News Roundup

By on October 9, 2009

newsroundup11Each 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.

  • “More Americans growing food on small ‘hobby farms’,” Charlotte Observer: Most evenings, Gary Mithoefer can be found at the end of a long gravel driveway off a busy highway, tending two garden plots filled with white sweet potatoes, squash, cabbages and a dozen other vegetables still thriving in early fall. The 62-year-old, who gardens after his workday ends at his state highway job, is one of a growing number of Americans rolling up their sleeves and digging into the dirt to raise crops or livestock on a small scale. ...
  • “Hog farms face tough times,” WRAL: Neil Strother runs a small family farm in Wilson County. It’s a way of life that is in deep trouble. About 25 hog farms in North Carolina sit idle and another eight are on the brink of closing, according to Deborah M. Johnson, CEO of the NC Pork Council. “It’s extreme. We’re just trying to stay in business. I’m struggling and the big guys are struggling,” Strother said. …
  • “Business planning essential,” Hendersonville Times-News: Farmers and agribusinesses need solid business plans to survive even during the best of economic conditions. In times of recession, these plans are more important than ever. A good solid business plan includes an executive summary, mission statement, organizational goals, as well as both marketing and financial plans. Although often these might be required in part by a lender, many farm business entrepreneurs fail to prepare a business plan and wonder why their business fails. …
  • “North Carolina explores exports to China,” Southeast Farm Press: The boom in farm exports to China shows no signs of diminishing, and North Carolina farmers are determined to be part of it. A group of them and their commodity association leaders joined an agricultural trade mission to China led by state Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler the first week of August. Even though China purchased $271 million worth of North Carolina ag products in 2008, there is still “a huge amount of room for growth,” Troxler said on returning. …

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