News Roundup: June 10-16

By on June 16, 2017

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.

  • “Six quick facts about N.C. A&T’s agriculture college,” Greensboro News & Record: (Video) N.C. A&T held its 16th annual Small Farms Field Day on Thursday at the University Farm on McConnell Road. The farm — A&T’s largest classroom — is part of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. It’s the A, in other words, in N.C. A&T. Here are six quick facts about the ag college, adapted from the opening remarks made Thursday morning by interim dean Shirley Hymon-Parker: The college operates a large farm. The A&T University Farm covers 492 acres, and A&T leases another 160 acres nearby to grow hay. It’s a working farm that produces livestock — beef and dairy cows, chickens, goats, sheep, horses and pigs. The farm also grows vegetables, specialty crops and feed crops for livestock. Researchers use the farm to study sustainable agriculture, swine waste, soil conservation, natural resources conservation and other topics. …
  • “Tobacco farm workers trained in safety,” The News & Observer: In a house built by and for tobacco, hundreds of Johnston County seasonal workers spent Tuesday in workshops designed to help them keep one another alive while out in the fields this summer and fall. Meeting in a giant tobacco warehouse nestled next to Interstate 95, the workshops were organized by GAP Connections, a tobacco industry education and training group. Workers cycled through eight training stations offering lessons in CPR, first-aid, pesticide safety, equipment safety and how to avoid green tobacco sickness, a nicotine poisoning that occurs when workers overexpose their skin the the juice of still green leaves. According to the North Carolina Farmworker Health Program, a worker in a tobacco field can absorb as much nicotine in a day as smoking nearly two packs of cigarettes. Amy Rochkes led the sessions, saying this is the second year GAP has done the training in North Carolina. “Any work on a farm can be dangerous,” she said. “A trained worker is a safe and productive worker… Anyone is vulnerable to accident or death. We’re trying to train workers before they go in the fields and start working.” The sessions were free for growers and workers and were taught in Spanish and English. Most were foreign born farm workers from Mexico or Latin America in Johnston County on H2A visas for temporary and seasonal work. In two sessions, nearly 600 workers went through the training. …
  • “Farmer wins chance to direct grant to school,” Greenville Daily Reflector: Martin County farmer Kirk Tice won the opportunity to direct a $2,500 dollar donation from the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, to the Northeast Regional School of Biotechnology and Agriscience. The school will use the funds to supplement curriculum and professional development needs at the school. The Grow Communities program’s purpose is to have a positive effect in farm communities by partnering with farmers to support the causes that are important to them in their communities. Each year, farmers enter for a chance to win a $2,500 donation that they direct to a local nonprofit. Since the program began in 2010, farmers have directed more than $26 million in donations across a broad cross-section of organizations that reflect the makeup and character of rural America, including food banks, emergency response organizations, schools, youth agriculture programs and many others. ….
  • “Lewisville family bringing back Old Nick whiskey, opens distillery this weekend,” Winston-Salem Journal: Four men in Lewisville are reviving a centuries-old family tradition and making whiskey on the family farm. Old Nick Williams Co. makes a clear whiskey and a bourbon. The distillery, at 2675 Williams Road, will have its grand opening this weekend with tours, tastings and more. Brothers Van and John Williams and their sons, Zeb and Matt Williams, have been working for several years to bring back the whiskey brand that their ancestors began more than 200 years ago. Old Nick Williams Co. was founded in 1768 and was a nationally known brand before Prohibition shut the company down in the early 20th century. The Williams family originally came from Wales in 1690. It first settled in York County, Va., but resettled in North Carolina in 1766 after receiving a land grant of 8,000 acres in what is now the Lewisville area of Forsyth County. …
