News Roundup: June 6 – 12

By on June 12, 2015

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

Each 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.

  • “For Bakers And Restaurants, Egg Supply Is Getting Ugly,” WUNC: Tony Lordi sighs as he reaches into the pocket of his white uniform pants and pulls out his iPhone. These days, Lordi, the production manager at Judy’s Bakery in Kansas City, Mo., checks with his supplier every day. He needs to know the price of what’s become liquid gold for commercial bakers: “liquid egg.” “The market’s like gas prices at this point,” he says. Rarely heard of outside the food industry, liquid egg is used for dozens of things, from cakes and cookies to mayonnaise and lots of breakfast dishes.  …
  • NC to ban public poultry shows, sales to prevent spread of bird flu,” News & Observer: The state will suspend public shows and sales of live poultry starting in mid-August in an attempt to stop the spread of avian flu, state officials announced Thursday. State Veterinarian Doug Meckes made the decision to suspend the shows in anticipation of a potential spread of bird flu to North Carolina this fall, when waterfowl migrate south for the winter. Almost 50 million birds have been killed as a result of the virus in the country so far, but it has not yet spread to the Southeast. …
  • “A taste of produce bounty in the Tar Heel State,” The Packer: Our recent North Carolina vacation was instigated by a restaurant. OK, that’s not entirely true. We were going to be in Charlotte anyway for a family event — we might as well see some more of the state while we were there. But as my dad, the master planner, began to plot out our itinerary of historic points of interest (which included the cemetery where Daniel Boone’s parents are buried and the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, the tallest brick lighthouse in North America), one question kept popping up in conversation: “Can we go to the restaurant?” “The” restaurant in question was Chef & the Farmer in Kinston, N.C., about a four-hour drive east of Charlotte. It’s the subject of a half-hour television series on PBS called “A Chef’s Life,” which had become a frequent feature of our Sunday evenings. …
  • “Experts Convene to Discuss How to Protect Bees, Other Pollinators,” NC State News: This autumn, researchers, educators, and industry experts from around the country will descend on a small town in rural North Carolina to discuss a question with repercussions for both the economy and the environment: what can be done to protect bees and other pollinators? The conference is focused specifically on what can be done to not only conserve but also bolster pollinator populations in so-called “ornamental” landscapes, such as urban areas and manicured gardens.  …
  • “Guilford’s mobile farmers market gets national recognition,” Greensboro News & Record: Both sales figures and the number of visitors are up at the Mobile Oasis Farmers Market, three weeks after the program kicked off its second season with a host of new incentive programs. “The last market season was nine weeks, and this season we’ve only done three so far,” said Alex Lewis, a health educator with the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees and runs the market. “But we’ve already had half as many customers as we had in the last full season, and we’ve earned 90 percent as much money,’ Lewis said.  …
  • “Veterans See Value in Homegrown Heroes Program,” Southern Farm Network: Homegrown Heroes is a USDA program designed to transition soldiers from the military to a career in agriculture. Marvin Frink, former military, and now rancher in Red Springs, N.C., talks about the Homegrown By Heroes label and how it helps veterans who are in agriculture. “It is a great organization that is pouring back help to the veterans with help like logos and labeling, to show us tools and help us get ourselves out there in the market.” Frink says USDA would better serve military veterans getting in agriculture by meeting with them before they leave the service. …
  • “Agriculture Commissioner Visits Cherokee County,” Cherokee County Cooperative Extension: North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler made a visit to Cherokee County on June 3rd to visit with farmers and tour the High Tunnel Incubator project in Marble. In 2013 Cherokee County was awarded grant funds from WNC Communities and the TVA Ag and Forestry Fund, to construct two moveable high tunnels. The Cherokee County Extension office partnering with Cherokee County Government applied for the grant to purchase the high tunnels. One of the high tunnels is used by the Extension office as an incubator to train people in the techniques of high tunnel growing. The Sheriff’s department uses the other one to grow produce reducing meal costs at the jail. …
  • “Ramifications of the NC ag-gag bill,” The Technician: Last week, the North Carolina General Assembly voted to override Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto of House Bill 405 — the Property Protection Act — better known by the public as the NC Ag-Gag bill. The bill seeks to protect the privacy of businesses by giving employers the right to take legal action against those who steal company secrets or covertly record alleged illegal activity. The bill has been labeled an ag-gag and anti-whistleblower by activist groups such as the ASPCA due to the incriminating of those exposing malpractice on farms and factories. “This bill is intended to address a valid concern of our state’s businesses — how to discourage those bad actors who seek employment with the intent to engage in corporate espionage or act as an undercover investigator,” McCrory said in a statement released after he vetoed the bill. “This practice is unethical and unfair to employers, and is a particular problem for our agricultural industry. It needs to be stopped.” …
  • “Last day for the Lorillard name in Greensboro,” Greensboro News & Record: Years before the Lorillard corporation created a cigarette called Newport, a woman named Lorillard sparked a powerhouse jazz festival that still looms as the foundation of a cultural movement. The Lorillard corporate name disappears today as Reynolds American completes its $27.4 billion acquisition of the Greensboro-based company and its prized Newport menthol cigarettes. The company name may be forgotten as Reynolds applies its marketing muscle to the already dominant Newport brand, but for jazz fans, Elaine Lorillard might always be remembered as the founder of the Newport Jazz Festival, the musical event that launched a summer tradition for thousands of music lovers and, yes, a cigarette brand. …
  • “Renaissance Asheville Hotel puts bees on the roof,” Asheville Citizen-Times: They checked into the Renaissance Asheville Hotel six weeks ago — all 70,000 of them. They flew up to the roof, snagged a sky-sweeping view of downtown Asheville and will not pay single cent of the Buncombe County occupancy tax. “We now have bees,” said Drew Walls, the director of operations at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel. With two hives filled with approximately 70,000 honeybees on its roof, the Renaissance is now the first hotel in downtown Asheville doing urban beekeeping. “If someone’s not doing this, who is?” Walls said, as he stood near the white-and-yellow hives Thursday afternoon. …
  • “Duke Energy plans to burn ‘swine waste’ fuel at Eden plant,” Greensboro News & Record: Duke Energy hopes to use fuel made from swine waste at the Dan River Combined Cycle Station near Eden, after the 3-year-old plant is newly approved as a renewable energy facility. The utility envisions starting to use small quantities of swine-based fuel at the plant that runs on natural gases next year or sometime in 2017, company spokesman Randy Wheeless said. Similar plans are afoot for the Buck Combined Cycle facility near Salisbury in Rowan County, he said. …
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