Hartman of Walnut Cove
 Third overall and Got to Be NC junior market steer shown by Annah Claire Sullivan of Lucama
Junior Beef Heifer – All other breeds
 Grand champion shown by Cole Williams of Waynesville
 Reserve grand champion shown by Rex Howard of Lattimore
 Got to Be NC champion shown by Kaylee Pittman of Selma
Junior Beef Heifer – Angus
 Grand champion shown by Logan Ball of Waynesville
 Reserve grand champion shown by Marcie Harward of Richfield
 Got to Be NC champion shown by Greyson Peeler of Lawndale
Junior Beef Heifer – Charolais
 Grand champion shown by Mattie Harward of Richfield
 Reserve grand champion and Got to Be NC champion shown by Marcie Harward of Richfield
Junior Beef Heifer – Commercial
 Grand champion shown by Marcie Harward of Richfield
 Reserve grand champion and Got to Be NC champion shown by Shane Kendall of Magnolia
Junior Beef Heifer – Gelbvieh
 Grand champion shown by Colton Cox of Spruce Pine
 Reserve grand champion shown by Jordan Mitchem of Vale
 Got to Be NC champion shown by Colton Cox of Spruce Pine
Junior Beef Heifer – Hereford
 Grand and reserve grand champions shown by Jordan Mitchem of Vale
 Got to Be NC champion shown by Regan Mitchem of Vale
Junior Beef Heifer – Limousin
 Grand and Got to Be NC champion shown by Shane Kendall of Magnolia
 Reserve grand champion shown by Wyatt Kendall of Magnolia
Junior Beef Heifer – Percentage Simmental
 Grand champion shown by Isaac Lidke of Newton
 Reserve grand champion shown by Rylea Suddreth of Catawba
 Got to Be NC champion shown by Abigail Blankenship of Castalia
Junior Beef Heifer – Red Angus
 Grand champion shown by Marcie Harward of Richfield
 Reserve grand and Got to Be NC champion shown by Rex Howard of Lattimore
Junior Beef Heifer – Santa Gertrudis/Star 5
 Grand champion shown by Josh Bowman of Staley
 Reserve grand champion shown by Northwest Cabarrus FFA of Concord
Junior Beef Heifer – Shorthorn/Shorthorn Plus
 Grand and reserve grand champion shown by Rylea Suddreth of Catawba
 Got to Be NC champion shown by Levi Meadows of Maiden
Junior Beef Heifer – Simmental
 Grand and Got to Be NC champion shown by Shelby Candler of Weaverville
 Reserve grand champion shown by Rylea Suddreth of Catawba
 Got to Be NC champion shown by Colton Cox of Spruce Pine
Junior Beef Heifer – Supreme
 Supreme grand champion shown by Logan Ball of Waynesville
 Reserve supreme grand champion shown by Jordan Mitchem of Vale
 Got to Be NC supreme champion shown by Shane Kendall of Magnolia
 Got to Be NC reserve supreme champion shown by Kaylee Pittman of Selma
Open Market Barrow – Crossbred
 Grand champion shown by Connor Kennedy of Pink Hill
 Reserve grand champion shown by Mary-Catherine Mayo of Rexburg, Idaho
Open Market Barrow – Market Barrow
 Overall grand champion shown by Connor Kennedy of Pink Hill
 Overall reserve grand champion shown by Hannah Cooper of Hertford
 Overall Got to Be NC grand champion shown by Connor Kennedy of Pink Hill
 Overall Got to Be NC reserve grand champion shown by Ella Grace McNeely of Lake Toxaway
 Third overall shown by Faith Kennedy of Deep Run
Open Market Barrow – Breeding gilt
 Grand champion shown by Faith Anderson of Damascus, Md.
 Reserve grand champion shown by Riley Ballance of Lucama
 Overall supreme champion shown by Connor Kennedy of Pink Hill
 Overall reserve supreme champion shown by Travis Cox of Richlands
Junior Market Barrow
 Grand champion shown by Connor Kennedy of Pink Hill
 Reserve grand champion shown by Hannah Cooper of Hertford
 Third overall shown by Faith Kennedy of Deep Run
 Got to Be NC grand champion shown by Connor Kennedy of Pink Hill
 Got to Be NC reserve grand champion shown by Ella Grace McNeely of Lake Toxaway
Junior Breeding Gilt
 Grand champion shown by Connor Kennedy of Pink Hill
 Reserve grand champion shown by Travis Cox of Richlands
 Got to Be NC grand champion shown by Connor Kennedy of Pink Hill
 Got to Be NC reserve grand champion shown by Travis Cox of Richlands
Junior Ewe Meat Breeds
 Supreme and Got to Be NC grand champions shown by Kalen Barwick of Deep Run
 Supreme and Got to Be NC reserve grand champions shown by Isabel Moore of Scotland Neck
 Third overall shown by Abigail Wilson of Mt. Ulla
Junior Market Lamb
 Grand champion shown by Zadock Jennings of Kenly
 Reserve grand champion shown by Maggie Glass of Belhaven
 Got to Be NC grand champion and third overall shown by Kalen Barwick of Deep Run
Youth Dairy Goat -- Alpines
 Grand and reserve grand champions shown by Merry Oaks of New Hill
Youth Dairy Goat -- Lamanchas
 Grand and reserve grand champions shown by Isabel Holmes of Zebulon
Youth Dairy Goat – Nigerian Dwarf
 Grand and reserve grand champions shown by Rachel Savannah Brown of Zebulon
 Best doe in show shown by Madison Seitz of Monroe
Youth Dairy Goat -- Oberhasli
 Grand champion shown by Crest FFA of Shelby
 Reserve grand champion shown by Alyssa Glenn of Shelby
Youth Dairy Goat – Recorded grades
 Grand champion shown by Elijah Suydam of Middlesex
 Reserve grand champion shown by Merry Oaks of New Hill
Youth Dairy Goat -- Saanens
 Grand champion shown by Austin Seitz of Monroe
 Reserve grand champion shown by Genevieve Cranford of Asheboro
Youth Dairy Goat -- Toggenburgs
 Grand champion shown by Rachel Savannah Brown of Zebulon
 Reserve grand champion shown by Marissa Shivers or Advance
Open Wool Breed Sheep
 Grand champion fleece shown by Hope Latta of Zebulon
 Grand champion ram shown by Halle Taylor of Pink Hill
 Grand champion ewe shown by Haley Hargus of Zirconia
 Supreme champion shown by Isaac Linton of Mount Olive
 Reserve supreme champion shown by Hope Latta of Zebulon
Junior Wool Breed Sheep
 Grand and Got to Be NC champions shown by Isaac Linton of Mount Olive
 Reserve grand champion shown by Hope Latta of Zebulon
Junior Market Wether Meat Goats
 Grand, reserve grand and Got to Be NC grand champions shown by Zadock Jennings of Kenly
 Third overall shown by Scarlett Denning of Newton Grove
Open Wether Dam Meat Goat
 Grand champion shown by Taylor Askew of Greenville
 Reserve grand champion shown by Lydia Wilson of China Grove
 Supreme grand commercial doe shown by Carter Jennings of Kenly
 Reserve grand champion commercial doe shown by Jonathan Scarlett of Asheboro
Junior Commercial Meat Goat
 Grand champion commercial doe shown by Carter Jennings of Kenly
 Reserve grand champion commercial doe shown by Jonathan Scarlett of Asheboro
 Got to Be NC grand champion commercial doe shown by Carter Jennings of Kenly
 Got to Be NC reserve grand champion commercial doe shown by Jonathan Scarlett of Asheboro
-30-1

Three men were posthumously honored with the state’s highest agricultural award during
the recent N.C. Agricultural Hall of Fame Ceremony at the Steve Troxler Agricultural Sciences
Center.
Fred Colvard of Ashe County, John Cyrus of Wake County and Marshall Grant of
Northampton County were officially inducted into the N.C. Agricultural Hall of Fame, joining 35
other outstanding and visionary agricultural leaders who have previously been inducted.
The N.C. Agricultural Hall of Fame was created in 1953 by the General Assembly to
honor North Carolinians for their distinguished service in the science and art of agriculture.
Nominations can be made at any time and will be considered and voted on by the Hall of Fame
Board of Directors.

January

  Test soilless media for annual flowers and vegetable seedling production.

  Prior to filling containers and sowing seeds, the analysis of soilless media (substrate) will detect if chemical properties such as pH, electrical conductivity (soluble salts), and nutrient concentrations are ideal for optimum and efficient production of annual flowers and vegetable seedlings. During production, analysis of soilless media is a best management practice that helps to identify if fertilizer has been depleted or if it is excessively high. Also, if a problem occurs during production, this test will help diagnose if the trouble is related to nutrition and suggest appropriate corrective action.
   Scout wheat early and plan to tissue test.

  Wheat producers need to count tillers in January and follow up with tissue sampling in late February or March. This approach is the best way to optimize fertilizer purchases and application. At the beginning of green-up in January, 50 to 70 tillers per square foot is optimum. If the count is lower, apply half the spring topdress nitrogen right away. This application will help the crop continue to produce tillers on warm days without excessive growth.

  Tissue test in February or March (at Feekes growth stage 5 or Zadoks GS 30) to find out if more nitrogen is needed. Contact your regional agronomist if you need additional guidance on how to count tillers or identify the appropriate growth stage.
   Test source water for tobacco seedling float beds.

  Nearly half of the source water samples taken from tobacco float bed operations in North Carolina and about one in five nutrient solution samples have high alkalinity (sometimes known as total carbonates). Alkalinity values greater than or equal to 100 contribute to high pH and soluble-salt problems. When necessary, the solution report provides recommendations for reducing alkalinity by 80%.
 

Horse events
Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699
Jan. 2 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Jan. 7 Da Bomb Barrel Racing. Contact Josh Smith, 910-639-6387.
Jan. 27-29 Cowboy Mounted Shooting. Contact Pam Lohrey, 540-570-8785.
Feb. 4 NCBRA Barrel Race. Contact Justin Hill, 910-705-6900.
Feb. 6 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
Feb. 17 & 18 2023 Old Ford Volunteer Fire Department Survivor Series Rodeo. Contact Frank
Buck, 252-946-9780.
Feb. 24 & 25 Hook & Book Draft Horse Pull & IBRA Super Show Barrel Race. Contact Travis
Alford, 252-450-5438.
March 3-5 Hoppin’ Into Spring. Contact Travis Alford, 252-450-5438.
March 10 & 11 N.C. Barrel Bonanza. Contact Fred Smith, 252-450-9752.
March 17-19 SERHA Slide Into Spring. Contact Terry Mainey, 919-623-6054.
March 30-April 2 2023 Martinganza Quarter Horse Show and Futurity. Contact Susan Daniels
919-894-0600.
WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
Feb. 9-12 N.C. High School Rodeo. Contact Sharon Livengood, 704-798-0432.
March 3-5 NBHA Super Show. Contact 706-722-7223.
Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, 919-821-7400
Jan. 20-22 NCHJA “C” Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
Jan. 26-29 Raleigh Winter I Hunter. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
Feb. 3 Draft Horse Pull. Contact Calvin Davis, 919-812-0831.
Feb. 10 & 11 American Bullriders Finals. Contact Jeff Mullen, 919-796-8375.
Feb. 17-19 Triangle Winter Indoors II C. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
Feb. 23-26 Raleigh Winter II Hunter. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
March 4 & 5 Raleigh Winter Dressage. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307.
 

Bucolic briefs
The Southern Farm Show will be held Feb. 1-3 at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. This is the largest
annual agricultural exposition in the Carolinas and Virginia. Filling the NC State Fairgrounds, the
show hosts over 400 exhibitors, agricultural meetings, workshops and training, and everything farmers
need to prepare for the coming growing season. In conjunction with the Farm Show, the Southern
National Draft Pull and Coon Mule Jump returns to the Hunt Horse Arena Feb. 3. Watch giant teams
for Percheron and Belgian draft horses match their strength to determine this year's winners. Starting at
6 p.m., pre-pull entertainment includes a parade of antique farm equipment and the ever-popular Coon
Mule Jump. For more details, visit Southern National Draft Horse Pull
***
As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor
offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include:
preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress,
migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers
program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and
preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau,
go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and
Twitter (@NCDOL).
***
Landowners with farms for sale or lease and farmers seeking land can also post their information at the
NC FarmLink website hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension
at https://www.ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/
***
Beekeepers with bees for rent and growers interested in bee pollination services can post their
information on the BeeLinked website at www.ncagr.com/beelinked. The site is hosted by the N.C.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. State University Apiculture Program.
Anyone interested in listing their information can do so by filling out an online Submit Your Ad form
on the BeeLinked page or by contacting NCDA&CS at 919-233-8214 or by email at
NCHoneybee@ncagr.gov or call NCSU at 919-515-1660. The NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division
regulates the movement of agricultural or related items capable of spreading harmful insects, diseases,
and other pests. Beekeepers participating in this program will be required to comply with all honey and
bee industry regulations.
***
The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available
at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business
loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for
agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance
Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at
RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov.
***

December 2022

Tab/Accordion Items

The Southern Farm Show will be held Feb. 1-3 at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh with free
admission and free parking.
Several special events and meetings will be held during the farm show including the Ag
Development Forum on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 9:30 a.m.; the N.C. Growers Association meeting Feb. 2 at 1
p.m.; the annual Breakfast with the Commissioner fundraiser for the Tobacco Farm Life Museum on Feb.
3 at 7:3 0 a.m.; and the annual meeting of the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina on Feb. 3.
For information on the Southern Farm Show go to https://southernshows.com/sfs

