News Roundup: Jan. 17-23

By on January 23, 2015

News Roundup - this week's top news stories about NC agricultureEach 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.

“From long history, WNC Farmers Market seeks sustainable path forward,” Asheville Citizen-Times: Since opening in 1977, the WNC Farmers Market has witnessed the decline of tobacco as a North Carolina cash crop. In nearly 40 years, the largest market in Western North Carolina has transformed from a place for locals to get produce to put up over the winter to a huge destination for tourists looking for an edible Western North Carolina keepsake. It’s one of the most-visited tourist attractions in the area and a relic of the region’s agrarian past in the center of a swiftly growing city. …

“A season that just wouldn’t end for Carolina fruits and vegetables,” Southeast Farm Press: The 2014 season ended strongly for fruit and vegetable producers in the Carolinas, with production of the hardiest products continuing right up until extreme cold weather in mid November finally brought growth in the field to a halt. Managers at state farmers markets in North and South Carolina and an Eastern North Carolina county agent told Southeast Farm Press in early December that the fruit and vegetable marketing season got off to a slightly delayed start in the spring. …

“Zebulon growing support for Farm Fresh Market,” Eastern Wake News: A luncheon held Tuesday gave Maurine Brown a chance to meet with community leaders and share information on the upcoming Zebulon Farm Fresh Market. But Brown, the manager of Zebulon’s first farmers market, needed to say little to get her points across to a crowd at the Zebulon Community Center. The guest speakers that preceded her at the podium were convincing enough to convince audience members of the need and value of the market to the town. “It’s more than a place to buy delicious, healthy and affordable foods,” said Michele McKinley of Raleigh-based Advocates for Health in Action. “It’s a community gathering place and an economic engine for local farmers.” McKinley hit on the importance of accepting Electronic Benefit Transfer cards, which the Zebulon market plans to do from its opening, set for May. …

“Planting new seeds, perspectives in the modern apparel industry,” Elon Pendulum: In the corner of a dim T-shirt warehouse in Burlington, N.C., surrounded by buckets of colored dye and paint-splattered rotating machines, are rows of broccoli sprouts, barely an inch tall. They lean toward the sliding door in front of them, where, on the other side, a handful of chickens nervously peck at company shop fruits and vegetables that didn’t make it to the register in time. Back inside, Eric Henry, wearing a gray shirt reading “TS Designs,” works on a PowerPoint at his desk. The late afternoon sun brightens the room. The lights are off. The first slide on his computer reads, “98%.” “That’s the percentage of clothes we buy that are made overseas,” he says. Henry is the president of TS Designs, an apparel manufacturing and screen-printing company focused on sustainable, high quality and long-lasting T-shirts. Instead of reaching overseas for cheap labor like most apparel companies, TS Designs receives almost all its blank T-shirts from the Carolinas. The entire process – from farm to finished product – spans only 600 miles, just a fraction of the distance most other shirts travel. …

“49th Annual Southern Farm Show Just Around the Corner,” Southern Farm Network: We’re just about two weeks away from the 49th annual Southern Farm Show in Raleigh. David Zimmerman, president of Southern Shows, host of the Southern Farm Show says once again, the event is larger than last year: “We have filled all the exhibit halls and Monday we will start erecting three large tents for more.” The Southern Farm Show is great for catching up with old friends, but also the newest things available in the world of ag …

“Cumberland’s indecision gives Hoke opening to lure chicken plant,” WRAL:  Hoke County officials are pecking away at a plan to lure a chicken processing plant to Raeford, taking advantage of Cumberland County’s on-again, off-again pursuit of the plant. The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners has since September twice rejected an incentives deal for Sanderson Farms, which looked to build a $95 million plant in a county-owned industrial park off Interstate 95. But the board voted Tuesday to hold a public hearing on the $2.5 million incentive package. …

“Previous ‘mild’ strain of PEDV confers protection against ‘severe’ strain,” National Hog Farmer: Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) infected approximately 50% of the U.S. swine breeding herds from July 2013 to July 2014 as estimated by the Swine Health Monitoring Project (SHMP). In the absence of effective vaccines or standard control protocols, there is an urgent need for evidence of cross-protective immune countermeasures. …

“White Gold Award” Presented to North Carolina Cotton Producer Marshall Grant,” Southern Farm Network: For his ground-breaking work in the Boll Weevil Eradication Program (BWEP) and decades of industry leadership, North Carolina cotton producer Marshall Grant was presented the North Carolina Cotton Producers Association’s inaugural “White Gold Award” during the 2015 Joint Commodities Conference held last week in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Grant served 10 years as Vice President of the North Carolina Farm Bureau before resigning and serving twenty years as Chairman of the State Farm Service Agency Committee. He was Treasurer of The Cotton Board, a State Director on the National Cotton Council and on the boards, commissions and committees too numerous to name in a single news release. But Grant’s legacy will forever be his tireless determination as a central figure and driving force behind the effort to gain producer support for the BWEP across the Southeast – which was key to its eventual Belt-Wide passage, funding and implementation. …

 

 

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