Agriculture

Business & Economy
7:37 am
Mon May 19, 2014

NC Cooperative Extension Celebrates Its 100th Birthday

The NC Cooperative Extension, which runs 4-H and other agriculture and family development programs, celebrates its centennial this week.
Credit Green N' Growing collection / North Carolina State University Libraries

Employees from the North Carolina Cooperative Extension will travel from across the state to Raleigh today and tomorrow to celebrate the organization's 100th anniversary.

The Cooperative Extension is based out of North Carolina State University and NC A&T State University. Their personnel work in every county to connect farmers with new research and technology. But the organization, which runs 4-H, is also invested in helping families in general.

Sheri Schwab is an associate director of the Cooperative Extension at NC State.

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Education
8:49 am
Fri May 9, 2014

NC State University Expands Efforts To Attract Rural Students

Credit Scott Akerman via Flickr

Many studies show that students in rural counties are less likely to go to college, especially four-year or private institutions. Faced with that reality, some university leaders are reconsidering how to attract students from rural communities.

At North Carolina State University, leaders are expanding their current programs that serve and prepare high school students. Earlier this year, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences received a $3 million endowment from a Raleigh couple to help rural students win admission to the university.

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Politics & Government
7:57 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Why NC Lawmakers Want To Bring Fresh Apples And Broccoli To 400,000 People

More than 410,000 people across NC don't have easy access to fresh produce, according to a Duke study.
Credit Amber Carnes via Flickr

North Carolina lawmakers are looking for ways they can help get fresh fruits and vegetables to corners of the state -- urban and rural -- where they’re difficult to access.

Non-profit organizations and local governments across the country have for years identified areas known as “food deserts” across the country, but the House Committee on Food Desert Zones is the first effort by state lawmakers to address the issue.

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Biosolids
7:50 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Chemicals In Human Waste Can Harm Crop Land

Human waste, called "biosolids", is commonly used to fertilize crop land. Duke University researchers say they have found a practical way to test whether the biosolids contain chemicals that will harm the soil.
Credit Bob Is Traveling / Flickr Creative Commons

Many farms spread human waste on cropland to fertilize it. In this case, the waste is called "biosolids". It can carry household chemicals that affect important bacteria, and that can hurt soil health.

The government has had a hard time regulating chemicals in biosolids, because the equipment that measured bacterial gases was very expensive.

But a new report from Duke University's school of engineering shows that bacterial reactions to chemicals can be assessed by changes in color. That's a cheaper test to administer.

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The State of Things
1:00 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Exploring Gaps In America's Food System From The Farm To The Table

Black farmers protest at Lafayette Park across from the White House in Washington, D.C. on September 22, 1997. Protesters alleged the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) denied black farmers equal access to farm loans and assistance based on their race. North Carolina farmer Timothy Pigford and 400 other black farmers filed the Pigford v. Glickman (Pigford I) class-action lawsuit against USDA in 1997. The USDA settled Pigford I in 1999.
Credit USDA photo by Anson Eaglin. / flickr

Exploring Gaps in America's Food System

Starvation is often considered a problem distant from the American experience.

But for many United States citizens, hunger is a way of life. And many of them live right here in North Carolina.

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Business & Economy
11:34 am
Mon November 18, 2013

New Business Model For NC Cooperative Extension

The NC National Guard visits a 4-H camp.
Credit NC National Guard / Flickr Creative Commons

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension wants communities across the state to help the organization change its business strategy. 

The Cooperative Extension is in the middle of a series of 12 meetings to adjust to budget cuts.  The group funds agricultural, nutrition and youth education programs like 4-H camps.  Four of those camps are shutting down by the end of the year. 

Cooperative Extension director Joe Zublena  says he's asking people for feedback about which programs matter the most.

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Business & Economy
7:59 am
Sat October 19, 2013

Record Rains Delay NC's Sweet Potato Crop

Varieties of NC-grown sweet potatoes
Credit NC Sweet Potato Commission

Buyers of sweet potatoes grown in North Carolina will likely pay more for them at the market this year. North Carolina sweet potato growers have led the nation for years in producing the root crop.  State agriculture estimates are that Tar Heels last year produced about 47 percent of the crop nationally.

But Sue Johnson-Langdon of the non-profit North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission says this year's yield fell victim to mid-year rainfall that ranks among the wettest in more than a century.  

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Arts & Culture
5:00 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Preserving Old Time Southern Apples

Not many of Lee Calhoun's trees produce apples anymore, but he still has a productive crab apple tree.
Laura Candler

Lee Calhoun spent the last 35 years searching for heirloom apples in the south. Laura Candler reports.

In the supermarket today, you can find about a dozen kinds of apples. But years ago, there were hundreds and hundreds of varieties grown all over the South. North Carolina native Lee Calhoun once had 3,000 apple trees growing in his backyard in Pittsboro. I visited him there recently and he showed what was left.

“This is a remnant of an old orchard I used to have,” he said. “Most of them are gone now. This is an Orange Cauley, a little bit different from a regular Cauley, and this is a Green River --that’s a Kentucky apple.”

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Business & Economy
4:28 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Insecticide Producer BASF Expands Research Facility In RTP

An aerial view of BASF's Crop Protection and PlantScience site in Research Triangle Park.
Credit BASF

Officials with a leading plant sciences company have expanded their presence in Research Triangle Park.  BASF cut the ribbon today on new lab, office and greenhouse space.  The expansion cost $33 million. 

The new addition includes an insect production facility, or an "insect zoo," to aid in testing bug-killing agents.  Nigel Armes is BASF's director of research and development.  He says the facility is key in establishing the company as a leader in insecticide production.

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Business & Economy
12:16 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

New Agritourism Website Launched For Triangle Farms

Visitors harvest lavender at Bluebird Hill Farm in Chatham County.
Credit Bluebird Hill Farm

The Triangle foodie scene is growing its digital footprint. A new website called TriangleGrown launched by the Destination Marketing Organizations for Orange, Durham, Johnston, Chatham and Wake Counties aims to promote agritourism by being a go-to resource for people interested in exploring the local farming community.

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