• By Todd Luck
  • Posted Friday, October 28, 2022

Cooperative Extension holds Farm City banquet

NC Cooperative Extension Forsyth County Center held its annual Farm City Banquet on Oct. 24. The theme was “Grow With Us.” Richard Reich with the NC Department of Agriculture Farmland Preservation Division delivered remarks on the importance of farming in a time when the amount of farmland is decreasing.

Agriculture is a $92.9 billion industry in North Carolina, accounting for 668,000 jobs or 15.5 percent of the State’s workforce. The state is first in the country in poultry and eggs, tobacco and sweet potatoes. It’s second in the nation in hogs and pigs; third in turkeys, cucumbers and bell peppers; fourth in broilers; fifth in squash and peanuts.

“North Carolina agriculture is large and diverse, but is facing major challenges as it loses more and more farmland,’ said Reich.

North Carolina has lost more than one million acres of farmland since 1997. The amount of farmland is shrinking in Forsyth County as well, and Reich praised the County’s Farmland Protection Plan. He said it's important to protect Forsyth’s strong agricultural heritage.

He said parents should teach their kids where their food comes from by taking them to things like blue berry pickings and farmer’s markets. He also urged the pubic to support local farmers who use agritourism, farmer's markets and selling their products directly to sustain their businesses.

State 4-H President Laurelyn Ridge acted as emcee for the event. Greetings were brought by County Commissioner Vice Chair Don Martin, Cooperative Extension Advisory Council Member Claudia Whitaker, District Extension Manager Tyrone Fisher, NC Cooperative Extension Specialist Shannon Wiley and Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor Toby Bost. An invocation was delivered by Edgar Miller and the 4-H pledge were led by Ben Cook and Rachel Patton.

Forsyth Cooperative Extension Director Kim Gressley thanked the committee of Cooperative Extension and Soil and Water staff for putting together a successful banquet.

To view photos of the event, click here.

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