As you can see by the lead story this month, poultry owners and poultry farmers need to
remain extra diligent with their biosecurity efforts in light of the fact highly pathogenic avian
influenza remains in the wild bird population in our state.
On Oct. 20 we announced the discovery of HPAI in a backyard flock in Wake County –
the first time it has been found in a backyard in North Carolina. Nearly a month later and as we
were finalizing the December Ag Review, veterinary testing confirmed a second case in a
backyard flock in Union County.
I urge every poultry owner to remain diligent in protecting their birds, including keeping
them up where they will be away from potential contact with wild birds.
Notify your veterinarian or the state veterinarian office if you have sick or dying poultry.
It is imperative we stay on top of this highly spreadable disease. There are signs and symptoms
to watch for in the article above, along with suggestions on ways to protect your birds. If you
have questions, please don’t hesitate to call our Veterinary Division at 919-707-3250, or the N.C.
Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System at 919-733-3986.
***
I would also like to draw your attention to page 2 of the newspaper to the story about the
Tobacco Trust Fund Christmas Tree Seed Center of Excellence. This is an exciting story and one
you will be hearing more about going forward.
Thanks to a $383,685 grant from the Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, we will be able to
build a facility that will be a seed bank for the best Fraser fir genetics and we will be able to
continue research in partnership with N.C. State University. This is great news for Christmas tree
farmers in our state, solidifying our ranking as the second largest producer of Christmas trees in
the country.
We will keep you posted as we move forward with construction of this Center.
***
Finally, I would like to thank our farmers, agribusiness owners and everyone involved in
agriculture for what you do to ensure we have a safe and abundant food supply every day. It has
been a very fast year. It has been a challenging year on many fronts, but we have pushed forward
as the agriculture community always does – with a spirit of purpose and determined resolve.
The agricultural community is the foundation of this state and I am grateful to everyone
who contributes to make it the success that it is. I hope we continue to grow to meet the growing
global need for food and I hope we continue to share the important role that agriculture plays in
everyone’s lives every day with those who are not involved in farming.
As this year comes to a close, I wish a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from
my family to yours.s

 December

  Use agronomic testing to optimize fertilization of greenhouse crops.

  Several laboratory tests are available from the NCDA&CS Plant/Waste/Solution/Media Section to help growers of greenhouse crops keep abreast of potential nutritional problems.
       Soilless media—Sample media prior to filling pots or bags to verify that pH and soluble salts are within the desired ranges.
       Solution analysis—
           Submit samples of source water to determine if there are any problems that need to be corrected, such as high alkalinity or high mineral concentrations.
           Submit samples of nutrient solutions to verify that the injector is working properly and that plants are receiving the targeted nutrient concentrations.
       Plant tissue analysis—Submit samples every couple of weeks to monitor nutrient concentrations in the crop. This test predicts nutrient deficiencies or excesses before symptoms appear so growers can correct the problem quickly with as little reduction in yield as possible.
 

Horse events
Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699
Dec. 2-4 Cowboy Mounted Shooting. Contact Pamela Lohrey, 540-570-8785.
Dec. 5 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Dec. 17 & 18 Central Carolina I.E.A. Horse Show. Contact Diane Mcallin, 919-609-8139.
Dec. 28-Jan. 1 Tobacco Road Futurity. Contact Jerry King, 910-237-4525.
Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
Dec. 3 & 4 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Emily Bates, 252-378-4474.
Dec. 8-11 Da Bomb Barrel Racing Fi8nale. Contact Josh Smith, 910-639-6387.
Feb. 17 & 18 2023 Old Ford Volunteer Fire Department Survivor Series Rodeo. Contact Frank
Buck, 252-946-9780.
WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
March 3-5 NBHA Super Show. Contact 706-722-7223.
Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, 919-821-7400
Dec. 2-4 Holiday Classic Open Horse Show. Contact Richard Isley, 336-908-3302.
Dec. 9 & 10 Carousel Farms Bulls, Bells & Barrels. Contact Jeff & Linda Mullen, 919-872-
6898.
Dec. 28-31 Raleigh Indoor Holiday Classic. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.

Bucolic briefs
The Cape Fear Poultry Association will hold an APA/ABA sanctioned open double, single junior and
junior showmanship poultry shows Dec. 10 at the Johnston County Livestock Arena, 520 County
Home Road, Smithfield. Judging begins at 9 a.m. and the event is open to the public. The deadline to
enter is Dec. 5. Contact Donna Worthington, at 252-341-8706 or email at
donna.worthington@aol.com.
***
As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor
offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include:
preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress,
migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers
program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and
preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau,
go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and
Twitter (@NCDOL).
***
Landowners with farms for sale or lease and farmers seeking land can also post their information at the
NC FarmLink website hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension
at https://www.ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/
***
Beekeepers with bees for rent and growers interested in bee pollination services can post their
information on the BeeLinked website at www.ncagr.com/beelinked. The site is hosted by the N.C.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. State University Apiculture Program.
Anyone interested in listing their information can do so by filling out an online Submit Your Ad form
on the BeeLinked page or by contacting NCDA&CS at 919-233-8214 or by email at
NCHoneybee@ncagr.gov or call NCSU at 919-515-1660. The NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division
regulates the movement of agricultural or related items capable of spreading harmful insects, diseases,
and other pests. Beekeepers participating in this program will be required to comply with all honey and
bee industry regulations.
***
The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available
at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business
loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for
agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance
Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at
RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov.
***

November 2022

Tab/Accordion Items

Commissioner’s column
November is a month of reflection for many of us as we pause to acknowledge the many
blessings we have and celebrate time with family.
It’s also a time when I like to look back over the year and the work we have done as a
department. Being able to be of service to farmers, agribusinesses and consumers is something I
am grateful that we are able to do and it is rewarding to me personally.
It has been a busy year for the department, but we have accomplished some big tasks this
year, too.
Chief among them have been distributing disaster relief funds across several sectors of
agriculture, adding another phase of IMPEC grants to assist meat and seafood processors,
working to protect the poultry industry from highly pathogenic avian influenza, discovering and
treating for the highly invasive and destructive spotted lanternfly in the state and the elm zigzag
sawfly, increasing delivery of USDA commodities to food banks and feeding facilities, and
working to protect consumers from price scanner errors.
Those do not include many of our regular responsibilities involving food and drug
protection, pesticide and structural pest control oversight, agronomic testing and soil
recommendations, and protection of animal agriculture.
We have also held a successful Got to Be NC Festival, the Mountain State Fair and we
are in the midst of the N.C. State Fair as I write this.
I cannot say enough about the staff behind these efforts. They have been tasked with
doing more to ensure we provide good service to residents of this state, especially following the
pandemic.
We have been fortunate as a state to have federal monies earmarked to help increase the
protein processing capacity in the state. We have moved quickly to allow meat and seafood
processors be able to take advantage of this money. The increased capacity will be especially
beneficial in the event of another situation like COVID. Building local resiliency is a good thing
and local production served consumers well when meat supplies were limited due to the
pandemic.
Every week throughout the year, we have highlighted N.C. Department of Agriculture
and Consumer Services employees as part of the WeAreAgriculture social media series. Through
that series, we have introduced you to employees across the department; employees that are
making a difference in the lives of North Carolinians through their work. We have also been able
to showcase the scope of work the department is involved in and the types of jobs that are
involved with agriculture.
You will find one of these stories on Mikaela Lee, a fuel quality inspector, on page 8.
With the rising costs of many products, the work of our consumer protection divisions like the
Standards Division is important to ensure people get what they pay for and that tools used in
trade, such as scales and price scanners, are accurate.
I am proud of the work of the department and the service we provide. In this month of
gratitude, I want to thank all the employees of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services.

The Conservation Fund, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) and other partners recently celebrated an effort to conserve and establish the new 402-acre Broyhill State Forest in Lenoir.
The forest property boasts high conservation value, supporting natural resources, water quality, recreational access and increased connectivity for nearly 2,500 acres of surrounding protected lands.
“This property has been managed as a working forest for over a century, and that legacy will continue,” said North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Broyhill State Forest will be managed as a dedicated nature preserve, and conserving the outstanding examples of North Carolina’s natural heritage will be a primary goal of management.”
National environmental nonprofit The Conservation Fund purchased the land for conservation in February 2022 and will soon transfer it to NCDA&CS thanks to funding from the North Carolina Land and Water Fund (NCLWF), Fred and Alice Stanback, and other supporters.
The previous landowners, the Broyhill Family Foundation, were the founders of Broyhill Furniture. The Broyhills trace their roots to the working forests in the Grandin community on Kings Creek. Western North Carolina’s high quality forests, especially hardwoods, were a large reason the furniture industry was such a driving force for the state’s economy. The Broyhill family and local historic groups wanted to see this land protected for the community and to help demonstrate the important role the furniture industry played in the state’s history.
“We can think of no more fitting legacy for this property than a sale to the state,” said Hunt Broyhill, president of the Broyhill Family Foundation. “We greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with the state of North Carolina and The Conservation Fund on this initiative.”
“This new state forest will be such a strong outcome for the Broyhill family who stewarded this land, and for the community moving forward,” said Bill Holman, North Carolina state director at The Conservation Fund. “High-quality forestland like this can support both our local economies and our larger fight against climate change.”
The Yadkin River and W. Scott Reservoir — two major drinking water sources for northwestern North Carolina residents — are downstream from the Broyhill State Forest. Kings Creek, which flows through a small section of the property and downstream into the watershed, is also a classified trout stream.
The new state forest will enhance public recreational access and important forest and wildlife habitats identified in the State Forest Action Plan and State Wildlife Action Plan. The entire property will be managed as a working stewardship forest by the state Forest Service and will serve as a model for multi-use natural resource management, blending sustainable forestry, wildlife conservation, habitat management and restoration.
“Restoration will focus on declining community types and species of concern such as Montane oak-hickory and fire adapted pine forests,” said State Forester David Lane. “Low impact, dispersed recreation will be emphasized, and opportunities for teaching and demonstrating forest management practices will be primary objectives for this forest.”
Funding for this effort is being provided by Fred and Alice Stanback and the NCLWF — a leading source of conservation funding in the state that supports the protection of land for natural, historical and cultural benefit.
“Over our 26-year history, NCLWF has awarded over $33 million in grants to protect land in Caldwell County, including popular destinations like Wilson’s Creek and Buffalo Cove Game Land,” said Will Summer, executive director of NCLWF.
“We are thrilled to be a part of another public access opportunity in a growing area of the county and know citizens from all over the state will soon enjoy visiting Broyhill State Forest.”
“Conservation efforts like this are crucial to maintaining the natural resources of our state,” said Representative Destin Hall. “We are so grateful to the Broyhill family and all others involved for helping secure this forest for our state, our citizens, and future generations.”
The Conservation Fund is working to transfer the property to NCDA&CS in 2022.

November

Remember the new fee structure for soil testing and waste analysis.

New agronomic testing fees approved by the State Legislature and the Board of Agriculture this past summer go into effect this fall. All soil samples received during the lab’s peak season (from 6 p.m. November 27, 2013, through March 31, 2014) will incur a $4-per-sample fee. This fee should be paid online via credit card or escrow account before sample shipment. Beginning December 3, 2013, fees for analysis of in-state waste samples increase from $5 to $8.

Give appropriate care to plants you bring indoors for the winter.

By November, most houseplants should be brought inside to protect them from cold temperatures. Indoors during the winter, plants need less fertilizer and may get too much or too little water. Fertilizing once every four to six weeks with a soluble or time-release fertilizer should provide plenty of nutrients. Fertilizing too often can stress plants as excess fertilizer salts build up in the media.

Check plants frequently to see if they need water instead of watering on a schedule. Overwatering can be a problem in winter months when light is low and growth is slow. Underwatering can also occur as increased use of the home furnace tends to dry both the air and potting media at the same time.

Check source water used for agricultural purposes.

Water used for agricultural purposes-such as irrigation or fertigation, livestock and poultry watering, aquaculture and fish production-should be analyzed every year. Testing is especially important after an extended wet or dry period. For a fee of only $5 per sample, solution analysis measures concentrations of 13 minerals plus pH, electrical conductivity, alkalinity and hardness. The solution report indicates whether any of these parameters could lead to production problems (such as clogged nozzles or reduced medication efficiency) and provides recommendations to correct any apparent problems.

Horse events
Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699
Nov. 5 Barrel racing fundraiser. Contact Josh Smith, 910-639-6387.
Nov. 7 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Nov. 11-13 Cowboy Mounted Shooting. Contact Pamela Lohrey, 540-570-8785.
Dec. 2-4 Cowboy Mounted Shooting. Contact Pamela Lohrey, 540-570-8785.
Dec. 5 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
Nov. 18 & 19 NC Barrel Bonanza. Contact Fred Smith, 252-883-1641.
Dec. 3 & 4 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Emily Bates, 252-378-4474.
Feb. 4 & 5 2023 Downunder Horsemanship Walkabout Tour. Contact Downunder
Horsemanship, 1-888-287-7432.
Feb. 17 & 18 2023 Old Ford Volunteer Fire Department Survivor Series Rodeo. Contact Frank
Buck, 252-946-9780.
WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
Nov. 11-13 SRA Rodeo Finals. Contact Beth Wheeler, 828-254-8681.
Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, 919-
Nov. 5-7 NCHJA “C” Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
Nov. 10-14 Jump for the Children Duke I Benefit H/J Classic. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
Nov. 17-21 Jump for the Children Duke II Benefit H/J Classic. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-
9877.
Dec. 2-4 Holiday Classic Open Horse Show. Contact Richard Isley, 336-908-3302.
Dec. 9 & 10 Carousel Farms Bulls, Bells & Barrels. Contact Jeff & Linda Mullen, 919-872-
6898.
Dec. 28-31 Raleigh Indoor Holiday Classic. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.

