Farming bests football and stresses a safe food system as 31st Small Farms Week arises

Registration is open for the 31st annual Small Farms Week, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s tribute to small–scale agriculture, which kicks off March 19 with a timely theme: growing a safe, sustainable food system.

Sptractor_icononsored by The Cooperative Extension Program at North Carolina A&T , Small Farms Week will be celebrated March 19-25 with workshops, tours, guest speakers, farming demonstrations and other events. This year’s observance focuses on the many ways North Carolina’s $84 billion agricultural industry can be made safer and more sustainable, including new techniques in season extension, pest management, pasturized livestock production, urban horticulture, pesticide and growth-hormone-free growing, and more.

The observance begins March 20 in Sampson County, home of the 2016 Small Farmers of the Year. Events continue March 21-23 on the A&T campus with a student cooking competition, educational workshops and the presentation of the 2017 Small Farmer of the Year award.

The capstone event of the week is a lunchtime talk on March 23 by former NFL star Jason Brown, now a small farmer in Franklin County. Brown made headlines when he left professional football, bought a 1,000-acre farm in Louisburg and learned to work it with the help of Franklin County Cooperative Extension,  neighboring farmers and the Internet. For the past four years, he has grown large crops of sweet potatoes and cucumbers for the purpose of donating the entire harvest to charitable organizations, helping to provide hunger relief in central North Carolina.

Individual counties are also hosting activities for the week. Those counties include, Ashe, Currituck, Duplin, Forsyth, Guilford, Madison, Martin, Mitchell, Robeson, Rowan, Scotland, Stanly, Stokes, Vance and Yancey.

To register for events, please visit: http://bit.ly/2017sfw