In-person Interns are back: Meet Sweet Potato

Hi, I’m Katie, recently nicknamed Sweet Potato by my fun and loving coworkers here at the Department of Agriculture. I am so lucky to be the first in-person intern since 2019; I was even granted my own ultra mini desk. (I’m only kidding), it’s wonderful here, and I can’t wait to become part of such a memorable event. A little bit about me, I’m a rising junior at UNC-Chapel Hill, where I am studying Communications with a concentration in media, technology, and production. Before starting college, I grew up in Wilkesboro, a rural farm-loving town at the foothills of the…

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“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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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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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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