Bucolic briefs
The 80th N.C. Gourd Arts and Crafts Festival will be Nov. 5 & 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the
Holshouser Building on the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Admission is $3 for adults and free for
children 12 and under. This festival features displays of gourds from around the world, special gourd
workshops, and vendors of dried gourds, gourd seeds, gourd crafts, gourd art, books, t-shirts and
crafting supplies. Great holiday presents! A variety of competitive categories are awarded ribbons and
prizes. Details about the festival and a listing of gourd crafting workshops are on the website:
www.ncgourdsociety.org. For more information, call Paul Buescher, N.C. Gourd Society, at 919-696-
0744.
***
The N.C. Fresh Produce Safety Task Force is hosting the N.C. Produce Safety Professionals
Conference: Proactive Approaches to Strengthening Traceability and Crisis Response Nov. 15 from
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the N.C. A&T University Farm Pavilion in Greensboro.
This one-day conference will expand your knowledge on the importance of traceability and crisis
management programs for produce farms. Speakers include industry representatives, traceability
experts, regulators and growers discussing lessons learned when these programs are put to the test
during recall or outbreak investigations. Also discussed: What are the basic principles you should
follow if your farm is implicated in an outbreak investigation? How do you communicate with
regulators and consumers? How does farm insurance work under these circumstances?
Registration, including lunch is $20. To register, go to
https://go.ncsu.edu/producesafetyconference2022 or contact Lynette Johnston, N.C. State University,
at 919-889-8418 or email lynette_johnston@ncsu.edu
***
The Cape Fear Poultry Association will hold an APA/ABA sanctioned open double, single junior and
junior showmanship poultry shows Dec. 10 at the Johnston County Livestock Arena, 520 County
Home Road, Smithfield. Judging begins at 9 a.m. and the event is open to the public. The deadline to
enter is Dec. 5. Contact Donna Worthington, at 252-341-8706 or email at
donna.worthington@aol.com.
***
As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor
offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include:
preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress,
migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers
program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and
preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau,
go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and
Twitter (@NCDOL).
***
Landowners with farms for sale or lease and farmers seeking land can also post their information at the
NC FarmLink website hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension
at https://www.ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/
***
Beekeepers with bees for rent and growers interested in bee pollination services can post their
information on the BeeLinked website at www.ncagr.com/beelinked. The site is hosted by the N.C.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. State University Apiculture Program.
Anyone interested in listing their information can do so by filling out an online Submit Your Ad form
on the BeeLinked page or by contacting NCDA&CS at 919-233-8214 or by email at
NCHoneybee@ncagr.gov or call NCSU at 919-515-1660. The NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division
regulates the movement of agricultural or related items capable of spreading harmful insects, diseases,
and other pests. Beekeepers participating in this program will be required to comply with all honey and
bee industry regulations.
***
The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available
at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business
loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for
agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance
Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at
RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov.
***

October 2022

Tab/Accordion Items

July 14 -- Bermudagrass Field Day, Piedmont Research Station, Salisbury
July 19 -- Fiber Hemp Field Day, Piedmont Research Station, Salisbury
July 21 – Mountain Research Station Field Day, Waynesville
July 28 – Apple Field Day, Mountain Horticulture Crops Research & Extension Center, Mills River
Aug. 3 – Blackland Farm Manager Tour, Southland Farms and Howell Farms, 3385 Swindell
Road, Pantego
Aug. 11 – Tomato Field Day, Mountain Horticulture Crops Research & Extension Center, Mills River
Aug. 17 – Chrome Regional Ag Expo, Peanut Belt Research Station, Lewiston-Woodville
Sept. 8 – Peanut Field Day, Peanut Belt Research Station, Lewiston-Woodville
Sept. 12 -- Farmer Appreciation Social, Piedmont Research Station, Salisbury
Sept. 13 – South Eastern Peanut Field Day, Border Belt Tobacco Research Station, Whiteville
Sept. 17 – Pollinator Field Day, Caswell Research Farm
Sept. 28 -- Soybean Field Day, Piedmont Research Station, Salisbury

Commissioner’s column
Historically, the N.C. State Fair began as a way for farmers to learn about new production
techniques, best practices and new technology to help them increase yields. Fast forward 150-plus years
and the Fair’s educational mission remains rooted in agriculture BUT focused on educating consumers
about agriculture and where their food comes from and what it takes to produce it.
Our state continues to attract new residents every day that are not familiar with agricultural
practices or farming. Likewise, we have many residents who are two or three or more generations
removed from the farm.
Much of our state remains rural, although we continue to see significant swaths of farm and
forest lands be converted to residential and commercial development use around our larger cities.
As more people come to our state, these pressures on farm and forest land only increase.
But growth also offers opportunity for new consumers of local foods, and that’s why having
events like the State Fair, the Mountain State Fair and county and regional fairs as so important.
These events are where people see livestock, horticultural crops, farm equipment, educational
exhibits and local food products. As you walk around the State Fair Oct. 13-23, I hope you will pay
attention to all the places where agriculture is on display.
Here’s where you will see agriculture and agribusiness at the fair:
 Livestock shows and exhibits put animal agriculture front and center for fairgoers, with
competitions and displays of beef and dairy cattle, hogs, sheep, poultry, and meat and dairy
goats every day. Animal agriculture accounts for around 60 percent of total farm cash
receipts in North Carolina. Shows and displays take place in the Jim Graham Building, the
Agri Supply Expo Center and the Poultry tent.
 N.C. Forest Service exhibits and educational programs are located in Heritage Circle near the
new Gate 7 entrance. Visitors can learn more about the state’s $34.9 billion forest products
industry and how the Forest Service supports and protects it.
 Sharing space with the Forest Service is the N.C. Soil and Water Conservation Association,
N.C. Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the N.C. Soil and Water Conservation
Division’s exhibits on North Carolina soil types and water conservation efforts to keep the
soil viable and producing and protect our valuable water resources.
 Got to Be NC Pavilion in Dorton Arena will highlight a number of food manufacturers in the
state who will offer their products for sale. Programmed cooking demonstrations will show
how to use local products in delicious meals and snacks.
 Farm Family of the Day recognition presented by Tractor Supply Co. Eleven farm families will
be recognized and celebrated during the State Fair through public address announcements
and banners.
 In the North Lobby of Dorton Arena, you will find a display of decorated Christmas trees.
 In the South Lobby you will find North Carolina beer and wine being sampled.
 In Heritage Circle you can visit the Tobacco Barn to see how tobacco was traditionally flue-
cured. At the Tobacco Pavilion, you will find hands of tobacco on display.
 At the Hunt Horse Complex, horse shows are held throughout the fair.
 In the Flower Show area, you can check out a brightly colored display of mums, of which
North Carolina is a significant producer.
 The Field of Dreams exhibit shows a variety of crops growing to encourage youngsters to
learn where food comes from.
 And you will find displays of antique farm equipment.
 Food! Every food item fairgoers enjoy at the fair has a direct connection to a farmer.

Elm zigzag sawfly becomes newest invasive species in North Carolina

Photo of elm leaf with a zigzag pattern eaten into the leaf.A photo of elm zigzag sawfly larvae

WESTFIELD – North Carolina’s newest invasive pest was recently found in Surry and Stokes counties by Elizabeth Edwards, the N.C. Forest Service’s Surry County assistant ranger. The detection was made just north of Pilot Mountain in the Westfield community. The elm zigzag sawfly had only been previously found in Québec, Canada in 2020 and Virginia in 2021. This pest is native to Asia but has spread to numerous countries outside of its native range.

“If you see a defoliating elm tree that you suspect is being impacted by this new invasive pest, note the location, try to safely photograph the insect and the leaves that have been eaten upon, and contact your local NCFS county ranger,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “As North Carolina’s list of invasive species gets a little longer, you can help us keep our forests healthy and thriving by reporting these bad bugs.”

Although small, the elm zigzag sawfly can cause significant damage to elm trees due to their ability to rapidly increase population size, said Brian Heath, NCFS forest health specialist. Elm zigzag sawflies can have multiple generations per year, as females reproduce without mating, which accelerates their population growth.

Typically, defoliation from an insect does not result in long-term health impacts to a tree. Many native caterpillars defoliate trees in the spring and fall, and trees are generally able to recover. However, it is too early to determine if that is the case with this insect, Heath said. As with the invasive spongy moth, repeated defoliation of a tree can result in weakened or stressed trees and in some cases, death.

Sawflies are a type of wasp that are unable to sting, making them harmless toward people and animals. They are named for their saw-like appendage used for egg-laying, and as young larvae they leave a “zigzag” pattern in the leaf when they feed. It is a small, green, caterpillar-like larva less than half an inch long and feeds exclusively on the leaves of elm trees.

Like other sawflies, adults are strong flyers which can lead to further spread from these established sites. Homeowners within infested areas should take caution to prevent spreading the sawfly as they can hitchhike on plants or soil, or as cocoons attached to various objects, Heath said.

People who suspect there is an infested tree in an area near them should contact their NCFS county ranger. To find contact information for your county ranger, visit https://www.ncforestservice.gov/contacts.
-pj-2 

 October

  Ensure that adequate nutrients will be available for a newly planted wheat crop.

  If soil pH needs adjusting and you have not done so, go ahead and apply lime before planting. Next, give wheat a good start by fertilizing according to soil test recommendations, especially with regard to phosphorus, potassium and sulfur. When the crop is planted on time, 15 to 30 pounds of preplant nitrogen per acre should be sufficient to promote maximum growth and tillering.

  Nutrition will be especially important if wheat is planted after grain sorghum on sandy soils with low CEC because soil nutrient reserves may have been significantly depleted. In that situation, be particularly attentive to crop development. Yellowing, poor stand establishment and lack of tillering could signal a need for additional nitrogen as the season progresses.
   Remember to check for nematode problems during crop harvest.

  Plant-parasitic nematodes are common in all field crop soils and often lower yields without being very apparent. Fall is an excellent time to find out if nematode populations are high and, if so, to develop a plan to manage them. When the weather is good for harvest, it is also good for collecting soil samples for nematode assay.

  Nematode populations peak at the end of the growing season so samples assayed at this time provide an accurate description of potential hazards. If you submit samples in the fall, you will have time to plan a management strategy.

  If you noticed localized areas of poor growth during the growing season, it is a good idea to collect separate soil samples from good and poor areas. Submit two samples from each of these areas-one for nematode assay and one for soil fertility. Comparison of results from good and poor areas and from nematode assays and soil tests is helpful in pinpointing a problem.
   Before planting legume cover or forage crops, be sure to submit soil samples, or get revised recommendations based on recent soil report data.

  High fertilizer costs may have you considering the use of legumes as a cover crop or as part of a forage program. If so, be sure to refer to recent soil report data for your fields as you plan. Legumes have different fertility than many traditional crops.

  It is usually not necessary to collect new soil samples from fields that have been sampled within the last two (sandy soils) or three (clay soils) years. To get revised/updated recommendations for your current situation, consult your regional agronomist. If you need to collect new samples, send them to the Agronomic Division soil testing lab now to avoid the processing delays that are common during the fall/winter. The sooner you get your results, the sooner you'll be able to finalize lime and fertilizer purchases or make plans to plant legume cover or forage crops to supply additional nitrogen.
   Fall is an ideal time to apply lime.

  Fall liming is an excellent way to prepare for the spring growing season. Whether you are renovating your yard, preparing a new landscape planting or readying your fields for the next crop, fall is the best time to apply lime. However, lime should only be applied according to the recommendations from a recent soil report.

  Take advantage of dry fall weather to apply lime as soon as possible. If you delay, wet weather may prevent the application even longer. The earlier you put out lime, the sooner soil pH will be adjusted to meet your planting needs.
 

