North Carolina’s commitment to small farms should be the envy of every other state in the South. N.C. State might very well have the strongest extension program in the nation. And unlike some of its lagging neighbors, there’s real momentum in the Tarheel State to build a viable infrastructure for processing and distributing livestock from local farms. I once had the privilege to interview for a job with NC Choices, which develops “market opportunities for pasture-based animal producers and enhance consumer access to local, sustainably raised foods.” While I didn’t get the job, I left the process with nothing but the highest esteem for that organization. NC Choices, like the state’s numerous other resources, will eventually get its due appreciation from this site.
Until then, if you happen to be up Raleigh-way this weekend, take some time to see a handful farms in a truly lovely part of the country. Check out the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association site for more information. Credit them, too, for setting up a “Special Tour for Young and Beginning Farmers.” Huzza.