News Roundup: Dec. 2 -8

by | Dec 8, 2017

News Roundup - this week's top news stories about NC agriculture

Each week we round up the latest N.C. agricultural headlines from news outlets across the state and country, as well as excerpts from the stories.

  • “Jerome Vick honored with Tobacco Great award,” Wilson Times: Wilson County farmer Jerome Vick told about 250 tobacco farmers to “never give up.”
    Vick was presented with a prestigious Tobacco Great award Thursday at the 2017 Tobacco Day event held at the Johnston County Agricultural Center.
    The annual event is event is presented by North Carolina State University, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and the Tobacco Growers of North Carolina.
    Tobacco Day is a time when different specialists come in and give presentations on their research from the past year. The program has been going on since the 1970s and attracts people in the whole flue-cured tobacco growing region from Virginia to Florida. The Tobacco Great award is given to people involved in the tobacco industry who have made significant impacts. “We’ve got a lot of things going for us,” Vick said upon receiving the award. “We’ve got N.C. State. We’ve got the best land in the world to grow tobacco. You’ve got the best farmers in the world. We’ve got the best commissioner of agriculture money can buy. So I don’t know what else we could ask for. Just don’t give up. Don‘t ever give up.” …
  • TROXLER: NO CHRISTMAS TREE SHORTAGE IN NC,” Spectrum News: Despite news of a possible Christmas tree shortage this year, North Carolina is in the clear! During Tuesday’s Council of State meeting, State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said it’s a “tight” Christmas tree season due to less trees planted during the recession.  “We don’t want anybody to think there are no Christmas trees out there to go buy and go buy a plastic Christmas tree,” Troxler said. He contends everyone should be able to find a live Christmas tree this year. …
  • Hemp’s first year on North Carolina farms wraps up, a lot was learned,Southeast Farm Press: Industrial hemp is still in its infancy in North Carolina, but the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and North Carolina State University are committed to growing the industry. North Carolina’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program is wrapping up its first year and the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission continues to hold public hearings and is encouraging farmers to apply for licenses to grow industrial hemp through the pilot program. …
  • “Economist to update agriculture outlook,” Rocky Mount Telegram: Local farmers have an opportunity this week to find out what’s going in the agriculture industry.
    AgCarolina Farm Credit is a leading agricultural lender in North Carolina that has 12 branch offices across Eastern North Carolina, including one in Rocky Mount. The company will host an agricultural economic update session starting at noon Friday at Nash Community College’s Brown Auditorium.  The member-owned cooperative will also host an economic update session at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Senator Bob Martin Eastern Agricultural Center in Williamston. Dinner will be served at the session in Williamston, while the session at NCC will be a lunch event. Dr. Blake Brown, a professor and extension economist in agricultural and resource economics at N.C. State University, will be the guest speaker at both events. Dave Corum, president and CEO of AgCarolina Farm Credit, said Brown will lead the discussion about the current and future trends in agriculture economics. …
  • “The Veggie Wagon Expands Offerings,” Wilmington Biz: The Veggie Wagon is now one of just 44 facilities statewide that has earned a meat and poultry processing permit from the N.C. Department of Agriculture.
    As a certified value added meat processing facility, The Veggie Wagon in now allowed to process meat to be incorporated into their recipes, and to be sold wholesale to other stores and restaurants.
    Max Sussman, who co-owns The Veggie Wagon with his wife, April, said the yearlong process of completing the requirements necessary for the permit was very labor-intensive. As part of the permit requirements, the Sussmans now have an on-site state inspector in the kitchen on a daily basis who oversees all aspects of the meat processing.
    “Despite this being a very time-consuming process, we’re so excited to now be able to add meat to our recipes and expand our offerings to both our customers and to new wholesale accounts,” Max Sussman said. …
  • “NC Ag Department To Ask Legislature For $13M For Military Buffers,” WUNC Radio: The state Agriculture Department plans to ask the legislature for $13 million to help buffer military bases from encroaching development. The new money would help build a fund of $56 million to pay farmers and other rural landowners not to develop their property in ways that could harm bases or training.
    Robert Hosford, the department’s military liaison, said the military benefits from this because it gives them open space to do their training and readiness.
    Amd “the landowner benefits from this that they now have a way to put a conservation easement on their property to pass their lands down to the following through generations,” Hosford said.
    Hosford said his department has worked for two years to identify suitable and willing landowners and has a plan ready for where to spend the money. …
  • “How did GenX end up in a jar of honey? DEQ is investigating.” Wilmington Star News: GenX has been found in a food product for the first time. Honey collected by a Robeson County farmer has tested for levels of GenX nearly 15 times higher than the health goal set by state officials, a N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) official told the N.C. Secretaries’ Science Advisory on Monday. Fayetteville Works, the plant that has been embroiled in the contamination issue for nearly six months, is to the northeast of the farmer’s Pages Lakes Road home in St. Pauls. When Gel Labs tested a sample from the farmer, it came back at 2,070 parts per trillion (ppt). The health goal set by DHHS is 140 ppt. DEQ officials remain unsure whether the viscosity of honey could have affected the test results and have asked their counterparts at the Environmental Protection Agency for guidance. The farmer makes honey for the consumption of family and friends, Scott, said, and does not sell it. When DEQ expressed concerns, he agreed to dispose it.
  • “Christmas Tree Sellout in WNC?” Blue Ridge Public Radio: The holiday season is in full swing, and for many, that means it’s time to find a Christmas tree. Here in Western North Carolina, the experience is a bit like shopping for toys in Santa’s workshop. The region produces the majority of Christmas trees for the state and is the second biggest producer in the country.
    But if you are hoping to cut your own tree this year, you may be out of luck. BPR’s Helen Chickering reports. It’s the day after Thanksgiving and the Boyd Mountain Christmas Tree farm in Waynesville is packing a Black Friday crowd. Against a backdrop of rolling hills, masses of people weave their way through the maze of fir trees. “I think that’s the one” …
  • “Dunlow family proud of the cotton life, the good and tough times,” Southeast Farm Press: Through the good times and the bad, the cotton industry perseveres and will manage the storms ahead.
    For as long as he can remember, David Dunlow has considered himself first and foremost a cotton farmer. Sure, he has enjoyed success producing peanuts, soybeans, wheat, corn and other crops in North Carolina’s Northampton and Halifax counties, but cotton has always been his first love. Because of his passion and commitment to cotton, Dunlow has taken on active roles with both the National Cotton Council and the Southern Cotton Growers. Dunlow’s son William also shares his father’s passion for cotton and has been a partner in the operation since 2014.