Horse events
Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699
Oct. 3 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Oct. 8 Barrel racing. Contact Justin Hill, 910-705-6900.
Oct. 14-16 Everything Equine Expo. Contact Rose Cushing, 252-235-7645.
Oct. 22 BBHA Open Show. Contact Jerry King, 910-237-4525.
Nov. 5 Barrel racing fundraiser. Contact Josh Smith, 910-639-6387.
Nov. 7 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
Oct. 14&15 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Emily Bates, 252-378-4474.
Oct. 20-23 SERHA Main Event & Reining Horse Foundation Derbies. Contact Terri Mainey,
919-623-6054.
Nov. 18 & 19 NC Barrel Bonanza. Contact Fred Smith, 252-883-1641.
Dec. 3 & 4 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Emily Bates, 252-378-4474.
Dec. 8-11 Da Bomb Barrel Racing Finale. Contact Josh Smith, 910-639-6387.
Feb. 4 & 5 2023 Downunder Horsemanship Walkabout Tour. Contact Downunder
Horsemanship, 1-888-287-7432.
WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
Oct. 6-8 N.C. Walking Horse Show. Contact Myra Helton, 704-718-4152.
Nov. 11-13 SRA Rodeo Finals. Contact Beth Wheeler, 828-254-8681.
Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, 919-
Oct. 1-3 Triangle Farms Fall Fling Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
Oct. 6-10, 13-24 N.C. State Fair Horse Shows. Contact State Fairgrounds, 919-821-7400.
Nov. 5-7 NCHJA “C” Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
Nov. 10-14 Jump for the Children Duke I Benefit H/J Classic. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
Nov. 17-21 Jump for the Children Duke II Benefit H/J Classic. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-
9877.
Dec. 3-5 Holiday Classic Open Horse Show. Contact Equine Event Planning,
equineeventplanning@gmail.com
Dec. 10 & 11 Carousel Farms Bulls, Bells & Barrels. Contact Jeff & Linda Mullen, 919-872-
6898.
Dec. 28-31 Raleigh Indoor Holiday Classic. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
 

Bucolic briefs
The Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard & Greenhouse in Marshall will offer Mountain Grape School
with the following in-person classes/workshops: Muscadine Home Winemaking – Oct. 1 and
Entertaining With Wine – Oct. 15.
Class times are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays All classes are $40 per person and includes a catered
lunch. Register online at www.JeweloftheBlueRidge.com. Registration cutoff is 48 hours prior to the
class/workshop. Call Chuck Blethen, Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard & Greenhouse Walapini, at
828-606-3130.
The Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair will be held Oct. 21-23 at the WNC Ag Center in Fletcher. Check
out spinning, knitting, weaving and felting demonstrations. Join a workshop or browse and shop with
over 100 vendors. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Admission is $5 a day or a three-day pass is $10. For more information, contact Lorri Helms, 828-680-
0677.
The 80th N.C. Gourd Arts and Crafts Festival will be Nov. 5 & 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the
Holshouser Building on the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Admission is $3 for adults and free for
children 12 and under. This festival features displays of gourds from around the world, special gourd
workshops, and vendors of dried gourds, gourd seeds, gourd crafts, gourd art, books, t-shirts and
crafting supplies. Great holiday presents! A variety of competitive categories are awarded ribbons and
prizes. Details about the festival and a listing of gourd crafting workshops are on the website:
www.ncgourdsociety.org. For more information, call Paul Buescher, N.C. Gourd Society, at 919-696-
0744.
***
The N.C. Fresh Produce Safety Task Force is hosting the N.C. Produce Safety Professionals
Conference: Proactive Approaches to Strengthening Traceability and Crisis Response Nov. 15 from
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the N.C. A&T University Farm Pavilion in Greensboro.
This one-day conference will expand your knowledge on the importance of traceability and crisis
management programs for produce farms. Speakers include industry representatives, traceability
experts, regulators and growers discussing lessons learned when these programs are put to the test
during recall or outbreak investigations. Also discussed: What are the basic principles you should
follow if your farm is implicated in an outbreak investigation? How do you communicate with
regulators and consumers? How does farm insurance work under these circumstances? \
Registration, including lunch is $20. To register, go to
https://go.ncsu.edu/producesafetyconference2022 or contact Lynette Johnston, N.C. State University,
at 919-889-8418 or email lynette_johnston@ncsu.edu
***
The Cape Fear Poultry Association will hold an APA/ABA sanctioned open double, single junior and
junior showmanship poultry shows Dec. 10 at the Johnston County Livestock Arena, 520 County
Home Road, Smithfield. Judging begins at 9 a.m. and the event is open to the public. The deadline to
enter is Dec. 5. Contact Donna Worthington, at 252-341-8706 or email at
donna.worthington@aol.com.
***
As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor
offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include:
preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress,
migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers
program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and
preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau,
go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and
Twitter (@NCDOL).
***
Landowners with farms for sale or lease and farmers seeking land can also post their information at the
NC FarmLink website hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension
at https://www.ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/
***
Beekeepers with bees for rent and growers interested in bee pollination services can post their
information on the BeeLinked website at www.ncagr.com/beelinked. The site is hosted by the N.C.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. State University Apiculture Program.
Anyone interested in listing their information can do so by filling out an online Submit Your Ad form
on the BeeLinked page or by contacting NCDA&CS at 919-233-8214 or by email at
NCHoneybee@ncagr.gov or call NCSU at 919-515-1660. The NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division
regulates the movement of agricultural or related items capable of spreading harmful insects, diseases,
and other pests. Beekeepers participating in this program will be required to comply with all honey and
bee industry regulations.
***
The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available
at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business
loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for
agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance
Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at
RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov.
***

September 2022

Tab/Accordion Items

As I have gotten older and especially as I have been blessed with grandchildren, I see how true the
saying “time flies” is.
It seems like it was about a year ago that we were talking about the last Census of Agriculture, which is
taken every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But it is Census time again.
North Carolina producers should have received their 2022 Census in the mail. Questionnaires were sent
out to around 87,000 known producers in the state with information on how to fill out the form or how to go
online and enter your information.
I know people can be reluctant to share their information but answering the questions on the Census of
Agriculture is important for agriculture because it allows growers at every level to have their voice be heard.
By answering the questions, you are contributing to a source of impartial, comprehensive state and
county level data. But is only comprehensive if everyone takes a few minutes to answer the questions.
The information collected is helpful to federal and local governments, agribusinesses, extension staff,
researchers and others in making informed decisions on matters that affect the farming community and
agribusinesses.
Protecting and conserving farmland is a big priority in North Carolina and information collected as part
of the Census helps us keep track of how many farms we have and the amount of land in farms. That becomes
powerful information when compared to other states across the country. We see where we stack up, and the
level of risk of farm loss.
Additionally, we also get a true picture of the size of farms in North Carolina. While we do have a
number of large farms, we are primarily a small farm state and the numbers in the Census help illustrate that
point the best. It literally provides the number of farms that fall into predetermined revenue ranges.
Those are just a couple of broad insights gained from the Census of Agriculture, but you will also see
information on commodity production and comparisons to other years along with highs and lows for
production.
I cannot urge you enough to take a few minutes when you receive your questionnaire to answer the
questions. The information you provide is kept confidential and will be part of aggregated numbers so as not to reveal individual producer’s information.
Interestingly, the Census of Agriculture can trace its roots back to 1820 when U.S. Marshalls began
asking whether anyone in households were engaged in agriculture as part of a decennial, or every 10 years,
census. In 1840, the Census of Agriculture officially came into existence, becoming a standalone questionnaire.
The Census of Agriculture is an ever-evolving document, reflecting the changing landscape and nature
of agriculture and industry needs. Stakeholder meetings are routinely held that help determine what questions to
ask.
Please take a few minutes to fill out the Census and have your voice counted in agriculture.

 September

  Test your bulk soilless potting media before planting greenhouse crops.

  Before planting greenhouse crops, propagating woody plants or beginning seasonal flower production, commercial producers should sample and test the bulk soilless media they plan to grow their plants in. The procedure, known as saturated media extract (SME), measures nutrient concentration, electrical conductivity and pH. The cost is $5 per sample for North Carolina residents and $25 for out-of-state residents, and test results are available online two working days after samples are checked in to the laboratory. Sampling instructions and sample information forms can be found online at www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/uyrmedia.
   Prepare gardens for fall/winter.

  First, if you haven’t had your soil tested in the last three years, do it now! Instructions for collecting samples are online at www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/uyrst.htm#sampling. Act now because after October the lab will begin receiving end-of-season samples from farmers, and the wait for reports will be longer.

  If your report indicates that lime should be applied to raise soil pH, don’t delay. Winter soil is usually moist and helps lime neutralize soil acidity before spring planting. However, don’t add lime unless the soil report recommends it! Excess lime can make some nutrients unavailable to plants.

  Second, consider protecting garden soils by planting a cover crop or putting out mulch. Legumes—such as crimson clover, hairy vetch, Austrian winter pea—add nitrogen to the soil as well as organic matter when they decompose in the spring. In addition, crimson clover is a beautiful sight when it blooms! Another option is to plant greens such as mustard or kale and enjoy eating the small leaves as they grow.

  If you don’t plant a cover crop, you should apply a 2-inch layer of mulch, such as composted leaf material, shredded or chipped pine bark, or pine needles. Straw can also be used if it is good quality without weed seeds. The mulch should be thick enough to reduce weed seed germination and retain soil moisture without impeding adequate water and air movement.

  Once you have made these preparations, do not apply fertilizer until spring unless you are planting a fall vegetable garden. In that case, you can still follow these suggestions (even sowing a cover crop around the vegetable beds!), but you will also need to apply fertilizer as recommended on your soil report.
 

Horse events
Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699
Sept. 3 Barrel Racing Shaun McMillian Memorial. Donald McMillian, 910-374-1483.
Sept. 5 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
Sept. 3 & 4 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Emily Bates, 252-378-4474.
Sept. 9-11 NCHJA – Tarheel Fall Classic. Contact Lynn Bodine, 704-905-6540.
Sept. 24 & 25 United Horsemen of the Carolina’s Open Horse Show. Contact Nancy Barbee,
919-619-1786.
Oct. 14&15 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Nancy Barbee, 919-619-1786.
Oct. 20-23 SERHA Main Event & Reining Horse Foundation Derbies. Contact Terri Mainey,
919623-6054.
Nov. 18 & 19 NC Barrel Bonanza. Contact Fred Smith, 252-883-1641.
Dec. 3 & 4 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Emily Bates, 252-378-4474.
WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
Oct. 6-8 N.C. Walking Horse Show. Contact Myra Helton, 704-718-4152.
Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, 919-
Sept. 3 & 4 Labor of Love Dressage Show. Contact Wendy Warner.
Sept. 10 & 11 UPHA Chapter 12 Preview Weekend. Contact Peyton Hamilton, 803-431-1991.
Sept. 14-17 UPHA Chapter 12 N.C. State Championship Show. Contact Peyton Hamilton, 803-
431-1991.
Sept. 24 & 25 Triangle Wide Horseman’s Association Open Show. Contact Kim Moser, 919-
201-3606.
Sept. 24 & 25 Finally Farm Horse Show Series. Contact Lesley Jenks, 919-280-8087.
Oct. 1-3 Triangle Farms Fall Fling Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.

Bucolic briefs
Landowners with farms for sale or lease and farmers seeking land can also post their information at the
NC FarmLink website hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension
at https://www.ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/
The Equestrian Exchange Tack Consignment Fall Sale, one of the largest in the state, is scheduled for
Sept 1-5 at the Holshouser Building at the State Fairgrounds Raleigh. Buy and consign anything
related to the equestrian sport: saddles, tack, driving equipment, show clothing for all disciplines of
riding, barn supplies, carts, other animal items and more. Horse trailers to sell for representation fee
only. Bar code tagging on the exchnage’s web site allows consignor to view sales from home. Tagging
guidelines mandatory. Consignors drop off priced, tagged items Aug. 30 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and
Aug. 31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Special premier shopping night is open to public for $10 cash only
admission, age 12 and under get in for free, Sept. 1 from 5 to10 p.m. Open shopping with free
admission is Sept. 2 and Sept. 3 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sept. 4 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sept. 5
from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Some items discounted half off on final shopping day.
Consignors pick up unsold items Sept. 7 from 1:30 to 9 :30 p.m. or they will be donated. Please make
arrangements if you want unsold items returned. Refer to our donation page to see how we help our
equestrian programs in our community. Consignors earn 70%, donate unsold items to N.C. nonprofit
equestrian organizations if desired. Volunteers all ages needed, shop before consignors, consignors
shop before public. Sign up on web site. Payment accepted: cash, NC checks with two IDs approved,
credit cards with 3 % fee/per card transaction. N.C. Government regulations for COVID followed for
everyone's safety. Drop and Go and Pick Up and Go consigning available, see website. Waivers to be
signed at drop off. For more, go to www.EquestrianExchange.com or contact Lynn Beeson at 336-
362-6248 or Tanya Wright at 540-977-1950.
The N.C. Simmental Association will hold its annual Fall Harvest Sale including bull, cows, bred &
open heifers and embryo lots at noon, Sept. 3, at the Shuffler Sale Facility in Union Grove. Call 336-
468-1679 or email ncsa@yadtel.net for a sale catalog, or view an online catalog at
parkelivestock.com.
The Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard & Greenhouse in Marshall will offer Mountain Grape School
with the following in-person classes/workshops: Harvesting Workshop – Sept. 10; Muscadine Home
Winemaking – Oct. 1; and Entertaining With Wine – Oct. 15.
Class times are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays All classes are $40 per person and includes a catered
lunch. Register online at www.JeweloftheBlueRidge.com. Registration cutoff is 48 hours prior to the
class/workshop. Call Chuck Blethen, Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard & Greenhouse Walapini, at
828-606-3130.
The Leonard-Mobley Small Farms Fund grant for small North Carolina farmers, including women in
agriculture, in Franklin, Nash, Chatham, Person, Granville, Halifax, Durham, Wake, Wilson, Vance
and Warren counties will be awarded Sept. 11 at the 7th Annual “Dinner in the Meadow” farm-to-fork
feast held at Meadow Lane Farm near Louisburg. The dinner showcases local foods prepared by 12
North Carolina chefs. For more information or questions, contact Dr. Francesco Tiezzi or Tammy
Manning at lmsmallfarmfund@gmail.com. More information on the grant and the dinner can be found
online at www.DinnerintheMeadow.org. Proceeds from the dinner and silent auction will benefit the
fund, which was set up in memory of two farm family members. Tickets for the dinner can be
purchased at the website
The 80th N.C. Gourd Arts and Crafts Festival will be Nov. 5 & 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the
Holshouser Building on the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Admission is $3 for adults and free for
children 12 and under. This festival features displays of gourds from around the world, special gourd
workshops, and vendors of dried gourds, gourd seeds, gourd crafts, gourd art, books, t-shirts and
crafting supplies. Great holiday presents! A variety of competitive categories are awarded ribbons and
prizes. Details about the festival and a listing of gourd crafting workshops are on the website:
www.ncgourdsociety.org. For more information, call Paul Buescher, N.C. Gourd Society, at 919-696-
0744.
***
As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor
offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include:
preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress,
migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers
program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and
preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau,
go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and
Twitter (@NCDOL).
***
Beekeepers with bees for rent and growers interested in bee pollination services can post their
information on the BeeLinked website at www.ncagr.com/beelinked. The site is hosted by the N.C.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. State University Apiculture Program.
Anyone interested in listing their information can do so by filling out an online Submit Your Ad form
on the BeeLinked page or by contacting NCDA&CS at 919-233-8214 or by email at
NCHoneybee@ncagr.gov or call NCSU at 919-515-1660. The NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division
regulates the movement of agricultural or related items capable of spreading harmful insects, diseases,
and other pests. Beekeepers participating in this program will be required to comply with all honey and
bee industry regulations.
***
The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available
at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business
loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for
agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance
Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at
RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov.
***

