Program Encourages Teachers to Stay in Rural Areas of NC

East Carolina University has received a $2.2 million foundation grant for its rural teacher education program. The school in Greenville announced Monday that the money is coming from the State Employees' Credit Union Foundation.

Under the university's Partnership East program, students can complete their first two years of a teaching degree at one of 20 participating community colleges in eastern and central North Carolina. They can then transfer to ECU where education classes can be taken online and part-time.

The program is designed to educate new teachers at home so they remain to teach in their communities after graduation.

SCCSA Offers Coupon for Membership

The South Carolina Corn & Soybean Association has announced they will continue their coupon program for the 2013-14 year. Essentially this program is designed to encourage membership by ‘reimbursing’ the member for his dues through a corn or soybean seed purchase. When a member joins or renews and dues re received, a $100 coupon for a one-year membership, or a $200 coupon for a three-year membership will be sent to the member that can then be redeemed toward the purchase of 25 bags of corn or soybean seed.

USDA Accepts 1.7 million acres into CRP

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA will accept 1.7 million acres offered under the 45th Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up. The Department received nearly 28,000 offers on more than 1.9 million acres of land, demonstrating CRP's continuing appeal as one of our nation's most successful voluntary programs for soil, water, and wildlife conservation. Under CRP, farmers and ranchers plant grasses and trees in fields and along streams or rivers. The plantings prevent soil and nutrients from washing into waterways, reduce soil erosion that may otherwise contribute to poor air and water quality, and provide valuable habitat for wildlife.

NCDA Names Regional Agronomist for Eastern Counties

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has hired Rexford Cotten as regional agronomist for Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Gates, Hertford, Pasquotank and Perquimans counties.

Cotten is particularly knowledgeable about coastal agriculture, having served his entire career in eastern Virginia in Isle of Wight and Surry counties and the city of Suffolk.

Regional agronomists are part of the Field Services Section of the NCDA&CS Agronomic Services Division. They provide advice on crop fertilization, nutrient management, lime needs, soil testing, plant tissue analysis, use of animal wastes and composts, nematode analysis, and testing of source water and nutrient solutions. 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.