  • “Southern Living’s favorite peanut butter is made in Durham,” The News & Observer: For the third year in a row, Big Spoon Roasters of Durham has earned a 2017 Southern Living Food Award for a one of its organic nut butters. The magazine recognized Big Spoon for its Hot Peanut flavor, which adds a blend of ancho, habanero and guajillo chilies to North Carolina-grown peanuts. “Smear with strawberry jam on crusty bread for a grown-up PB&J, or warm it up and drizzle over a noodle bowl,” Southern Living recommends. “We’ve been the only nut butter honored, which has been great,” says Big Spoon founder Mark Overbay in a call from his production facility. Last year, Big Spoon impressed judges with its then-new Vanilla Peanut Sorghum flavor. In 2015, when the awards program debuted, it won with Mission Almond. Roots Hummus of Asheville, praised for its lima bean and roasted garlic flavors, also made the list. The list, titled “Southern-Made Necessities,” appears in the June issue. …
  • “Growing malting barley pays a premium but demands a lot more care,” Southeast Farm Press: Barley has been grown in North Carolina for more than 200 years, but only since the advent of craft brewing in the state has there been an interest in growing malting barley. Malting barley pays a premium over feed barley, but with that premium comes more production challenges. “Feed barley producers don’t spend a lot of dollars per acre to grow barley and treat it more like a cover crop. If you’re growing winter barley for malting, it really needs be treated like a certified seed crop. It can’t be planted and ignored like many small grains used as winter cover,” said North Carolina State University Extension small grains specialist Angela Post. Intensive management is critical because malting houses demand high-quality barley that will be used in beer. Post says malting barley requires a germination rate of 99 percent if it’s going to be used for brewing. “You must put a fungicide on malting barley if you’re going to be growing it for production in North Carolina. We don’t want any aflatoxin in those grains,” Post said at the Western North Carolina Malting Barley Field Day at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River May 31. …
  • “Urban Farming Growing in High Point,” Spectrum News: (Video) Urban farming is taking off in High Point thanks to an initiative called “From the Ground Up.” The organization transforms vacant lots into fields of fresh flowers and produce. After their initial research year, From the Ground Up hopes to recruit members of the community to take over the plots of land, and claim the income from the crops. “What we want to do is find people that are interested in trying out to be a part-time farmer, to grow and sell and learn all the things we learned this year, and start teaching folks how to do that,” said Patrick Harman, the executive director of the Hayden-Harman Foundation. You can purchase the fresh produce every Saturday at the High Point Library farmer’s market and every Monday at the Washington Street Park. …
  • “The tomato doctor is in,” Hendersonville Times-News: The regulars arrive early. At a quarter ’til 3 p.m., customers start rolling into Little Rainbow Row parking lot for the Flat Rock Farmers Market. They run the gamut from long-haired college students to retired Florida transplants, but all have one thing they’re after: fresh, local produce. “The local food movement began in 2000,” according to Paul Shoemaker, owner of Holly Spring Farm in Mills River. “On a national basis, not just in western North Carolina.” While the market is open, Shoemaker stands under a shaded tent. He spends most Thursdays like this — making small talk with passersby and bagging up beets and Swiss chard. Desirous of bridging the grower/consumer gap, Shoemaker fields questions like “What does a Mr. Stripey tomato taste like?” and “What kinds of pesticides do you use?” (His respective answers: “very sweet and none.”) Shoemaker will open Holly Spring Farm to the public June 24 and 25 for the Appalachian Sustainable Food Project (ASAP) Farm Tour. The annual farm tour offers people the opportunity to learn more about sustainable agricultural methods and get acquainted with small growers in the region. The hope is that they’ll walk away with a greater appreciation for organic products. …
  • “North Carolina Horse Owners: Vaccinate Against EEE,” The Horse: North Carolina’s Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler is encouraging horse owners in that state to have their animals vaccinated against Eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE). “Triple E is a mosquito-borne disease that causes inflammation or swelling of the brain and spinal cord in equine and is usually fatal,” Troxler said. “The disease is preventable by vaccination.” There were nine recorded cases of EEE in horses in North Carolina in 2016, but the mild winter could cause that number to increase this year, said State Veterinarian Doug Meckes, DVM. A viral disease, EEE affects the central nervous system and is transmitted to horses by infected mosquitoes. …
Print Friendly

Comments

Be the first to comment.

Leave a Reply


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*