“Ag”vocating for the Industry at Williams Produce Farm

The Young Farmer of the Day program is a new addition to the Got To Be N.C. Festival. The program, sponsored by Farm Credit, recognizes three young farmers who work hard everyday to impact our state’s agriculture industry & blaze the trail for a strong future. Individuals either nominated themselves or were nominated by members of the community. One young farmer will be recognized each day of the Got To Be N.C. Festival, taking place May 20-22, 2022 at the N.C. State Fairgrounds! For over 100 years, the Williams family has been growing a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables…

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Roots run deep at Andrews Tree Farm & Nursery

The Young Farmer of the Day program is a new addition to the Got To Be N.C. Festival. The program, sponsored by Farm Credit, recognizes three young farmers who work hard everyday to impact our state’s agriculture industry & blaze the trail for a strong future. Individuals either nominated themselves or were nominated by members of the community. One young farmer will be recognized each day of the Got To Be N.C. Festival, taking place May 20-22, 2022 at the N.C. State Fairgrounds! Andrews Tree Farm & Nursery in Sparta has been providing high-quality Christmas trees to the community since…

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Six generations of community centered agriculture at Powers Strawberries & Market

The Young Farmer of the Day program is a new addition to the Got To Be N.C. Festival. The program, sponsored by Farm Credit, recognizes three young farmers who work hard everyday to impact our state’s agriculture industry & blaze the trail for a strong future. Individuals either nominated themselves or were nominated by members of the community. One young farmer will be recognized each day of the Got To Be N.C. Festival, taking place May 20-22, 2022 at the N.C. State Fairgrounds! Powers Strawberries and Farm Market in Lumberton has been a staple in the community for six generations!…

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New fairgrounds police chief settling in just in time for GTBNC festival

The N.C. State Fair has a new police chief who’s just getting settled into the job in time for the Got to Be NC Festival. Anthony “Tony” Prignano started on April 25. Technically, his job title is Public Safety and Security Chief, and it’s a shift from his decades of work in the Durham County Sheriff’s Office. “When I retired from the sheriff’s office in March at age 53, I didn’t want to just quit working,” Prignano said. “I’ve been in in law enforcement for nearly 30 years. It’s not just something that leaves your blood. When it comes to…

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N.C. wine and so much more at the GTBNC Festival

The Got to Be NC Festival brings lots of the things you love about the N.C. State Fair, such as rides and fair food favorites. There are also unique elements like the entertainment lineup, the daily tractor parades and the vendors who choose to participate each year. One thing that the GTBNC Festival offers that’s a bit different than the State Fair is the Food Lion Local Goodness Marketplace. It’s a bit like the Got to Be NC Pavilion during the fair, but not exactly. At the this year’s festival, there are about 74 vendors, and all of them will have…

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A beginner’s guide to the Carolina Pig Jig according to three of its biggest fans

The Got to Be NC Festival returns to the State Fairgrounds this weekend. An eagerly anticipated part of the festival is the Saturday-only Carolina Pig Jig. Around 20 chapters of Masons will compete for bragging rights in this one-day competition and fundraiser. The real winners are the attendees, who for $20 gain entry and all-you-can-eat barbecue. In an effort to help out those that might be attending their first Pig Jig, we talked to a few “experts” to get their best advice for how to maximize your barbecue experience. See tips below: Paul Jones, manager of organization engagement at Butterball,…

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Twin sisters win scholarships for livestock showing and dedication to ag

Each year, the N.C. State Fair Livestock Scholarship program awards a number of college students $2,000 for higher education expenses. Another student, or in this case two students, receives a $2,500 scholarship from the Farm Credit Association of North Carolina. These scholarships are open to students who have previously competed in the livestock shows at the N.C. State Fair, regardless of final show placement. The 2022 winners will be recognized during the Got To Be N.C. Festival, taking place May 20th through the 22nd at the N.C. State Fairgrounds, including this year’s Farm Credit Association scholarship winners, twin sisters, Mattie…

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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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