Andrea Ashby

Andrea joined the department in 1996 after nearly six years as an award-winning reporter at both daily and weekly newspapers in the state. She earned a bachelors degree in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. A native of Forsyth County, Andrea's first agriculture "job" was putting tobacco sticks in place for the stringers to do their jobs.

Tenita Solantol, owner and operator of Green Panda Farms, delivers microgreens to the Bulldega Urban Market in Durham.

Urban and small farms are a big part of the fabric of North Carolina’s agriculture industry

By on March 20, 2017

To celebrate N.C. A&T State University Small Farms Week, March 19-25, we are highlighting urban farmer Tenita Solanto from Raleigh. Staff from the NCDA&CS Small Farm Program works with small, urban and limited-resource farmers like Solanto, helping them access resources

Rohan Mohammed, a chemistry technician, loads the custom-designed automated dispensing unit that adds solutions to extract soil humic matter and plant available nutrients.

Agronomic Services lab making equipment upgrades with peak-season soil testing fees

By on February 22, 2017

New equipment at the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Soil Testing lab in Raleigh is helping speed up the time it takes to process soil samples, and is also adding to safer working conditions for employees. Funding for

Community rallied around firefighting efforts in Western NC

By on December 9, 2016

With firefighting crews stationed at numerous sites in Western N.C., it took a lot of volunteers, resources and coordination to keep the operations moving and to provide meals and necessities at multiple locations, several times a day for weeks.  But,

Crews battling wildfires get an early Thanksgiving meal thanks to volunteers and agribusinesses

By on November 23, 2016

Crews fighting wildfires in Western N.C. will enjoy an early Thanksgiving dinner today after volunteers, businesses and agricultural groups came together to provide the special meal. Volunteers with the Research Stations Division are cooking and will be feeding 250-plus at

PALS users will use the drop down boxes to access their reports for payment.

Paying for NCDA&CS agronomic services just got easier with PayNow feature

By on March 14, 2016

Consumers are pretty accustomed to loading up their online retail shopping carts, hitting the pay button and simply waiting for their merchandise to arrive in a few days. Online shopping is convenient, and it doesn’t involve waiting in line or

Not just a hike in the woods; Plant Industry Division works to protect ginseng from poachers on public lands

By on September 28, 2015

A man on a mission For 22 years, Jim Corbin has scoured the rugged terrain of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park searching for wild ginseng. While this may sound like the introduction of a character on a reality television

Ye honored for his work in nematology

By on August 28, 2015

Dr. Weimin Ye was recently recognized with the Syngenta Award at the 54th Annual Meeting of the Society of Nematologists in Lansing, Mich. He was honored for his visionary work with molecular identification of nematodes, its use as a regulatory

Realigned beef cattle research program designed to strengthen industry; Beef Cattle Field Day is July 18 at the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville

By on July 14, 2015

North Carolina’s beef cattle research herd is growing as part of a plan to create a centralized herd to accommodate research efforts across the state. Eight state-operated research stations and one field lab conduct beef cattle research, with projects focused

School kids love North Carolina strawberries

By on June 3, 2015

The numbers don’t lie. It was a record-setting year for strawberry sales through the N.C. Farm to School program. Child nutrition directors from across the state ordered 20,068 flats of strawberries for the 2014-2015 school year. The flats equaled 12 tractor-trailer

North Carolina strawberries are in season now and being served in participating school systems across the state as part of the Farm to School Program.

North Carolina strawberries are now on school lunch menus

By on May 6, 2015

Students are now enjoying North Carolina strawberries for lunch as the first shipment of berries hit the lunchrooms of schools participating in the Farm to School Program.  The Alleghany County School System is among the systems that placed orders for strawberries. Penny Walker,