Economic development was in the air, as Piedmont Food and Agriculture Processing Center was dedicated in October. After years of planning, the Orange County facility opened its doors, giving small food producers access to space and equipment they need to develop their small businesses.
Up to five North Carolina communities will receive support for developing incubator farms to attract new farmers, thanks to an effort by the Center for Environmental Farming Systems. Incubator farms provide aspiring farmers with a place to learn, try their hand at farming and develop the markets to make their own operations successful.
The Cooperative Extension Program at North Carolina A&T State University will host its annual Small Farms Week celebration for 2012 on March 25-31. Small Farms Week is designed to highlight the work of and show appreciation to the state’s small, part-time, limited-resource and socially-disadvantaged farmers. The theme for this year’s activities is focused on local foods and the role small farmers play in this effort.
Since July 2010, the 10% Campaign has recorded more than $7.6 million that North Carolina consumers and businesses have spent on food produced locally. A big share of those dollars can be attributed to one business: Eastern Carolina Organics of Pittsboro.
Franklin County’s 2nd annual Local Food Roast Plate Sale will be Sept. 2, from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. (or until sold out). The plate sale – part of the United Way of Franklin County Campaign Kick-Off – will be at the Farmers’ Market Shelter in Louisburg.
The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) will host a week-long celebration focusing on the importance of sustainable agriculture and locally grown foods, Sept. 12-18. CEFS will host several events to educate the community about vibrant North Carolina agriculture, including workshops, film screenings and multiple outreach events.
The Center for Environmental Farming Systems’ statewide initiative to stimulate economic development, create jobs and promote North Carolina’s farms and fisheries announced that more than $5.7 million in local foods expenditures have been reported by local individuals, organizations and institutions participating in the campaign.
Piggly Wiggly, “America’s first” self-service grocery store has added another first to its list: the first grocery store to pledge to buy more foods from local producers as part of its commitment to the 10% Campaign.
Dr. Allan Brown, assistant professor with N.C. State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute at the N.C. Research Campus, is leading the effort to sequence the blueberry genome. Seven Davidson College undergraduates, in a course led by biology professor Dr. A. Malcolm Campbell, have been given a sneak peek at a portion of the berry’s DNA.
The second season of the Commissioner’s Speaker Series began March 23, as a panel of agribusiness leaders joined Steve Troxler, state agriculture commissioner, at N.C. State University to talk about local and sustainable agriculture.