News Roundup: Aug. 23-29

By on August 29, 2014

News Roundup logoEach week we round up the latest N.C. agricultural headlines from news outlets across the state and country, as well as excerpts from the stories. Click on the links to go straight to the full story.

  • “Several Facets to Implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act,” Southern Farm Network: At the Food Safety Forum this week, several speakers outlined the coming changes with the Food Safety Modernization Act, which is being implemented in stages, with the export segment coming next. NC Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler explains why we need food safety legislation: “There is no doubt that we have the safest food supply in the world. So the question is why do we need this system. Think back to the tomato recall a few years ago, it did about $250 million in damage but it turned out it wasn’t even the tomatoes.” Troxler explains that the new food safety system will be an integrated system: “Out of this bad came a lot of good and that is an integrated food system. Integration between FDA and the states and the local food safety official to make it all work is needed.” …
  • “Worms, stink bugs prove to be problems for North Carolina farmers this year,” Southeast Farm Press: North Carolina State University Extension Entomologist Dominic Reisig says this year is shaping up to be one of the worst years ever for plant bugs in the state with heavier infestations of stink bugs, tobacco budworms and corn earworms being found in more fields. “I’ve been here for five years and it’s been as bad as I’ve ever seen. It’s probably as bad as we’ve seen for 30 years or longer,” Reisig says. “I expect plant bugs are a trend that’s here to stay so farmers are going to need to remain ever-vigilant in their scouting.” The insect infestations appear to be hitting the northeastern part of North Carolina the hardest. …
  • “Officials to hold public meeting on Sanderson Farms poultry processing center,” Fayetteville Observer: To help counter the opposition by some residents and landowners, local officials are holding a public meeting Tuesday to talk about a proposed chicken processing plant. The Fayetteville Regional Chamber is hosting the meeting on the floor of the Crown Coliseum with the support of the Fayetteville City Council and the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners, whose members are eager to land the $113 million plant that would employ about 1,000 workers. …
  • “NCSF wants local fare,” Carteret County News-Times: A push to use more local seafood and a ticketed concert are two changes for the N.C. Seafood Festival this year. More than 65 festival sponsors, media, board members and affiliates met Thursday at Chef’s 105 to learn what’s new at this year’s event, set for Friday, Oct. 4, through Sunday, Oct. 6. In its 28th year, the festival that packs downtown will feature live music, food vendors, arts and crafts vendors, cooking demonstrations, carnival rides, a few athletic events and the Blessing of the Fleet nondenominational ceremony Oct. 6 that honors the commercial fishing industry. The community-oriented event benefits many of the county’s nonprofit groups, churches and more through their various efforts. Festival board members are making an effort to promote local seafood and produce in partnership with sponsors Got To Be N.C. Agriculture and Got To Be N.C. Seafood, a part of the N.C. Department of Agriculture, according to this year’s festival chairman Patrick Conneely. Thirty-two of 51 food vendors will sell local seafood, Mr. Conneely said. They’ll display a yellow flag at their booths that reads, “Fresh. Local. Got to be N.C. Seafood.” …
  • “Cabarrus County Farmer Takes Educating the Consumer Seriously,” Southern Farm Network: Earlier this week at the 10th Annual Food Safety Forum, hosted by NC Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler, poultry, swine and cattle farmer Tommy Porter sat on a panel discussing food safety issues from the farm to the plate. Porter takes his responsibility seriously when it comes to educating the consumer about where their food comes from: “I would much rather be home on the farm than sitting on a panel. But I would never turn down an opportunity to talk about the farmers side of the story. The consumer needs to know where their food comes from and how safe it is. And how its produced, everything from the land to the fertilizers to the equipment. We have the safest and most economical food supply in the world and consumers need to know that. And how it gets to their table. There is a lot of science and work that goes into it. There is science, for example breeding stock, to get to what the consumer demands on their table. If we can reach out and educate, that is why I’m here. That is why I took the day off from the farm and I think its worthwhile.” …
  • “Get out on the farms for fall,” Charlotte Observer: Once school starts and the vacation season ends, a lot of things compete for our attention. But some of the best local food all year hits fields in fall. It’s also cooler and less humid, the perfect time to make an excursion to a farm. What can you get and where can you get it? Here are a few farms with special things to offer in fall. For the full lists of you-pick farms and farmers markets that stay open through October, including the markets that are open all winter, go to …
  • “Farmers expect to offer plenty of fruit,” Hendersonville Times-News: Despite hard freezes, frost and hailstorms, Henderson County’s apple orchards emerged from all the bad weather with plenty of fruit for the N.C. Apple Festival. “Everybody around has got different damage in different orchards,” said Jerred Nix, president of the Blue Ridge Apple Growers. “Some places, Romes are affected; other places, they’re not. Some places, Galas are affected, and others they’re fine.” Despite the scattered damage, Nix said there will be no lack of unblemished apples in a range of varieties for sale at the Apple Festival, which starts Friday and runs through Monday, Labor Day. …
  • “Charlotte’s Gleaning Network gets food from fields to the hands of hungry people,” Charlotte Observer: It started in a field of corn on a farm near Concord. It ended with a hungry family in Charlotte. In between, a chain of volunteers gave time, sweat and gasoline to pick the corn, drive it where it was needed and hand it out. “It’s the best job ever,” says Jean Siers, the Charlotte coordinator for the Gleaning Network, which matches volunteers with farms that have more food than they can pick. “At the end of the day, you know somebody ate something healthy and good because you picked up the phone.” The Gleaning Network is one of a half-dozen groups in the Charlotte area that make up the system of food banks, emergency pantries and community gardens. It is also one of the few that focuses exclusively on fresh fruits and vegetables. Studies by the USDA have found that 17 percent of North Carolina households were in danger of not having enough nutritious food in 2012. …

 

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