Finding hope and happiness in N.C. Agriculture

Agriculture has a way of bringing families together in a special way, including the Palmer family. Six-year-old Grace Grasty has been showing pigs and lambs at the N.C. State Fair since she was two-years-old! According to her parents, these animals, in addition to her other hobbies like dancing and gardening, have given Grace an outlet to express herself, overcome obstacles and impact the lives of countless other people. In 2016, Kathy and her husband Manley began fostering Grace and gained full guardianship of her the following year. “Grace was a surprise to us because we also have three other children,…

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Life of a fair manager

N.C. State Fair manager Kent Yelverton has always had a strong love of agriculture. Growing up on a family farm, Kent has spent many hot summer days working in the fields with his family growing and harvesting a variety of row crops. Although college at N.C. State almost took him in a different direction, graduating with a degree in engineering, the call of agriculture spoke to his heart and brought him back to his roots. Kent started his career at the N.C. Department of Agriculture at a young age, working as a consulting engineer in the markets division. In 2001…

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First-generation farmer wins Commissioner’s Award in 2021 Heritage Tobacco Competition

From a tobacco-tying competition, barn curing, a heritage tobacco harvest competition and a mock tobacco auction, the legacy of tobacco and its contributions to the state of North Carolina and the agricultural industry is on full display at Heritage Circle at the N.C. State Fair. The Heritage Tobacco Harvest Competition was started in 2015 to recognize individuals growing tobacco. Entries and winners are on view in the Tobacco Pavilion in Heritage Circle. Growers from North Carolina submit silver-dollar-sized hand ties of flue-cured tobacco to compete in different stalk position classes. Brent Leggett, a first-generation farmer from Nashville, was awarded the…

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Carrying on a Century Farm legacy at Hoggard Farm

The Farm Family of the Day program is a new addition to the N.C. State Fair. The program recognizes 11 farm families – one for every day of the State Fair – who work hard everyday to impact our state’s agriculture industry. Families either nominated themselves or were nominated by members of the community. Thanks to Tractor Supply Company for sponsoring the program, which will run from Oct. 14-24. Hoggard Farm in Ahoskie is an agriculture haven growing over 100 acres of various crops, including tobacco, peanuts, soybeans and corn. The farm, owned by Robert Earl and Carolyn Brinkley, was…

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Paul Bunyan’s Lumberjack Show still delivers after decades of fair appearances

Lee LeCaptain loves bringing the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show to the N.C. State Fair. It’s something he first did in the early 90’s. At that time, the show was based in Heritage Circle, and it made use of the pond there. “To me [this fair] is one of the best in the nation. I enjoy it probably better than any other state fair in the country,” LeCaptain said after a recent show during the 2021 fair. “I come here, it’s like home. It’s just very comfortable. It’s almost like here is a vacation, but I’m still working hard. I work…

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Combining hard work, love of family and N.C. agriculture at Kee-Lang Farms

The Farm Family of the Day program is a new addition to the N.C. State Fair. The program recognizes 11 farm families -one for every day of the State Fair – who work hard everyday to impact our state’s agriculture industry. Families either nominated themselves or were nominated by members of the community. Thanks to Tractor Supply Company for sponsoring this program, which runs Oct. 14-24. Kee-Lang Farms in Trenton is a second generation hog farm founded on hard work, dedication and family. First started in 1995, the farm is now home to a total of seven hog houses as…

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Flourishing flowers at Conrad Farms

The Farm Family of the Day program is a new addition to the N.C. State Fair. The program recognizes 11 farm families – one for every day of the State Fair – who work hard everyday to impact our state’s agriculture industry. Families either nominated themselves or were nominated by members of the community. Thanks to Tractor Supply Company for sponsoring the program, which will run from Oct. 14-24. The Conrad family may be fairly new to farming in North Carolina, but their business has taken off and flourished as quickly as their beautiful flowers! Conrad Farms, located in Cary,…

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Worth the Wait!! – Dairy Show

The following blog is a guest post provided by Rachel Gray, a Senior in Agribusiness at the University of Mount Olive. The article is part of a series of blogs provided by UMO students. The North Carolina State Fair is an annual event people anxiously look forward to attending. During the 10 days the fair is hosted, nearly one million people will visit the fairgrounds. Livestock and poultry competitions go on throughout the fair. Families from across North Carolina and surrounding states work year-round to prepare their livestock for competitions. My younger sister and I have shown dairy cattle since…

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Bringing local to the community at Jackson Farms Produce

The Farm Family of the Day program is a new addition to the N.C. State Fair. The program recognizes 11 farm families – one for every day of the State Fair – who work hard everyday to impact our state’s agriculture industry. Families either nominated themselves or were nominated by members of the community. Thanks to Tractor Supply Company for sponsoring the program, which will run from Oct. 14-24. Jackson Farms Produce in Saint Pauls not only grows a variety of fruits and vegetables, like corn, peaches, beans and onions, but also produces beef and pork products. The multi-generational family…

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Chosen By The Bells

Charlie St. Cyr – Paul is the man behind the Cast In Bronze Carillon. Some of you may remember the Carillon from the 2019 N.C. State Fair, however it takes on a new look, feel and management under Charlie. In previous years, the bells were played by Cast in Bronze creator, Frank DellaPenna. However, Frank recently announced his retirement from touring with the Carillon and chose none other than Charlie St. Cyr – Paul to carry on the inspiring tradition. Cast in Bronze was the first musical act in the world to feature the carillon in its show. Although the…

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