North Carolina Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler’s commissioner’s speakers series continues this week at UNC Charlotte with the topic of local and sustainable agriculture. Kristen Baughman, NCDA Sustainable Local Food Policy Council:

“We have Roger Lademann and Chef Dean from UNC-C dining services who will be talking about the local foods that they use and about the on campus farmers market. Dr. Jeremy Pattison, who works at Kannapolis research center for NC State, who researches local strawberries. Tommy Porter who won the Southeast Farmer of the Year award will be speaking about farming from a conventional point of view and how he practices sustainability. Kelly Slade a recent Johnson and Wales graduate will give a student perspective on the culinary side.” 

Baughman explains that when the speaker series started at NC State, mostly attended by students, but as the word has spread, so has the demographic of the audience:

“The majority of people that attend are students, mostly from NC State along with their professors. We just had our first speaker series outside of NC State that took place at UNC Asheville, where we had many student but also a lot of people from the community along with some political leaders.”

Cassie Parsons, chef and farmer will also speak at the forum. She’s the owner of Harvest Moon in downtown Charlotte, as well as a small hog farmer in Lincoln County. Parsons feels that she was chosen to participate due to the many hats she wears:

“I do wear many hats, but also being a female in the farming community I bring a different perspective.”

Parsons hopes to bring the perspective of the small farmer to the gathering:

“It’s about having fun and making money. I want to spread the word about local food and local farmers. I’ll have the opportunity to represent a minority in our state of small farmers and women farmers.”

Parsons explains that she is absolutely dedicated to purchasing only local food for her Harvest Moon restaurant:

“I am a driven person and only buy from a 100 mile radius. The food that I buy is from is from local farmers that I know. I don’t buy from big boxes and I don’t buy from people I don’t know. What has been fun for me is that I’m showing it’s possible to buy local food and literally still make money doing it. It’s been really exciting to see the restaurant grow and see the local impact that we are making.”

The series gets underway Wednesday the 18th at 4:00 pm in Student Union 200 at UNC Charlotte. A schedule can be seen below.

For more information on the series click here. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.