News Roundup: Jan. 24-30

By on January 30, 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.

  • “A Jump Start for New North Carolina Farmers,” Public News Service: As the interest in locally-produced foods grows, an increasing number of young people are looking to make a living farming the land. Allison Kiehl, farmland stewardship and sustainability director with the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, says there is a great need in North Carolina to have a successful flow of farmers producing local foods. But she says there are many challenges including the high price of land, which often is prime for development.  …
  • “New biofuels testing lab opens at North Carolina technical school,” Renewable Energy from Waste Blog: The first biofuels testing lab in the Southeast has opened at the Enka, North Carolina, campus of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (A-B Tech). Researchers at the lab “will provide convenient, cost-effective testing of biodiesel to assure quality products are going to market,” says Sam Brake, of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture Bioenergy Research Initiative, located in Oxford. “Consumers will be assured they’re getting high-quality product,” says Brake, who added that the N.C. Department of Agriculture awarded the project a $150,000 grant.  …
  • “Childers the winemaker behind Herrera success,” Stokes News: Local winemaker Kevin Childers was first introduced to wine when he worked at an Italian restaurant in college. He quickly learned to love wine and went on to work in retail sales at a wine shop before deciding to move to the production side of the industry. He is now the winemaker at Herrera Vineyards in Dobson, which is slated to open this year.  …
  • “A Food Sisterhood Flourishes in North Carolina,” The New York Times: Back in the 1970s, when Nathalie Dupree and Shirley Corriher were cooking together in Atlanta, they wanted to avoid the kind of relationship in which competition slides into rancor. So the two women, who went on to build national reputations, developed the pork chop theory. The idea is that one pork chop in a pan cooks up dry. But two produce enough fat to feed each other, and the results are much better. The pork chop theory is as good an explanation as any for what’s happening in North Carolina, where women dominate the best professional kitchens. …
  • “Man who led US boll weevil eradication honored with “White Gold,” Southeast Farm Press: Marshall Grant, North Carolina farmer and the man who led the way in eradicating the boll weevil, received the inaugural “White Gold Award” at the 25th Annual Joint Commodities Conference, held January 14-16 in Durham, N.C. “It takes confidence and clarity of vision to accomplish great things. I believe timing plays a role as well. It is clear to me and to many cotton producers that Dad’s tenacity, foresight and confidence came along at the right time and helped save our cotton industry in North Carolina and across the nation,” said David Grant, a second generation cotton producer in Garysburg, during his father’s introduction. …
  • “North Carolina Cannot Leave Rural Counties Behind,” WUNC: The North Carolina Legislature is back in town and ready to get to work for the year. During this “long session” lawmakers will likely take up a number of important topics including Medicaid and teacher pay. But what do you do if you represent a county that is oftentimes overlooked? Representative Ken Goodman does just that. …
  • “Local Farmers Endorse Healthy Foods in Public Schools,” Time Warner Cable News: Healthy eating is a concern for us all, but for parents who have children in grade school the degree of interest is on a higher level. To assist schools with healthy eating, the NC Department of Agriculture coordinates a program called “Farm to School” in which sweet potatoes from farmers in the state are served in schools. ” …
  • “Low supply pushing up prices for popular Bermuda grass,” WRAL: It’s not yet spring, but it is harvest time for sod. There’s plenty of zoysia on its way to market, but it’s a different story for Bermuda grass this year. “We feel that we’re just low (on) our overall supply heading into the peak season of 2015,” said Brad Hubinek, owner of Super Sod in Raleigh. He said the entire sod industry in the Southeast is having supply problems with the increasingly popular grass. The problems began during the recession of 2007. When construction plunged, so did the demand for sod. That’s when a lot of growers switched their fields to other crops. …
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