North Carolina Celebrates the Contributions of Small-Scale Farmers With Small Farms Week, March 22-28
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s annual tribute to small-scale agriculture begins March 22, 2020, 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 Service of 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 North Carolina A&T State University and Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. Dale also stated, “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.”
There will be two local events to highlight North Carolina Small Farms Week. N.C. Cooperative Extension of Mecklenburg County will be hosting a canned food drive to provide food to hungry people in need across the county. Donations for this event will be provided to Loaves & Fishes, a local food pantry. Be a part of this statewide campaign to feed those in need and celebrate the successes of small farmers by donating canned goods and other non-perishable foods by March 29 to the Mecklenburg County office (located at 1418 Armory Drive Charlotte, NC 28204). Also, the Mecklenburg County 4-H program will be celebrating Small Farms Week and National Ag Day, which falls during the week on March 24, with a Pizza Farm activity. This event is designed to teach young people, ages 8-12 about where their food originates by using something they love to eat…PIZZA! To register for this free event, you can visit https://go.ncsu.edu/4hpizzafarm.
The kickoff for Small Farms Week will be held on March 20 in Murphy, NC, home of the 2019 Small Farmers of the Year, Harold and Nancy Long. The highlight of the week will be the Small Farms Week Appreciation Luncheon, held March 25 on the campus of N.C. A&T State University 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.