August 2022

Tab/Accordion Items

Make your plans to attend the N.C. Mountain State Fair Sept. 9-18 at the WNC Ag Center in  Fletcher. Advance tickets are on sale now, offering fairgoers an opportunity to save money and time.
Advance adult admission is $9 versus $12 at the gate, kids 6-12 are $5 compared to $7 at the gate and seniors 65 and older are $5.
Vouchers for ride tickets are also available in advance at a savings. A sheet of 21 tickets is $12 in advance compared to $20 at the fair.
Special promotion days offer one price ride handstamps. Sept. 9 and 16, fairgoers are offered unlimited rides for $25. Sept. 12 and 16, unlimited rides are offered from 4- 11 p.m. 
The Mountain State Fair is one of the premier fall events in Western N.C. showcasing and celebrating Western North Carolina arts, crafts, music, dance, agriculture and traditions.

North Carolina farmers are dealing with so much right now – high fuel costs, fertilizer costs
through the roof, dry conditions, supply chain issues just to name a few.
There’s so much going on that hurricanes and tropical storms quite frankly may not be on their
radar.
But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be. We have officially entered hurricane season in North
Carolina, and our state has had more than its fair share of them. In the last six to eight years we
have been hit with more storms than in the previous six to eight years.
This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an above
average season, but I hope they are wrong.
Predictions of a busy season is one of the reasons why I encourage farmers every year to
review their emergency plans with workers and anyone involved in their farming operation.
Be sure everyone involved in your operation knows where to meet and make sure that
preparation and recovery duties are prioritized and assigned. This allows your team to quickly
get to work before and after a storm.
Our Emergency Programs division recently rolled out a newly designed website, meant to
collect information and resources for disaster response in one place for easy access in times of
crisis.
The new layout is designed around the three core parts of disaster management, Prepare,
Respond and Recover. Under each category, you’ll see links to resources and organizations
who can help with each step of that process.
Preparation is perhaps the most important thing that the average person can do heading into
storm season. The new site includes resources that can help anyone get ready for an emergency,
while also offering some specific tools for farmers and other people in agriculture.
For farmers, pay particular attention to the new site’s “Farm and Emergency Planning &
Preparedness” section. Here you’ll find links to preparedness information from NCDA&CS,
N.C. State Extension and the Extension Disaster Education Network, as well as a template for
your own disaster plan that you can fill out and have on hand in time of emergency.
You can visit the new Emergency Programs website at https://www.ncagr.gov/oep/
Flooding after storms has been especially problematic in the past. Areas that have not been
known to flood, have flooded, so having a good flood plan in place is necessary.
Work is underway throughout North Carolina to remove debris along waterways and streams
through the Streamflow Rehabilitation Assistance Program. This is in an effort to help remove
obstacles from waterways that slow down the flow of water following storms.
We have a lot of work to do in this area as a state, but this program is a proactive measure,
with a total of $38 million in funding earmarked from the N.C. General Assembly. The program
is overseen by the state’s Soil and Water Conservation Commission, working closely with the
Division of Soil and Water Conservation within the N.C. Department of Agriculture and
Consumer Services.
Being prepared on the farm is also a proactive measure. Some steps you can take on the farm
include clearing debris from drainage ditches so water can flow freely.
Identify high ground on your farm to move livestock and equipment to.
Move livestock off the farm prior to a storm if options are available for that.
Have photos of valuables items stored off site. Store all business records above flood level.
It’s always a good idea to have important phone numbers handy following a storm. Cell
phones help make that easier,but be sure you have the contact number for county extension
agents, insurance agents, the county Farm Service Agency and your private veterinarian.
It is my hope that the preparation and the review of your farm’s emergency plan is just a good
reminder and is not needed this year.

 August

  Turnaround time is optimal for soil samples submitted in August.

  The Agronomic Division’s soil testing lab is processing samples quickly now but will be increasingly busy toward the end of the year. Homeowners, landscapers, golf course superintendents and others with flexible schedules are urged to submit samples before the lab's fall busy season. If cool-season lawn grasses and pastures need to be reseeded, sampling now will make it possible to apply lime well in advance of September or October planting.
   Get rapid identification of plant-parasitic nematode species with new test.

  The Agronomic Division's Nematode Assay Section offers a new test that identifies plant-parasitic nematodes based on analysis of molecular DNA. The test costs $10 per sample (instead of $3), but results are available within a couple of days (instead of weeks), and reports can identify nematodes accurately to species. This is particularly useful information for growers who depend on resistant cultivars and/or crop rotation to suppress nematode populations. For more information on this test and how to sample, contact Dr. Weimin Ye at 919-733-2655 or via e-mail at weimin.ye@ncagr.gov.
   Tissue test now to plan for blackberry fertilization next season.

  Collect a plant tissue sample about 10–14 days after harvest. Each sample should include 25–30 most recent mature leaves from the primocane. Sampling the floricane is not recommended unless it is specifically to diagnose a problem. If you have different varieties, submit separate samples for each one. Now is also an appropriate time to submit a corresponding soil sample.
   Focus on strawberry fertility.

  Take soil samples and apply any recommended lime as soon as possible. Generally, strawberries need 100–120 lb of nitrogen per acre per season. Prior to building the beds and laying plastic, apply 30–60 lb of nitrogen along with any phosphorus or potassium recommended on the soil report. Even when soils are high in phosphorus, an additional application of 30 lb can be beneficial for root growth in the fall. Other nutrients that may have a beneficial effect at this time are sulfur and boron (1 lb/acre).
   Continue to use tissue analysis to optimize timing of flue-cured tobacco harvest.

  Collect tissue samples five to ten days before each anticipated leaf harvest to determine ripeness. An appropriate sample consists of 10 to 12 leaves from the appropriate stalk position.
 

Horse events
Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699
Aug. 1 Horse and Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Aug. 6 & 7 Carolina Paint Horse Club Show. Contact Lori Smith, 336-309-9470.
Aug. 12 & 13 Barrel Racing. Contact Justin Hill, 910-705-6900.
Aug. 19-21 Cowboy Mounted Shooting. Contact Pamela Lohrey, 540-570-8785.
Sept. 3 Barrel Racing Shaun McMillian Memorial. Donald McMillian, 910-374-1483.
Sept. 5 Horse & Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
Aug. 13 & 14 August’s Just Horsin’ Round Open Horse Show; www.justhorsinround.com
Aug. 19-21 NCQHA District 5 Endless Summer Horse Show. Contact Susan Daniels, 919-894-
0600.
Aug. 26-29 Fallin’ Into Autumn Horse Show. Contact Travis Alford, 252-450-5438.
Sept. 3 & 4 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Emily Bates, 252-378-4474.
Sept. 9-11 NCHJA – Tarheel Fall Classic. Contact Lynn Bodine, 704-905-6540.
Sept. 24 & 25 United Horsemen of the Carolina’s Open Horse Show. Contact Nancy Barbee,
919-619-1786.
WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
Oct. 6-8 N.C. Walking Horse Show. Contact Myra Helton, 704-718-4152.
Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh,
Aug. 6 &7 Finally Farm Horse Show Series. Contact Lesley Jenks, 919-280-8087.
Aug. 6 & 7 Trianglewide Horsemans Association TWHA Show. Contact Kim Moser, 919-201-
3606.
Aug. 12 -14 Triangle Farms Happy to Show. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
Aug. 26-28 NCHJA C Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
Sept. 3 & 4 Labor of Love Dressage Show. Contact Wendy Warner.
Sept. 10 & 11 UPHA Chapter 12 Preview Weekend. Contact Peyton Hamilton, 803-431-1991.
Sept. 14-17 UPHA Chapter 12 N.C. State Championship Show. Contact Peyton Hamilton, 803-
431-1991.
Sept. 24 & 25 Triangle Wide Horseman’s Association Open Show. Contact Kim Moser, 919-
201-3606.
Sept. 24 & 25 Finally Farm Horse Show Series. Contact Lesley Jenks, 919-280-8087.
Oct. 1-3 Triangle Farms Fall Fling Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
 

Bucolic briefs
The election of pork producer delegate candidates for the 2023 National Pork Producers (Pork Act)
Delegate Body will take place at 1 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 4, in conjunction with a Board of Directors
meeting of the N.C. Pork Council at the Steve Troxler Agricultural Sciences Center, 4400 Reedy Creek
Road, Raleigh, NC, 27607. All North Carolina pork producers are invited to attend.
Any producer, age 18 or older, who is a resident of North Carolina and has paid all assessments due
since August 2021 may be considered as a delegate candidate and/or participate in the election. All
eligible producers are encouraged to have available a sales receipt proving that hogs were sold in their
name and the checkoff was deducted. For more information, contact Amy Cave at 919-781-0361 or
amy@ncpork.org or the N.C. Pork Council, 4000 Westchase Blvd, Suite 330, Raleigh, NC 27607.
Landowners with farms for sale or lease and farmers seeking land can also post their information at the
NC FarmLink website hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension
at https://www.ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/
The Equestrian Exchange Tack Consignment Fall Sale, one of the largest in the state, is scheduled for
Sept 1-5 at the Holshouser Building at the State Fairgrounds Raleigh. Buy and consign anything
related to the equestrian sport: saddles, tack, driving equipment, show clothing for all disciplines of
riding, barn supplies, carts, other animal items and more. Horse trailers to sell for representation fee
only. Bar code tagging on the exchnage’s web site allows consignor to view sales from home. Tagging
guidelines mandatory. Consignors drop off priced, tagged items Aug. 30 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and
Aug. 31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Special premier shopping night is open to public for $10 cash only
admission, age 12 and under get in for free, Sept. 1 from 5 to10 p.m. Open shopping with free
admission is Sept. 2 and Sept. 3 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sept. 4 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sept. 5
from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Some items discounted half off on final shopping day.
Consignors pick up unsold items Sept. 7 from 1:30 to 9 :30 p.m. or they will be donated. Please make
arrangements if you want unsold items returned. Refer to our donation page to see how we help our
equestrian programs in our community. Consignors earn 70%, donate unsold items to N.C. nonprofit
equestrian organizations if desired. Volunteers all ages needed, shop before consignors, consignors
shop before public. Sign up on web site. Payment accepted: cash, NC checks with two IDs approved,
credit cards with 3 % fee/per card transaction. N.C. Government regulations for COVID followed for
everyone's safety. Drop and Go and Pick Up and Go consigning available, see website. Waivers to be
signed at drop off. For more, go to www.EquestrianExchange.com or contact Lynn Beeson at 336-
362-6248 or Tanya Wright at 540-977-1950.
The N.C. Simmental Association will hold its annual Fall Harvest Sale including bull, cows, bred &
open heifers and embryo lots at noon, Sept. 3, at the Shuffler Sale Facility in Union Grove. Call 336-
468-1679 or email ncsa@yadtel.net for a sale catalog, or view an online catalog at
parkelivestock.com.
The Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard & Greenhouse in Marshall will offer Mountain Grape School
with the following in-person classes/workshops: Harvesting Workshop – Sept. 10; Muscadine Home
Winemaking – Oct. 1; and Entertaining With Wine – Oct. 15.
Class times are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays All classes are $40 per person and includes a catered
lunch. Register online at www.JeweloftheBlueRidge.com. Registration cutoff is 48 hours prior to the
class/workshop. Call Chuck Blethen, Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard & Greenhouse Walapini, at
828-606-3130.
The Leonard-Mobley Small Farms Fund grant for small North Carolina farmers, including women in
agriculture, in Franklin, Nash, Chatham, Person, Granville, Halifax, Durham, Wake, Wilson, Vance
and Warren counties will be awarded Sept. 11 at the 7th Annual “Dinner in the Meadow” farm-to-fork
feast held at Meadow Lane Farm near Louisburg. The dinner showcases local foods prepared by 12
North Carolina chefs. For more information or questions, contact Dr. Francesco Tiezzi or Tammy
Manning at lmsmallfarmfund@gmail.com. More information on the grant and the dinner can be found
online at www.DinnerintheMeadow.org. Proceeds from the dinner and silent auction will benefit the
fund, which was set up in memory of two farm family members. Tickets for the dinner can be
purchased at the website.
As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor
offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include:
preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress,
migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers
program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and
preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau,
go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and
Twitter (@NCDOL).
***
Beekeepers with bees for rent and growers interested in bee pollination services can post their
information on the BeeLinked website at www.ncagr.com/beelinked. The site is hosted by the N.C.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. State University Apiculture Program.
Anyone interested in listing their information can do so by filling out an online Submit Your Ad form
on the BeeLinked page or by contacting NCDA&CS at 919-233-8214 or by email at
NCHoneybee@ncagr.gov or call NCSU at 919-515-1660. The NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division
regulates the movement of agricultural or related items capable of spreading harmful insects, diseases,
and other pests. Beekeepers participating in this program will be required to comply with all honey and
bee industry regulations.
***
The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available
at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business
loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for
agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance
Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at
RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov.
***

