This week, the Cooperative Extension Program at N.C. A&T State University celebrates its 27th annual Small Farms Week. The official kickoff event takes place Monday in Bladen County. Other events are scheduled throughout the week in Greensboro, including a resource fair, educational forums and awards luncheon.
Small Farms Week celebrates the contribution of small-scale agriculture across the state. More than 46,000 farms are designated small farms for generating $250,000 or less annually. Small farms make up nearly 90 percent of the state’s total farms.
“There is no doubt that small farms have a significant impact on agriculture in North Carolina,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “The market value of agricultural products from small farms is nearly $592 million. In addition, small farms contribute to the economic strength of their communities through the purchase of feed, supplies, farming equipment and other goods and services.”
One of the best ways to support small farms is through local farmers markets. According to the 2007 USDA Census of Agriculture, 57 percent of national direct-to-consumer sales come from small farms. So, next time you’re at your local farmers market or roadside stand, take a moment to thank the farmer that grew your food.
You can download a complete schedule of Small Farms Week activities here.