Ten NCDA&CS employees were among 35 participants in the 2014 N.C. State Tobacco Short Course in Raleigh. The educational program is aimed at helping participants better understand all facets of tobacco production and marketing.
The department’s participants were regional agronomists Christopher Jernigan of Snow Hill, Adam Lassiter of Plymouth and Chris Leek of Waynesville; Travis Lassiter of Central Crops Research Station in Clayton; Andy Myers, Brett Bynam and Ray Oates of the Cunningham Research Station in Kinston; Kyle Miller of the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville; Keith Eller of the Upper Mountain Research Station in Laurel Springs; and Beth Farrell, agricultural programs specialist in Raleigh.
Course members received two days of classroom instruction on everything from greenhouse production of seedling plants to harvesting tobacco. Instructors included N.C. State Extension specialists in agricultural economics, agronomy, biological and agricultural engineering, crop science, entomology and plant pathology.
The group also toured three tobacco-industry facilities in Eastern North Carolina: the Universal Leaf Processors plant near Nashville, AVOCA Farm at Merryville and Global Laboratory Services Inc. in Wilson.
“Since our industry faces continuous change, we need to make sure our younger farmers, their advisers and other allied industry representatives are able to focus on how to attain efficient, quality tobacco production,” says Dr. Bill Collins, retired director of N.C. State tobacco extension programs and coordinator of the Tobacco Short Course program.
The 2014 N.C. State Tobacco Short Course was conducted by the North Carolina Tobacco Foundation in partnership with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University with a grant from the North Carolina Tobacco Research Commission.
–Information and photo courtesy of Jim Haskins, AgriBusiness Communications Group