July 2022

Tab/Accordion Items

July 14 -- Bermudagrass Field Day, Piedmont Research Station, Salisbury
July 19 -- Fiber Hemp Field Day, Piedmont Research Station, Salisbury
July 21 – Mountain Research Station Field Day, Waynesville
July 28 – Apple Field Day, Mountain Horticulture Crops Research & Extension Center, Mills River
Aug. 3 – Blackland Farm Manager Tour, Southland Farms and Howell Farms, 3385 Swindell
Road, Pantego
Aug. 11 – Tomato Field Day, Mountain Horticulture Crops Research & Extension Center, Mills River
Aug. 17 – Chrome Regional Ag Expo, Peanut Belt Research Station, Lewiston-Woodville
Sept. 8 – Peanut Field Day, Peanut Belt Research Station, Lewiston-Woodville
Sept. 12 -- Farmer Appreciation Social, Piedmont Research Station, Salisbury
Sept. 13 – South Eastern Peanut Field Day, Border Belt Tobacco Research Station, Whiteville
Sept. 17 – Pollinator Field Day, Caswell Research Farm
Sept. 28 -- Soybean Field Day, Piedmont Research Station, Salisbury

Dr. Mike Walden, professor emeritus and a retired William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor and
Extension Economist at North Carolina State University, recently released his latest agriculture and
agribusiness economic impact numbers. While they were not what I had hoped for, they were certainly not
unexpected.
The figures are factored on 2020’s agriculture numbers, which reflected the impact of the pandemic.
I’ll rip the Band-aid off and tell you we did not top $100 billion in economic impact, but agriculture and
agribusiness continued to account for one-sixth of the state’s income and employment. And agriculture and
agribusiness remain North Carolina’s No. 1 industry.
Dr. Walden’s figures pointed to over $92.9 billion in economic impact. That is down around $3 billion
from the previous year.
Agriculture and agribusinesses continued to work and work hard throughout the pandemic, but there
were challenges along the way, and those challenges were reflected in the overall impact numbers.
To be a farmer, you’ve got to be pretty optimistic going into every season. Throughout the season, you
work to manage the risks – not enough rain, too much rain, late frosts, plant pests, crop nutrient needs and
many others.
When I planted a crop, I always went into the season thinking it was going to be a good one. I had hoped
this would be the year we saw the economic impact top $100 billion, but it is not.
Regardless, I am undeterred in my belief that we will reach the $100 billion mark shortly.
Employment numbers in agriculture and agribusiness remained steady at 668,000 of the state’s 4.3
million employees and agriculture’s percentage of the state’s income remained about the same.
I am confident we are going to hit this milestone and that will be a good day, but it’s important to
remember that it is just a number. In fact, these numbers reflect years that are already completed.
It’s the farms and farmers, it’s the long days of hard work and determination behind those numbers that
are what really matter.
And it is the food and fiber that our farmers produce that is most important.
I am proud of the diversity of North Carolina agriculture and I am proud of the resiliency of our farmers.
Our agriculture industry makes us a better state for it.
***
I want to thank everyone who came out to the Got to Be NC Festival after a two-year break due to
COVID-19. Attendance was good despite the very warm weather, North Carolina food and beverage
vendors showcased and sold their products and we recognized several of Junior Livestock scholarship
recipients.

  July

  Mulch to prevent blossom-end rot of tomatoes.

  If garden soils have adequate moisture and a pH in the range of 6.3 to 6.5, tomatoes are not likely to have blossom-end rot. Although this common problem is largely due to calcium deficiency, fertilization is not usually the answer. Any soil with a pH of 6.3 to 6.5 will contain enough calcium. However, during dry periods, plants cannot take up the calcium that is there. If your soil pH is good, you can optimize calcium availability by managing soil moisture. Make sure your plants get an inch of water each week, but be careful not to overwater! Apply 2 to 4 inches of mulch (pine bark, straw, leaf compost or other organic material) to help the soil retain moisture.
   Collect cotton tissue samples.

  Collect tissue samples (MRMLs + detached petioles) weekly beginning at early growth (at least by matchhead square or one week before first bloom) and continuing for three to four weeks after first bloom. Follow current NCDA&CS cotton tissue sampling protocol:  www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/pdffiles/14cotton.pdf.
   Collect other agronomic samples as needed.

      Forages
       Note: Forage samples for animal feed analysis should be sent to the NCDA&CS Food & Drug Protection Division. The plant tissue analysis service offered through the NCDA&CS Agronomic Division provides nutrient information relevant to crop fertilization not animal nutrition.

      Home & Garden
       Take soil samples now to prepare for fall planting projects such as vegetable gardens, tree and shrub installation and renovation/maintenance of cool-season lawns. Remember:  1) Do not wait until fall to submit soil samples for home landscape projects. There is a fee for soil tests in late fall and winter. 2) You can submit your soil sample information online through PALS all year!

      Nursery Crops
       Collect pour-thru leachate solution samples to monitor pH, electrical conductivity (EC) and nutrient levels.

      Tobacco
       Collect tissue samples five to ten days before each anticipated leaf harvest to determine ripeness. An appropriate sample consists of 10 to 12 leaves from the appropriate stalk position.
 

Horse events
Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699
July 4 Horse and Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Aug. 1 Horse and Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
Aug. 6 & 7 Carolina Paint Horse Club Show. Contact Lori Smith, 336-309-9470.
Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
July 15-17 Little River Circuit. Contact Susan Daniels, 919-894-0600.
WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
July 13-16 Asheville Summer Fun. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
July 19-23 Blue Ridge Classic Horse Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
Oct. 6-8 N.C. Walking Horse Show. Contact Myra Helton, 704-718-4152.
Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh,
July 7-11 State 4-H Horse Show. Contact Lori Stroud, 919-515-5788.
July 23-25 NCHJA “C” Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-219-0256.
July 24 & 25 TWHA July Show. Contact Kim Moser, 919-219-0256.
July 31-
Aug.1 Raleigh Summer Dressage I & II. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307.
Aug, 7 & 8 Finally Farm Horse Show Series. Contact Lesley Jenks, 919-280-8087.
Aug. 7 & 8 Trianglewide Horsemans Association TWHA Show. Contact Kim Moser, 919-201-
3606.
Aug. 13 -15 Triangle Farms Happy to Show. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
Aug. 27-29 NCHJA C Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
Sept. 4 & 5 Labor of Love Dressage Show. Contact Wendy Warner.
Sept. 11 & 12 UPHA Chapter 12 Preview Weekend. Contact Peyton Hamilton, 803-431-1991.
Sept. 15-18 UPHA Chapter 12 N.C. State Championship Show. Contact Peyton Hamilton, 803-
431-1991.
Sept. 25 & 26 Triangle Wide Horseman’s Association Open Show. Contact Kim Moser, 919-
201-3606.
Sept. 25 & 26 Finally Farm Horse Show Series. Contact Lesley Jenks, 919-280-8087.
Oct. 1-3 Triangle Farms Fall Fling Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
 

Bucolic briefs
The election of pork producer delegate candidates for the 2023 National Pork Producers (Pork Act)
Delegate Body will take place at 1 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 4, in conjunction with a Board of Directors
meeting of the N.C. Pork Council at the Steve Troxler Agricultural Sciences Center, 4400 Reedy Creek
Road, Raleigh, NC, 27607. All North Carolina pork producers are invited to attend.
Any producer, age 18 or older, who is a resident of North Carolina and has paid all assessments due
since August 2021 may be considered as a delegate candidate and/or participate in the election. All
eligible producers are encouraged to have available a sales receipt proving that hogs were sold in their
name and the checkoff was deducted. For more information, contact Amy Cave at 919-781-0361 or
amy@ncpork.org or the N.C. Pork Council, 4000 Westchase Blvd, Suite 330, Raleigh, NC 27607.
Landowners with farms for sale or lease and farmers seeking land can also post their information at the
NC FarmLink website hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension
at https://www.ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/
The Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard & Greenhouse in Marshall will offer Mountain Grape School
with the following in-person classes/workshops: Harvesting Workshop – Sept. 10; Muscadine Home
Winemaking – Oct. 1; and Entertaining With Wine – Oct. 15.
Class times are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays All classes are $40 per person and includes a catered
lunch. Register online at www.JeweloftheBlueRidge.com. Registration cutoff is 48 hours prior to the
class/workshop. Call Chuck Blethen, Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard & Greenhouse Walapini, at
828-606-3130.
The Leonard-Mobley Small Farms Fund grant for small North Carolina farmers, including women in
agriculture, in Franklin, Nash, Chatham, Person, Granville, Halifax, Durham, Wake, Wilson, Vance
and Warren counties will be awarded Sept. 11 at the 7 th Annual “Dinner in the Meadow” farm-to-fork
feast held at Meadow Lane Farm near Louisburg. The dinner showcases local foods prepared by 12
North Carolina chefs. For more information or questions, contact Dr. Francesco Tiezzi or Tammy
Manning at lmsmallfarmfund@gmail.com. More information on the grant and the dinner can be found
online at www.DinnerintheMeadow.org. Proceeds from the dinner and silent auction will benefit the
fund, which was set up in memory of two farm family members. Tickets for the dinner can be
purchased at the website.
As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor
offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include:
preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress,
migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers
program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and
preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau,
go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and
Twitter (@NCDOL).
***
Beekeepers with bees for rent and growers interested in bee pollination services can post their
information on the BeeLinked website at www.ncagr.com/beelinked. The site is hosted by the N.C.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. State University Apiculture Program.
Anyone interested in listing their information can do so by filling out an online Submit Your Ad form
on the BeeLinked page or by contacting NCDA&CS at 919-233-8214 or by email at
NCHoneybee@ncagr.gov or call NCSU at 919-515-1660. The NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division
regulates the movement of agricultural or related items capable of spreading harmful insects, diseases,
and other pests. Beekeepers participating in this program will be required to comply with all honey and
bee industry regulations.
***
The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available
at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business
loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for
agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance
Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at
RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov.
***

June 2022

Tab/Accordion Items

July 21 – Mountain Research Station Field Day, Waynesville
July 28 – Apple Field Day, Mountain Horticulture Crops Research & Extension Center, Mills River
Aug. 3 – Blackland Farm Manager Tour, Tidewater Research Station, Plymouth
Aug. 11 – Tomato Field Day, Mountain Horticulture Crops Research & Extension Center, Mills River
Aug. 17 – Chrome Regional Ag Expo, Peanut Belt Research Station, Lewiston-Woodville
Sept. 8 – Peanut Field Day, Peanut Belt Research Station, Lewiston-Woodville
Sept. 13 – South Eastern Peanut Field Day, Border Belt Tobacco Research Station, Whiteville
Sept. 17 – Pollinator Field Day, Caswell Research Farm

We recently hosted USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and EPA Administrator Michael Regan at the
Agricultural Sciences Center for a roundtable discussion with agricultural leaders here in Raleigh. You can
see photos from the event on page 8.
Regan previously served with the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Raleigh
before heading to Washington D.C. to lead EPA. This is Vilsack’s second time serving as Agriculture
Secretary.
It was a great discussion and I was pleased to hear that the two agencies are committed to working
together on Climate Smart initiatives for common sense answers.
One of the biggest take-aways that I wanted to stress with them is that in North Carolina, agriculture is
carbon negative and the industry sequesters 26 percent of offsets in the state. That is significant.
I’ve written before in this column about the need to bring more attention to the positive environmental
contributions of agriculture, and this is a good example of that.
Farmers have a direct, vested and personal interest in caring for our natural resources. They are forward
thinking and are accustomed to doing more with less, especially in uncertain times like we are in today.
The land they farm provides their livelihood. If farmers don’t take care of the land and water, those
resources will not continue to provide for them.
Many farmers I know share the philosophy to, “leave the Earth better than you found it.”
Both Vilsack and Regan recognized and praised the conservation practices agriculture is already
engaged in. Data in the 2020 Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report released by EPA in April points to
agriculture’s contributions.
Calculations provided by American Farm Bureau with EPA data shows that over the past 20 years,
agriculture greenhouse gas emissions have slightly increased. However, farmers are faced with reducing
their footprint while simultaneously feeding more people AND on less land.
Transportation and electricity are the largest contributors (27% and ~25%) of greenhouse gas emissions
in the US.
Conservation practices farmers have been using for the past 50+ years are ones we are still talking about
today-including no-till crops, cover crops, anaerobic digesters, nutrient management and conservation
cover.
Our forestry and land-use practices capture and sequester carbon to go back into the land, again, around
26 percent.
When you look at the percentage of this amount captured by our industry and subtract it from the overall
greenhouse gas emissions of the agricultural industry, the final calculation is a negative footprint (-2%).
One of the things we want to do is to plant more trees in North Carolina, something we have been asking
for federal support to do for some time now.
I believe committing to plant more trees makes sense on a number of levels. Environmentally, there are
benefits to realize, but our forests are also under attack from a number of destructive pests, so it is important
that we monitor forest health and manage these resources to ensure their sustainability. Emerald ash borers,
hemlock wooly adelgids and spongy moths (formerly known as gypsy moths) are a few examples of pests.
I was encouraged by some of the discussion raised during Vilsack and Regan’s visit and I believe they
recognize that farmers should be applauded for their conservation efforts and that federal Climate Smart
initiatives should include opportunities for farmers.
I appreciate Secretary Vilsack and Administrator Regan’s visit and willingness to meet with members of
North Carolina’s agriculture community.

