News Roundup: March 10-16

By on March 16, 2018

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.

  • “NC Farm Bureau director says NC is no longer Mayberry,” Salisbury Post: As of July 2007, the world has been more urban than rural, according to a study by the Population Reference Bureau. “That was the month that more people lived in cities than they did in the countryside,” said Debbie Hamrick, director of specialty crops with the N.C. Farm Bureau. Hamrick, who spoke Thursday at the March Power in Partnership breakfast, said that shift is — for the most part — working in Rowan County’s favor. “It is anticipated that in the United States, about all of our growth in the future is going to be coming from urban areas,” Hamrick said. “And you guys are in an urban area, like it or not.”
  • “Rathbone promoted to director of state research stations,”  The Mountaineer: Kaleb Rathbone, who has been the director of the N.C. Department of Agriculture’s Mountain Research Station since 2010, has been promoted. N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler has tapped Rathbone to serve as the director of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Research Stations Division. Troxler’s office announced the appointment March 13. “Kaleb has been a longtime employee of our department, said Troxler said in a news release. “His management experience at the station level, coupled with his knowledge of agriculture, makes Kaleb a great choice for the role of director.” Rathbone began as a summer worker at the Mountain Research Station in 1999. He has served in several different capacities at the station since that time. “Agriculture is the largest industry in North Carolina, accounting for over $84 billion in our economy,” Rathbone said. “Research stations have been on the forefront of agricultural improvement and innovation in our state for well over 100 years. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve in the new role, and I look forward to getting started.”  Rathbone earned his bachelor’s degree in soil science and a master’s degree in agriculture and natural resources management from the University of Tennessee. …
  • “PORK EXPORTS START THE YEAR STRONG–PART 1,” Southern Farm Network:  The January trade data has been released and it has been a robust start of the year for U.S. pork exports. Pork Checkoff vice president of international marketing Craig Morris says the impressive numbers are being seen despite being down in key areas…
    The U.S. pork muscle cut exports had the second highest January total ever, only behind 2012. Colombia also set a record for U.S. exports in January. The National Pork Board wants to capture that opportunity and has invested in a marketing campaign in that market.
  • “Douglas Daye’s Family Has Owned His Farm for More Than a Century. Now It Will Be Protected From Development Forever,”  Indy Week: Tucked back off a winding road in Rougemont are twenty-four picturesque acres recognized as a “century farm” by the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. This designation isn’t unique—there are four Durham County farms in the program, and more than two thousand in North Carolina. What is noteworthy, however, is that LM&D Farm is the only century farm owned by people of color in Durham County. According to Andrea Ashby, director of public affairs for the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, the century-farm honor pays respect to the hard work that families put into their farms and the accomplishment of keeping a farm within a family for a century. In order to gain the designation, a farm must have been in the possession of a family for a hundred years or more, with documented proof, although the family doesn’t necessarily have to farm it themselves. “Some no longer farm the land personally, but they know the stories, the struggles, and the triumphs of their great grandparents, grandparents, and parents, and take tremendous pride in that,” Ashby says. …
  • “HUNDREDS ATTEND 30TH ANNUAL NC AQUACULTURE DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE,” Spectrum News: North Carolina seafood is being farmed more and more on land, and it’s what’s bringing hundreds together at 30th annual NC Aquaculture Development Conference to share ideas and information on the growing industry. The four-day event started Wednesday and includes workshops, seminars and farm tours along with a cultured seafood festival with a variety of aquaculture dishes. According to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, aquaculture is a more than $50 million industry. “The focus is not just aquaculture development, but consumer development,” said Pete Anderson with the N.C. Department of Agriculture. “With over 90 percent of the seafood in this country being imported from overseas, the focus is making sure consumers are educated to know where their seafood is coming from,” Anderson said. The aquaculture conference will continue Saturday at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center with a focus on shellfish.
  • “Warren becomes president of N.C. Pork Council,” Sampson Independent: As a farmer, Brandon Warren enjoys raising healthy hogs and watching his crops grow in the field. Now, the Sampson County hog producer is ready to start a new journey in leadership. He was recently elected president of the North Carolina Pork Council Board of Directors. Warren has served with the council since 2010 and was reelected in 2013, to represent the regional district. He served as vice president last year. “It’s an honor for my fellow board members to put their trust and faith in me,” Warren said about the leadership position. “I will do my best to fulfill the duties. We have a wonderful staff at the Pork Council. They’re right there to help me and keep me straight.” Warren grew up on a multi-generational family farm in Newton Grove, whic he operates along withhis father, brother, uncle and cousin. He is a 1998 graduate of North Carolina State University and earned a degree in agricultural business management. He previously served on the NC Soybean Producers board and is currently the director for the NC Cotton Producers Association as well as several church boards….
  • “NORTH AMERICAN BEES IN TROUBLE,” Southern Farm Network: It may come as a surprise to many, but honey bees are not native to North America. They were imported from Europe during colonial times. But there are literally thousands of other species which are indigenous to these shores…Paige Embry is a Duke grad and author of Our Native Bees: North America’s Endangered Pollinators and the Fight to Save Them. Embry has worked as an environmental consultant, taught horticulture and geology classes, and run a garden design and coaching business. She has written articles for Horticulture, The American Gardener, and other magazines. As for the honey bees, those Europeans transplants are having a tough time. Their problems are well documented…
  • N.C. State’s Jim Dunphy receives ASA Pinnacle Award,” Southeast Farm Press: Dr. Jim Dunphy, North Carolina State University’s longtime Extension soybean specialist, was recognized with Pinnacle Award by the American Soybean Association. Dr. Jim Dunphy, North Carolina State University’s longtime Extension soybean specialist, was recognized with the Pinnacle Award by the American Soybean Association at its annual awards banquet during the 2018 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif.  The Pinnacle Award is an industry-wide recognition of individuals who have demonstrated the highest level of contribution and leadership within the soybean family and industry, through work involving a significant amount of their lifetime. Dunphy, professor of crop science at N.C. State, has worked in the soybean industry for nearly 50 years. He is recognized as an excellent teacher, a top-notch researcher and an exemplary Extension specialist. “Dr. Dunphy is a tireless worker and has made it his mission personally to serve the soybean growers of North Carolina,” said John Fleming, president of the North Carolina Soybean Producers Association, in his nomination letter. “And while we know we have gained the most from Dr. Dunphy’s contributions, we also know he has had a significant impact on the soybean industry at large. Soybean farmers across the United States have benefited from his 50 years of dedicated service to research and teaching.” …
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