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Funding Available for Farmers

While the state of North Carolina operates five regional farmers’ markets, there are dozens of smaller markets throughout the state that need to get the word out. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture, with a cost/share grant from the Tobacco Trust Fund is offering funds for advertising for these smaller markets. NC Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler:

“On March the first we’re going to start accepting applications from local farmers markets that are interested in cost/share grants for advertising.”

Troxler explains that the goal is to get locally grown product to the consumer:

“We know that there are over 200 farmers markets in North Carolina, and of course, our five regional markets probably the largest of these, so this is an opportunity to see l local North Carolina product to the consumer, and that’s what we want to do. We’re not really interested in who sells the product, we just want to move the product from the farm to the consumer.”

Some of these markets are open just a few hours at a time, a couple or three days a week. Troxler says those are the markets that this program is designed to help:

“This is the perfect opportunity, through advertising, to le the public know when they should come to this market and when they’ll be open.”

Troxler has the contact info if interested in this cost/share grant program for advertising a farmers market:

“Contact Kevin Hardison in our marketing division at 919 707-3123.”

Again, applications will be accepted beginning Thursday March 1st, and will be considered on a first-come-first-served basis.

National Ag Day Set

American agriculture is responsible for providing the necessities of everyday life – food, fiber, clothing, and even fuel. That’s the message National Ag Day will be celebrated on March 8. The National Ag Day program is committed to increasing public awareness about American agriculture. Producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America will gather to celebrate the abundance provided by American agriculture.

Commissioner’s Cup Bar-b-Que Competition Coming Up

On March 23rd and 24th, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture and the State Farmers’ market in Columbia will host the Commissioner’s Cup Smoking at the Market bar-b-que contest. SC Ag Commissioner Hugh Weathers:

“Bringing all the bar-b-que teams together to showcase what they do and have a little good competition.”

Weathers explains that this is a way to show off the different types of bar b que that South Carolina has to offer:

“With South Carolina we have so many varieties of bar-b-que; in the low country we have the mustard based, across the lake we have vinegar, upstate, you’ve got a little different mix yet. So, what we want to do is bring everybody who wants to vie for the title of the Commissioner’s Cup in. this is a great event, people love bar-b-que, I think bar-b-que teams take it as seriously as we do about football.”

If interested in entering the Commissioner’s Cup or attending to sample all the bar-b-que, Weathers suggests visiting the SCDA website:

“The way to find out more is go to our website; forward slash smoking 2012.”

Environmentalist Group Suggests another Channel other than Charleston

An environmental group suggests that when studying deepening the Charleston Harbor shipping channel, the Army Corps of Engineers should consider whether deepening other harbors is a better alternative.

The Charleston District of the corps has received dozens of comments on a deepening study needed before an estimated $300 million channel deepening project can begin.

Comments from the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of the Coastal Conservation League suggest the corps review projects elsewhere to determine the true environmental impacts.

Today’s Farm Fact:

Agriculture is one of the few U.S. business sectors to boast a trade surplus, exporting $116 billion in farm goods in 2010. 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.