Cooperative Extension Celebrates Small Farms Week
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Due to the Covid-19 all events planned for Small Farms Week are cancelled.Cooperative Extension Celebrates the Contributions of Small-Scale Farmers with Small Farms Week, March 22–28, 2020
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s annual tribute to small-scale agriculture begins March 22 with events and educational programs designed to educate the public and provide research-based information to assist small farmers.
The 34th annual Small Farms Week is presented by Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T State University with the theme of “Inspiring Farmers, Sustaining Farms.” Events will be held across the state, with the goal of providing farmers with limited income and acreage information that can help them become more resilient and more profitable. The general public is also encouraged to attend educational events, farm tours, and demonstrations.
“Small farmers are essential to North Carolina’s agricultural sector. In fact, they comprise about 80 percent of all farms in a $91.8 billion-dollar industry,” said Rosalind Dale, Ed.D., Extension administrator at N.C. A&T State University and associate dean in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. “Small Farms Week recognizes their efforts to provide fresh, local food and also offers a lot of information that farmers can use to increase profit margins while acting as stewards of our natural resources.”
N.C. Cooperative Extension, Montgomery County Center will hold a Small Farmer Appreciation Brunch at the office (203 West Main Street, Troy) on Thursday, March 26t at 9 a.m. All farmers and interested persons are invited to attend. To register to attend, please call (910) 576-6011. In addition to the brunch, Cooperative Extension staff are collecting non-perishable foods to be donated to a local food pantry and gently used clothing and shoes (men’s, women’s, children’s, pre-teens, and teen) to be donated to the Esther House; a domestic violence shelter serving Montgomery and Stanly County families. Food and clothing items may be dropped off at the office between now – April 9.
A kickoff event preceding Small Farms Week takes place on March 20 in Murphy, the home of the 2019 Small Farmers of the Year, Harold and Nancy Long. As owners of Long Family Farms and Gallery, the Longs grow heirloom vegetables and tend heritage breeds of livestock on their diversified mountain farm. They also save seeds and assemble garden kits, which are sold to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and distributed to members of the tribe to help preserve traditional varieties and improve access to fresh produce.
The highlight of Small Farms Week will be the March 25 appreciation luncheon on the N.C. A&T State University campus in Greensboro, which includes recognition of the 2020 Small Farmer of the Year. Campus events also include educational programs, demonstrations of technological innovations, and a student cooking competition.
For more information on Small Farms Week or to register for events, contact Montgomery County Extension Director, Chrissy Haynes at (910) 576-6011.