Seven NCDA&CS staff members participated in the 2017 N.C. State Tobacco Short Course in Raleigh.
The following NCDA&CS employees took part in the course:
- Josh Mays, regional agronomist for Anson, Guilford, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph and Richmond counties;
- Carla Pugh, regional agronomist for Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Gates, Hertford, Pasquotank and Perquimans counties;
- Superintendent Phillip Winslow, research operations manager Evan Taylor and research specialist Thomas Stroud, all of the Cunningham/Lower Coastal Plain Research Station in Kinston;
- Alex Addison, research technician at the Upper Mountain Research Station in Laurel Springs;
- John Erick Freeman, research specialist at the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville.
They took part in the course with 39 other tobacco farmers and industry representatives. The weeklong course, which coincided with the Southern Farm Show and the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina’s annual meeting, helps students better understand all facets of tobacco production and marketing.
Classroom studies covered everything from greenhouse production of seedling plants to curing leaf ready for market. Participants also spent a day participating in a flue-cured tobacco grading session.
“Since the tobacco 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 co-director of the Tobacco Short Course.
Instructors in the short course included N.C. State Extension specialists in agricultural economics, agronomy, biological and agricultural engineering, crop science, entomology and plant pathology. Bobby Wellons, tobacco training specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service, taught the tobacco grading session.
The 2017 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. The program was funded by the N.C. Tobacco Research Commission and the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina.
-Information and photo courtesy of Jim Haskins, Agribusiness Communications Group