News Roundup

By on July 24, 2009

newsroundup12Each week we’ll round up the latest N.C. agricultural headlines from newspapers across the state and country, as well as excerpts from the stories. Click on the links to go straight to each paper’s full story.

  • “Farmers reap the harvest of the buy-local trend,” WRAL: A new survey suggests that amidst a down economy, consumers are increasingly turning to local farmers for food. The Dairy Farmers of America and Borden Cheese recently commissioned a survey, which found 82 percent of Americans want to purchase locally-grown food. …
  • “Ag Commissioner Seeking Chinese Markets For NC Crops,” WXII-12: State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler is heading to China next month to seek new markets for the crops of North Carolina farmers. Troxler’s office said Wednesday he will lead a 26-member delegation on an agricultural trade mission for a week starting Aug. 1. The Agriculture Department said the mission will focus on expanding sales for tobacco, soybeans, cotton and other commodities. “North Carolina farmers desperately need new markets, and China is the largest potential customer in the world,” Troxler said. “China purchased $271 million worth of North Carolina ag products in 2008, and there is still a huge amount of room for growth. I am confident we will open doors to new opportunities that will benefit North Carolina farmers, otherwise I’d stay home.” …
  • “Southern Pines restaurant rewarded for fresh approach,” Fayetteville Observer: Executive chef Ashley Van Camp is dedicated to cooking with farm-fresh produce at Ashten’s, her restaurant on New Hampshire Avenue. Serving local, seasonal foods simply makes sense, she says. “It’s just good for the community,” she said. “On the selfish end, it just tastes better.” Embracing this philosophy helped Ashten’s become a finalist in the Best Dish in North Carolina contest. The contest, which started in 2006, is open to North Carolina restaurants in fine dining and casual dining categories. The winners, who will be announced in August, can receive up to $2,500 in prize money and, of course, bragging rights. …
  • “Food Briefs: Got great tomatoes? Here’s a chance for glory,” Winston-Salem Journal: The Winston-Salem Journal is looking for tomato growers for its annual tomato tasting. The free tasting will be from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Aug. 1 during the farmers market at the Dixie Classic Fairgrounds. Growers are asked to donate a small sample of tomatoes. Each sample must be one variety and clearly labeled. Any grower may donate as many samples of different varieties as desired. …

  • “Peaches are a sweet reward of summer,” Fayetteville Observer: The crown jewel of summer’s fruit harvest is the delectable peach. The fuzzy fruit comes in more than 2,000 varieties. Of those, more than 70 different kinds grow in North Carolina – some of which are named for the towns that produce them, such as Candor, Troy and Ellerbe….Kevin Hardison, a marketing specialist with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, says the state has a good crop of peaches this year. The warm weather helps concentrate the sugar inside the peaches, which makes them super sweet, Hardison says. …
  • “Find farm-fresh produce from local growers,” Wilmington Star: A Web site from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services helps you find fresh seasonal produce at a farm, market or roadside stand near you. Visit the North Carolina Farm Fresh site to search for the type of produce you want to buy in the county where you live. The site also includes a guide to which produce is in season, so you won’t be looking for fresh blueberries when you’d have better luck with grapes. …
  • “Sanderson Farms to build NC complex,” Durham Herald-Sun: Sanderson Farms Inc. says it will proceed with the construction of a new poultry complex in North Carolina that will eventually employ 1,500 people.
    Sanderson Farms announced plans in April 2008 for a feed mill, processing plant and hatchery on sites in Lenior County, but postponed the project that June because of an overabundance of poultry on the market and high feed prices. …
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