Behind the scenes with…Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina

Food Lion Hunger Relief Day continues to be one of the most popular days at the Fair. It could be because donating four cans of food gets you into the Fair free that day. It might also be the reward of being part of one of the largest single-day food drives in the state. We hope it’s a little of both. Last year, fairgoers donated 222,956 pounds of food to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, but on Thursday, Oct. 21, we hope to collect even more food. We recently visited the Food Bank’s Raleigh location to take a tour and see how the staff prepares…

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County Fair Travels: East one day, West the next

As you are reading this, I am probably in the northwestern part of the state, driving west on Highway 421 towards Newland. I left Raleigh pretty early this morning, because today will be the busiest County Fair traveling day yet — Avery County Fair this morning, Mountain State Fair in Fletcher in the early afternoon, then finally on to the Iredell County Fair in the evening. Yesterday, I was in Fayetteville attending the Cape Fear Fair and the Cumberland County Fair. Two very different events, each with very passionate staff members and volunteers. The Cape Fear Fair is a new agricultural fair and has…

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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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Bearded Lady says goodbye…for now

  For the past 10 weeks I have had the opportunity to intern with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services through the North Carolina Youth Advocacy and Involvement Office’s internship program. I was one of 100 college students offered a summer position, and I feel fortunate to have made the cut. In this short time, I interviewed a rockin’ eco hero and a horse complex manager; I saw grown men chug milk and identified a former commodity queen; I covered Blueberry Day and Peach Day; and I discussed how social media is becoming a larger force in all our lives. I…

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Social Media Breakfast recap

We had a great time at this morning’s Raleigh Social Media Breakfast. It’s always nice to put faces to names, avatars and commenters, and we were really excited to share information about the Fair. We met in the Jim Graham restaurant on the State Fairgrounds at 7:45 a.m. to discuss how social media (Facebook, blogs, Twitter and beyond) are changing the way people get their news, communicate and do business. We presented information on the different successes and challenges we had with this new type of media, and here are some the key points we presented on our experience: Our…

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