Extensive collection of plows and farm equipment donated to NCDA&CS

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has received a generous gift from the estate of John William “Bill” Turner: a large collection of antique plows and associated farm equipment. A portion of the collection has been on display in the Antique Farm Machinery barn at the State Fair, nestled among other rare and unique items. Bill Turner and his father, Sam, shared a love of the “tools of the earth.” Bill grew up at the foot of Cherry Mountain, in an old home with no electricity or running water. In an essay written in 2008, he described a…

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Don’t just want to be NC, ‘Got to Be NC’

Locally produced cotton T-shirts, candles, muscadine juices, sweet potatoes, sauces, dry rubs. These are just a few of the products 30 vendors are showcasing in the Got to Be NC tent at the State Fair. Dozens of fairgoers gathered in the tent to sample and ultimately purchase some of North Carolina’s best. There was one that stuck out to me from all of the amazing vendors: Ms. Anne. As I’m taking photos of a woman sampling some maple butter, a smiling man approaches me and says, “That’s Anne.” I look up to see a stack of “Anne’s” products sitting neatly…

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Ring-a-ding-ding there’s a new blogger!

  [youtube GTxViQnuMQg CowBelle] Hi there, my name is Rossie and I have taken on a new role this year as CowBelle on the Deep Fried Blog for the North Carolina State Fair! CowBelle has special meaning to me because I have shown livestock at the fair for the past eighteen years, and this will be the 22nd year I have attended the fair.  My first memory of the fair was walking my lamb Buster into the barn on his brand new, bright red halter. That bright red halter perfectly matched my cowgirl boots! Since that first year exhibiting Buster…

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Show us your Bumper Crop of Fun

Around here, we’re pretty big fans of The Peterson Farm Bros YouTube sensation,”I’m Farming and I Grow It.” If you haven’t seen this Internet phenom, check out the video below: The video has more than 6 million views on YouTube and has inspired an array of other farming parody videos, including Lil Fred’s “Farm It Maybe.” With all of the creativity across the country, we knew there had to be just as many creative people right here in North Carolina. That’s why we created the Bumper Crop of Fun Video Contest. Here’s how it works: Create a music video that…

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Find your fit at Cultivate a Career

Over the summer, we gave you a preview of the new Cultivate a Career exhibit at this year’s fair. Sunday, Baby Goat and I took a tour to discover all the great activities the exhibit offers visitors. Check out the video below of our experience: Upon entering the exhibit, head for one of the laptop stations and take an interest test. This test is designed to help you get a better idea of the types of jobs you would enjoy most. After finishing, the computer gives you a personality score you can use to guide yourself through the rest of…

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Cultivate a career at this year’s fair

Promoting the agriculture industry and consumer education have long been at the core of the State Fair’s mission. A new exhibit at this year’s fair, Cultivate A Career, will add to this great tradition. Located near gate 12, the exhibit is designed to highlight the importance of agricultural careers to our economy in a fun and interactive environment. Visitors will have the chance to “test drive” a high-tech tractor, try their hand at building a small-scale model barn, analyze plant and animal specimens with a microscope and promote their experiences within the exhibit to others. All of these activities are…

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Deep Fried Ambassador: Growin’ up in a barn

This is a guest blogger post by our Official Deep Fried Ambassador, Ashlee. We’ll be reposting her State Fair adventures from her Miss Ashlee blog throughout the Fair. Growin’ up in a Barn After visiting the “History of the NC State Fair” house in Heritage Circle I learned that the fair was originally designed to help farmers improve their agricultural techniques. More specifically, they wanted to share scientific methods of farming. 143 fairs later we still get to Celebrate What’s Great in the agricultural world of North Carolina! NC’s the 8th largest producer of apples in the US I’ll take…

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Behind the scenes with…Dudley Baggett, landscape manager

Now that the final events have taken place at the State Fairgrounds, things are going to kick into high gear to get everything ready for opening day. One area of preparation – landscaping – has been in high gear for a while now. These guys are headed up by Dudley Baggett, the State Fair’s landscape manager. Dudley has a long checklist of items that have to be done before the Fair opens in 15 days, including everything from weeding and mulching about 3 acres of landscaping beds to mowing about 30 acres of grass around the property. Not to mention…

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County Fair Travels: Two trips to Burke County

Two weeks ago, I traveled to Morganton to visit the Burke County Fair and this week I went back to Burke for the Drexel Community Fair in town of Drexel. Burke County is one of three North Carolina counties that hosts multiple agricultural fairs.  The Burke County Fair, which took place August 4-8, had a variety of competitive entries from 4-Hers, and there were several nice displays promoting the 100th anniversary of 4-H in NC.  The number of entries in the canning category was up, and the fruits and vegetables looked much better than they did last year, suggesting that competitiors may have had a better growing…

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