As the weather gets warmer in North Carolina, it’s clear that summer is upon us. Many people
enjoy what summer brings — the warm weather, vacations and relaxing by the pool! But did you
know that you could also help save North Carolina’s trees while enjoying your pool this
summer? The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) and spotted lanternfly (SLF) are two invasive
insects that are already found in neighboring states, South Carolina and Virginia. For the best
chance of managing these pests, we need to know as soon as possible when they are here! And
since they are attracted to water, they may be found in your pool filters.
ALB and SLF cause significant damage to plants. ALB weakens and eventually kills hardwood
trees, primarily maples, and SLF is an incredible nuisance, feeding on the sap of many plants and
weakening them. ALB can cause damage to structures if trees break as a result of weakening,
especially during storms. Similarly, SLF damages plants and causes issues for numerous
industries (e.g., grapevine and the wine industry), but it also creates sooty mold and a sticky
mess with the honeydew that it excretes!
Early detection is critical for stopping the damage that these pests cause, so we need your help!
Right now, we don’t have reliable traps for either of these pests, which is why we need more
people on the lookout. Thankfully, although maybe not to you, your pools can serve as huge
traps. These pests are attracted to water, so they sometimes end up in pools.
Realistically, these pests could be anywhere! Even if you don’t have a pool, you can still help
stop ALB and SLF by being on the lookout for them. If you see them, report your sightings! It is
especially helpful if you can snap a photo of the insect with an object, such as a coin or a pencil
for size reference. Keep it in a sealed container. Even if you aren’t completely sure that the insect
is ALB or SLF, you can still submit a photo!
Check out the Poolside Pests website for more information about these insects and how you can
help stop them by simply checking your pools. Poolside Pests is a collaborative program
between NC State University Extension, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and
Consumer Services’ Plant Industry Division and the N.C. Forest Service.1:47 AM 5/18/2022

 June

  Prepare for a fall vegetable garden by soil testing.

  Now is the best time to submit your soil samples for planning a fall vegetable garden. Soil samples submitted have faster turnaround times as the lab is less busy. This will allow for plenty of time to plan for liming and fertilizing. There is a belief among some gardeners that lime cannot be over-applied. Well, it can be. Soil pH that is too high from its over-application can adversely affect plant growth by potentially causing problems with micronutrient availability. Lime also works best if incorporated several months prior to planting since its reaction time is not immediate. Unlike fertilizer, however, it can be applied at any time when its recommended. For N-P-K fertilizers as recommended by soil test, their application needs to be timed near the time of planting and during the actual growing season, depending on the plant’s needs. Additional information about timing of fertilizer application is found in this note www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/pdffiles/stnote4.pdf. So, begin planning and take the first step, submit a soil sample!
   Test source water for irrigation systems.

  Before you turn on that drip or overhead irrigation system, it is a good idea to collect samples of your source water and have it tested by the NCDA&CS Agronomic Division. Chemical problems with source water can affect plant growth and quality. By testing water now, you can correct any problems before you start irrigating your crops.

  Solution analysis is a service that measures the chemical properties of water that affect plants. In eastern North Carolina, high alkalinity is a potential water problem. Irrigating with highly alkaline water can lead to an increase in soil pH that can limit availability of some essential plant nutrients, especially micronutrients.

  The solution report indicates whether alkalinity is a potential problem and, if so, provides helpful advice to correct it. Some other potential source water problems include high soluble salts, iron, boron, sodium or chloride. Once identified, these problems can either be corrected or effectively managed to prevent plant growth problems.
   If crop plants are stunted and/or discolored, check for nematodes.

  The best way to find out if nematodes are responsible for an area of poor crop growth is to collect and submit two sets of soil samples: one for nematode assay and one for fertility analysis. An accurate diagnosis of nematode populations during the growing season provides a sound basis for effective management in the future. Knowing the species and numbers present facilitates informed selection of resistant varieties and crop rotation strategies.
   Fertilize centipedegrass lawns in June.

  June is the month to fertilize your centipede grass. Centipede grass differs in rate and schedule of fertilization from other warm season grasses. Centipede requires only 0.5 pound of nitrogen each year. Higher than desired soil pH and phosphorus or inadequate potassium may result in centipede growth problems. If soil sampling was not done in the previous 2-3 years, now is an excellent time to submit samples for faster turnaround times and to determine the rate and best fertilizer to use. Lime will also be recommended if needed.

  Important Reminder: Do not fertilize cool-season lawn grasses—fescue, ryegrass and bluegrass—during the summer. Wait until September.
   Summer is a good time to submit soil samples from lawns & gardens.

  Summer is when the NCDA&CS soil testing lab can process samples most quickly —usually ten days or less. Homeowners and landscapers are urged to submit samples at this time and avoid the peak-season fee (late November through March). Farmers who are maintaining cool-season pastures can also submit soil samples now so they will be ready to apply phosphorus and potassium in late summer or fall.
 

Horse events
Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699
June 6 Horse and Tack Auction. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
June 11 Blackstarr for the American Soldier Barrel Racing. Contact Mustafa, 910-264-8780.
June 17 & 18 Da Bomb Barrel Racing. Contact Josh Smith, 910-639-6387.
Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
June 4 & 5 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Bethanna Perry, 252-675-3017.
June 18 &19 June’s Just Horsin’ Round Open Horse Show. Contact Beth Tew.
July 15-17 Little River Circuit. Contact Susan Daniels, 919-894-0600.
WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
June 16-19 Piedmont Paso Fino Horse Show. Contact Ashley Aldred, 704-778-6717.
June 20-22 West District 4H 3-Day Horsemanship Clinic. Contact Shannon Coleman, 828-837-
2210, ext. 4.
July 13-16 Asheville Summer Fun. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
July 19-23 Blue Ridge Classic Horse Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
Oct. 6-8 N.C. Walking Horse Show. Contact Myra Helton, 704-718-4152.
Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh,
June 4 & 5 Capital Dressage Classic. Contact Teresa Uddo, 352-636-2669.
June 9-12 Tar Heel Summer Classic Show. Contact Randy Ratliff, 336-339-8773.
June 16-18 Capital City Classic. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
June 25 & 26 NCAHA Open Summer Extravaganza. Contact Myra Daniel, 919-614-7477.
July 7-11 State 4-H Horse Show. Contact Lori Stroud, 919-515-5788.
July 23-25 NCHJA “C” Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-219-0256.
July 24 & 25 TWHA July Show. Contact Kim Moser, 919-219-0256.
July 31-
Aug.1 Raleigh Summer Dressage I & II. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307.
Aug, 7 & 8 Finally Farm Horse Show Series. Contact Lesley Jenks, 919-280-8087.
Aug. 7 & 8 Trianglewide Horsemans Association TWHA Show. Contact Kim Moser, 919-201-
3606.
Aug. 13 -15 Triangle Farms Happy to Show. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
Aug. 27-29 NCHJA C Indoors. Contact Joan Petty, 919-669-9877.
 

Bucolic briefs
Landowners with farms for sale or lease and farmers seeking land can also post their information at the
NC FarmLink website hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension
at https://www.ncfarmlink.ces.ncsu.edu/
The Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard & Greenhouse in Marshall will offer Mountain Grape School
with the following in-person classes/workshops: Harvesting Workshop – Sept. 10; Muscadine Home
Winemaking – Oct. 1; and Entertaining With Wine – Oct. 15.
Class times are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays All classes are $40 per person and includes a catered
lunch. Register online at www.JeweloftheBlueRidge.com. Registration cutoff is 48 hours prior to the
class/workshop. Call Chuck Blethen, Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard & Greenhouse Walapini, at
828-606-3130.
The Leonard-Mobley Small Farms Fund grant for small North Carolina farmers, including women in
agriculture, in Franklin, Nash, Chatham, Person, Granville, Halifax, Durham, Wake, Wilson, Vance
and Warren counties will be awarded Sept. 11 at the 7 th Annual “Dinner in the Meadow” farm-to-fork
feast held at Meadow Lane Farm near Louisburg. The dinner showcases local foods prepared by 12
North Carolina chefs. For more information or questions, contact Dr. Francesco Tiezzi or Tammy
Manning at lmsmallfarmfund@gmail.com. More information on the grant and the dinner can be found
online at www.DinnerintheMeadow.org. Proceeds from the dinner and silent auction will benefit the
fund, which was set up in memory of two farm family members. Tickets for the dinner can be
purchased at the website.
Franklin County will host the popular and free 5-County Regional BEEF Tour June 21 from 8 a.m. to 2
p.m. Farms visited will be Springfield Angus, one of the Southeast's premier Black Angus breeders,
Perry Cattle Farm with purebred Simmental and commercial cattle), and First Fruits Farm to highlight
cool and warm season forage test plot. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the N.C.
Cooperative Extension, Franklin County Center. Program topics include: Tips for Direct Marketing
Your Beef, Fire Ant Update and Control, Fly Control in the Herd, NRCS's Rainfall Forage Simulator
Demonstration, and review of a Forage Test Plot. A sponsored ribeye steak sandwich will be served at
the last farm stop. The tour concludes with door prizes. Participants will carpool to the
sites. Registration required. Go to the Eventbrite link to register :https://go.ncsu.edu/2022_5-
county_beef_tour For questions, contact Martha Mobley at 919-496-3344.
As a way to help farmers and agricultural workers stay safe at work, the N.C. Department of Labor
offers safety videos on a variety of topics through its YouTube channel. Video topics include:
preventing green tobacco sickness, hazard communication, tobacco harvester safety, heat stress,
migrant housing requirements, forklift safety, and information about the NCDOL’s Gold Star Growers
program. The videos are in English and Spanish to increase understanding of safety hazards and
preventing accidents. To learn more about the NCDOL and the Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau,
go to www.nclabor.com or call 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267). NCDOL is also on Facebook and
Twitter (@NCDOL).
***
Beekeepers with bees for rent and growers interested in bee pollination services can post their
information on the BeeLinked website at www.ncagr.com/beelinked. The site is hosted by the N.C.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. State University Apiculture Program.
Anyone interested in listing their information can do so by filling out an online Submit Your Ad form
on the BeeLinked page or by contacting NCDA&CS at 919-233-8214 or by email at
NCHoneybee@ncagr.gov or call NCSU at 919-515-1660. The NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division
regulates the movement of agricultural or related items capable of spreading harmful insects, diseases,
and other pests. Beekeepers participating in this program will be required to comply with all honey and
bee industry regulations.
***
The N.C. Ag Finance Authority provides credit to agriculture in areas where financing is not available
at reasonable rates and terms. The agency originates, services and finances farm loans, rural business
loans, disaster loans and cotton gin loans. It also offers tax-exempt ag development bonds for
agribusiness processing, ag-related manufacturing or ag waste disposal. For more about Ag Finance
Authority programs or to request a loan application, call 919-790-3949 or email at
RequestLoanInfo@ncagr.gov.
***

May 2022

Tab/Accordion Items

The N.C. Department of Revenue plans to launch the application for Phase 2 of the Business Recovery 
Grant program on May 2, 2022, with changes to the program’s eligibility criteria allowing many 
additional businesses to qualify for these grants. Farmers and agribusinesses will now be eligible.
The BRG program will issue a payment to an eligible North Carolina business that suffered an economic 
loss of at least 20 percent during the pandemic. The grant amount is a percentage of the economic loss 
demonstrated by the eligible business or $500,000, whichever is less. The application deadline is June 1.
Many businesses excluded in Phase 1 are eligible to apply in Phase 2. In addition to COVID-impacted 
businesses in the hospitality industry such as restaurants and hotels, the BRG is now open to other 
businesses affected by the pandemic such as:
•Farmers and Agribusinesses
•Gyms and Personal Training businesses
•Salons and Barbershops
•Massage Therapy businesses
•Dental offices
•Law firms
•Doctor offices
•Interior Design businesses
•Hardware Stores
•Pharmacies
•Landscapers
•Tailor and Dry Cleaning businesses
Additionally, a business’s previous receipt of a grant award from certain federal programs will not make 
it ineligible for a reimbursement grant. This list is non-exhaustive, and businesses are encouraged to visit 
https://www.ncdor.gov/business-recovery-grant to learn more about eligibility criteria beginning May 2.
Following the initial application period, which closed on Jan. 31, around $203.5 million remained of the 
$500 million in funds initially authorized for the program. NCDOR worked with the N.C. General 
Assembly to expand eligibility to certain businesses impacted by the pandemic but that did not qualify 
for the first round of funds.
“Our hope is that the expanded Business Recovery Grant program requirements will encourage more 
eligible North Carolina businesses to apply,” said NCDOR Secretary Ronald Penny. 
Two types of grants will be available to eligible businesses for Phase 2:
•A hospitality grant is available to an eligible arts, entertainment, or recreation business, as well as an 
eligible accommodation or food service business such as a hotel, restaurant, or bar (NAICS code 71 and 
72).
•A reimbursement grant is available to an eligible business not classified in NAICS Code 71 and 72. A 
business’s previous receipt of a grant award from certain federal programs will not make it ineligible for 
a reimbursement grant.
Gross receipts reported on the expanded list of tax forms can be used to calculate an economic loss for 
Phase 2, making the BRG available to sole proprietors, corporations and other businesses that do not 
report gross receipts on Form E-500 or Federal Form 1065. This may also provide a larger grant award to 
businesses that primarily provide services.
On May 2, eligible business owners will be able to apply for Phase 2 online at www.ncdor.gov. More 
detailed information and answers to Frequently Asked Questions will also be available on the agency 
website.
The program is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLRFP0129 awarded to 
the State of North Carolina by the U.S. Department of Treasury

