Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”
For 31 years, the Cooperative Extension program at N.C. A&T State University has highlighted North Carolina’s small farms with Small Farms Week. It’s an annual observance of small-scale agriculture and the farmers who make it happen.
The USDA defines small farms as those with gross sales of less than $250,000 a year. In North Carolina, 87 percent of of the state’s 50,000 farms fall into that category. And 70 percent of our farms are less than 100 acres in size.
These farms mean a lot to North Carolina. In addition to the money they generate from the sale of their crops and animals, they contribute to the economic strength of their communities through the purchase of feed, supplies, equipment, and other goods and services.
Small farmers are succeeding by being innovative. They are adding value to their products through processing. These farmers also are tapping into niche markets, specialty crops and direct-to-consumer sales. They are taking advantage of increased consumer interest in supporting local farmers.
N.C. A&T does a wonderful job each year of highlighting small farms, and the faculty and staff do a lot to help these farms throughout the year. In addition, the NCDA&CS has helped small farms and food companies connect with grocery stores, foodservice companies and restaurants through food shows and buyer meetings.
Click on the link below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda talk about Small Farms Week.
Southern Farm Network is a division of Curtis Media Group.