N.C. A&T's Small Farms Week has big mission: Teaching Farmers to Grow a Safe, Sustainable Food System


GREENSBORO, N.C. (Feb. 10, 2017) – The 31st annual Small Farms Week, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s annual tribute to small-scale agriculture, kicks off March 19 with a timely theme: growing a safe, sustainable food system.

Sponsored by The Cooperative Extension Program at N.C. A&T, Small Farms Week will be celebrated March 19-25 with workshops, tours, guest speakers, farming demonstrations and other events.

This year’s observance focuses on the many ways North Carolina’s $84 billion agricultural industry can be made safer and more sustainable, including new techniques in season extension, pest management, pasteurized livestock production, growing food without pesticides and growth-hormones, urban horticulture, and more.

The week kicks off on March 20, in Sampson County, home of the 2016 Small Farmers of the Year. Events continue March 21-23 on the A&T campus with cooking demonstrations, educational workshops and the presentation of the 2017 Small Farmer of the Year award.

The capstone event of the week is a lunchtime talk March 22 by former NFL star Jason Brown, now a small farmer in Franklin County. Brown made headlines when he left professional football, bought a 1000-acre farm in Louisburg and learned to work it with the help of the Internet, Franklin County Cooperative Extension and neighboring farmers. For the past four years, he has grown large crops of sweet potatoes and cucumbers for the purpose of donating the entire harvest to charitable organizations, helping to provide hunger relief in central North Carolina.

Individual counties are also hosting activities for the week. Those counties include, Ashe, Currituck, Duplin, Forsyth, Guilford, Madison, Martin, Mitchell, Robeson, Rowan, Scotland, Stanly, Stokes, Vance and Yancey.

For more information about the 31st Annual Small Farms Week, please visit: www.ag.ncat.edu and click on Cooperative Extension.