I like to tell people that the work we do impacts every resident of this state every day. A case in point is our 
inspection of weights and measures devices such as scales and price scanners in retail locations. 
These inspections fall under our Standards Division, which works to ensure fairness in trade through the 
accuracy of weights and measurement tools. Two areas that affect probably every resident is in checking price scanners and gas pumps for accuracy. 
With gas pumps we want to help ensure that if consumers are pumping a gallon of gas that they are 
getting a gallon of gas. Gas pumps are routinely inspected, and you will find a sticker on the pump with the 
department’s name and the month of the last inspection.
In retail stores, Standards inspectors are checking the accuracy of price scanners between what is 
advertised on the shelf and what it rings up at the register.
They also inspect the scales used to determine the weight of some items in the store. For example, deli 
meats and cheeses, produce or seafood sold by the pound.
Over the past six months our inspectors have started seeing an increase in price scanner errors, likely 
associated with ongoing staffing shortages business everywhere are facing. Seeing this uptick serves as a good 
reminder that we all need to be smart consumers when we shop and be aware of the prices advertised and 
compare them to what rings up at the checkout register.
If you find an error, you can report it to a manager so they can quickly correct the issue for you. In my 
experience, stores want to have accurate prices posted and ringing up at checkout, but with weekly sales and 
specials, sometimes price changes are missed.
It is easy to see what a big job it is to make the changes on the shelf and in the software for check out. 
Staffing shortages only add to the challenge, but it doesn’t remove a store’s responsibility to sell items for the 
advertised price.
Price scanner errors can add up for consumers so that’s why inspections are important and why 
consumers should pay attention, too. Price scanner error complaints can also be made by calling the Standards 
Division at 984-236-4750.
I am proud of the work of our Standards Division staff because they are helping to safeguard our 
wallets, something I think everyone will appreciate. 
There is a lot of information in this month’s newspaper and I hope you will take the time to see what is 
going on across the state. You will find information on stores that have paid fines for price scanning errors on 
pages 4 and 5 and we have included an article on page 3 about the benefits of prescribed burns in managing 
wildfire risks. I think you will find it interesting as it provides some insights into the Grindstone Fire on Pilot 
Mountain in November last year. 
If you are poultry farmer or have backyard birds, be sure to look at the information on page 2 
announcing the suspension of poultry shows and sales. This includes all exhibitions, farm tours, shows, sales, 
flea markets, auction markets, swaps and meets pertaining to poultry and feathered fowl in North Carolina.
It is important that we all do our part to limit the spread of high path avian influenza that has been found 
in the state.
And finally, be sure to check out the information on the Got to Be NC Festival that runs May 20-22 at 
the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Better yet, put the date on your calendar and come see us!

EAST GREENSBORO, NC - Millard and Connie Locklear, a Robeson County couple who grow 
fruits, vegetables, and culinary and medicinal herbs, were honored as North Carolina’s 2022 
Small Farmers of the Year, a recognition awarded by Cooperative Extension at North Carolina 
Agriculturan and Technical State University as part of its annual Small Farms Week.
Since 2015, the Locklears have grown organic collards, winter and spring root vegetables, and 
herbs on their 30-acre farm. They also sell poultry products, homemade jellies and jams, pickles, 
chow-chow and other delicacies for the Southern palate. Their work stresses health, safety and 
environmental stewardship, and they have worked closely with N.C. A&T Cooperative 
Extension and other agricultural agencies to develop a food safety plan and support on-farm 
research and training programs for students.
“Mr. and Mrs. Locklear have both been an integral part of Robeson County Cooperative 
Extension for the past 15 years,” said Nelson Brownlee, Extension agriculture and natural 
resources agent in the county. “Their goal has been to add new, innovative practices that improve 
profitability, protect farm stability, diminish risk, and strengthen their farm's overall 
sustainability.”
Small Farms Week, N.C. A&T’s annual tribute to small-scale agriculture statewide, features 
educational programs, panel discussions and farm tours, this year held in hybrid format. The 
weeklong annual celebration was launched by Extension at A&T 36 years ago to connect with 
small-scale farmers—including minority farmers and those in limited-resource communities—
and ensure they receive the latest research-based information on farming techniques, new tools 
and technologies. It also gives the public a chance to meet their agricultural neighbors and learn 
about farm operations and food production.
The Locklears worked with N.C. A&T to adopt high tunnel production to lengthen their growing 
season and control pests. As a result, they have increased their profits by 50%, Brownlee said.
The couple has also become certified in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Harmonized Good 
Agriculture Practices (GAPs), which allows them to sell to wholesale markets. They have 
converted land that was damaged from overuse of pesticides into a chemical-free organic farm 
using integrated pest management techniques.
The Locklears share their knowledge and passion for farming with their community in a variety 
of ways, including working with the University of North Carolina at Pembroke to offer research 
opportunities and hands-on experiences for students in the university’s sustainable agriculture 
program. They have also partnered with the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina to help establish a 
farmer cooperative and a young farmers program.
“To me, farming skills are life skills,” said Millard Locklear. “It is vital that we teach kids about 
farming so we can sustain small farming as a viable profession, and let them know where their 
food actually comes from, how to grow it, prepare it and get more of it.”
The Small Farmer of the Year award was presented at the Small Farmer Appreciation Luncheon, 
one of the highlights of Small Farms Week. The Locklears received a plaque, monogrammed 
jackets and $2,000.
“Small Farms Week brings us closer to our purpose as a land-grant institution and to our mission 
of educating farmers across the state with our knowledge,” said Kenneth Sigmon, PhD, vice 
chancellor at N.C. A&T. Sigmon was among the university and agriculture sector VIPs to attend 
the appreciation luncheon. Others included Steve Troxler, North Carolina commissioner of 
agriculture; Mohamed Ahmedna, PhD, dean of the College of Agriculture and Environmental 
Sciences; Shawn Harding, president of the North Carolina Farm Bureau; Rich Bonanno, PhD, 
Extension director at N.C. State University; and Barbara Board, interim administrator of 
Extension at A&T.
The event also included a keynote address from P.J. Haynie III, a fifth-generation Black farmer 
and chair of the National Black Growers Council.
“We have to do our part to grow the next generation in agriculture,” said Haynie. “Show your 
children the science, the engineering, all the aspects that go into agriculture. It is so important 
that all farmers have a seat at the table—small, large, organic, black, white—to fulfill our charge 
of feeding nearly eight billion people around the globe.”
Small Farms Week educational programs will be posted on Facebook as videos. Visit the 
Extension at A&T Facebook page (CooperativeExtensionatAandT) to enjoy sessions on plant 
and animal production, the impacts of climate change and COVID-19 on small farmers, hemp 
production and more

May
Use tissue testing to optimize yield of pecan trees.
Sufficient nutrient uptake is critical for nut development. Tissue testing after bloom and during early fruiting helps detect hidden hunger and can help in the adjustment of a fertilizer program. Visit www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/pdffiles/isplant.pdf for general tissue sampling and submission instructions.

Use of correct sampling procedure is critical. Collect only the middle pair of leaflets from a compound leaf on the terminal shoot of the current season’s growth. Each sample should consist of a minimum of 30–45 leaflets. Try to choose undamaged leaflets growing in full sun. Do not collect samples after recent pesticide or nutrient spray applications.

Sidestep the high cost of fertilizer by using animal waste as a plant nutrient source.
Farm-generated wastes are a widely available and inexpensive alternative to commercial fertilizers. Animal wastes provide essential plant nutrients and also improve soil physical properties, such as water infiltration, aeration and nutrient-holding capacity. Before applying waste material as fertilizer, send a sample to the NCDA&CS Plant/Waste/Solution/Media Section. This laboratory tests for levels of plant nutrients and, when necessary, can measure pH, lime value and soluble salts. Based on analytical results, the waste report provides estimated rates of nutrient availability for the first growing season. With this information, you can figure out how much waste it will take to meet the specific nutritional needs of a crop. Supplemental applications of commercial fertilizer may be necessary, depending on rate of nutrient availability, cropping system, environmental guidelines and other factors.

Use tissue test results to improve crop production.
For high-value crops, in particular, plant tissue analysis is a valuable tool for optimizing monetary inputs and yield. It is a way to monitor the effectiveness of an ongoing fertilization program. It is a way to identify existing or potential nutrient problems. It can also be a way to gauge plant readiness for harvest.

The part of the plant to be sampled and the time of sampling vary by crop. Visit www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/pictorial.htm for specific sampling instructions for several major crops. Samples can be dropped off at the NCDA&CS Plant/Waste/Solution/Media lab in Raleigh, mailed through the U.S. Postal Service, or shipped via UPS or Fed Ex. Basic tissue testing costs $5 per sample, and results are typically posted on the NCDA&CS Agronomic Division website [www.ncagr.gov/agronomi] two business days after samples arrive at the lab. Special tests to measure chloride, molybdenum or petiole nitrates cost an extra $2 per test per sample.

Spring and summer are the best times to take soil samples from established lawns and gardens.
It is always a good idea to take soil samples several weeks before planting a garden or renovating a lawn; then if lime is needed, you have time to apply it properly and let it begin to work before planting. For established plantings, spring and summer are good times to submit samples because there is no peak-season fee. Reports are usually posted online within 10 days.

The soil lab urges clients to enter and submit soil sample information online via the PALS website instead of filling out a paper sample information form. The online option sends sample information to the lab electronically and helps prevent data entry errors and duplications. A printed copy of the electronic Soil Sample Information form must be submitted with the samples. Links on the Agronomic Division homepage — www.ncagr.gov/agronomi  — provide detailed instructions.

Samples must be submitted in NCDA&CS soil boxes, which are available from all county Cooperative Extension offices and from the Agronomic Division office in Raleigh. Reports are posted online in PALS.

Collect petiole samples from vinifera vineyards during full bloom.
To monitor the nutrient status of vinifera grapes, collect a tissue sample during full bloom. The sample should consist of at least 50 petioles collected from leaves opposite the first or second bloom cluster from the bottom of the shoot. Collect petioles randomly from throughout the entire vineyard. Do not collect more than two petioles per vine. Place the sample in a paper bag or envelope. The plant tissue report—available in a few days—will let you know if your fertilization program is meeting your crop's needs.

If you want to use tissue analysis to diagnose a suspected nutrient problem, collect a petiole sample as soon as you see symptoms. Don't delay—time is critical when correcting nutrient problems. To troubleshoot a problem, you should collect four different samples: 1) a petiole sample from symptomatic leaves, 2) a similar petiole sample from healthy plants, 3) a soil sample from the problem area and a soil sample from the healthy area. Send all samples along with a completed Plant Sample Information form and Diagnostic Soil Sample Information form to NCDA&CS Plant/Waste/Solution/Media Section. There is a $5.00 processing fee for each grape petiole sample.

Horse events
Southeastern Ag Center, Lumberton 910-618-5699
May 2 Horse & Tack Sale. Contact Brad Stephens, 828-390-0878.
May 7 BBHA Open Show. Contact Jerry King, 910-237-4525.
Sen. Bob Martin Agricultural Center, Williamston, 252-792-5111
May 7 & 8 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Emily Bates, 252-378-4474.
May 13-15 Four Beats for Pleasure Gaited Horse Show. Contact Shannon Gibbs, 919-255-0429.
May 20-22 All Youth Barrel Bash. Contact Carson Kelly, 919-464-4352.
May 27-29 SERHA Main Event & Futurity. Contact Daniel Blackburn, 919-669-9486.
June 4 & 5 NCHJA “C” Horse Show. Contact Bethanna Perry, 252-675-3017.
June 18 & 19 June’s Just Horsin’ Round Open Horse Show. Contact Beth Tew.
WNC Ag Center, Fletcher 828-687-1414
May 6 & 7 Asheville Spring Warm-Up. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
May 11-14 Asheville Saddlebred Classic Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
June 16-19 Piedmont Paso Fino Horse Show. Contact Ashley Aldred, 704-778-6717.
June 20-22 West District 4H 3-Day Horsemanship Clinic. Contact Shannon Coleman, 828-837-
2210, ext. 4.
Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh,
May 7 & 8 TWHA May Days Show. Contact Kim Moser, 919-219-0256.
May 14 & 15 Raleigh Spring Dressage. Contact Janine Malone, 919-269-7307.
May 21 & 22 Wake County 4-H Youth Open Horse Show. Contact Heather Schaffer, 919-250-
1093.
May 25-28 Southern States Regional Morgan Horse Show. Contact Liz Holmes, 919-672-3741.
June 4 & 5 Capital Dressage Classic. Contact Teresa Uddo, 352-636-2669.
June 9-12 Tar Heel Summer Classic Show. Contact Randy Ratliff, 336-339-8773.
June 16-