37th Annual Celebration of N.C. Small-Scale Farming Set for March 27 -31

By Lydian Bernhardt / 12/02/2022 College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

2022 Small Farmers of the Year Millard and Connie Locklear of Robeson County

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C (Dec. 2, 2022) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s annual tribute to small-scale agriculture will begin March 27, 2023, featuring educational programs, panel discussions, tours and the unveiling of a new Small Farmer of the Year.

2023 Small Farms Week logoAll events will be in-person for the first time since 2019, with most events taking place at the N.C. A&T University Farm and the Farm Pavilion, 3020 McConnell Road.

Small Farms Week was launched in 1987 by Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T as a way to connect with small-scale farmers – including minority farmers and those in limited-resource communities – and ensure they receive the latest research-based information on farming techniques, new tools, and technologies. Small Farms Week also recognizes small-scale growers for the essential role they play in the state’s economy and gives the public a chance to meet their agricultural neighbors and learn about farm operations and food production. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Growth in a Changing Climate.” 

“We are already seeing the impacts of climate change, and that means new challenges for our state’s small farmers,” said Fletcher Barber, Ed.D., Extension small farms recruiter and chair of Small Farms Week 2023. “At Cooperative Extension, our job is to help farmers adapt and prosper in a changing climate. Many of our educational programs this year will focus on research and techniques to help small farmers achieve their best outcomes in production and profitability in the midst of changes related to farm business, production, and climate."

The week will begin with a kickoff event Monday, March 27, in Robeson County, the home of 2022 Small Farmers of the Year Millard and Connie Locklear. The Locklears grow fruits, vegetables, and culinary and medicinal herbs on their 30-acre farm. They’ve been involved with Robeson County Cooperative Extension for more than 15 years and support on-farm research and training programs for students.

Tuesday, March 28, will focus on education for small farmers that cover topics such as small-scale animal production, plant production, natural resource management, and adapting to climate changes that could bring more droughts, severe storms, and intense summer heat.

Wednesday, March 29 will feature one of the highlights of Small Farms Week: The Small Farmers’ Appreciation Program, where the 2023 Small Farmer of the Year will be named.

Thursday, March 30 and Friday, March 31, will focus on student participation and will include educational programs for students on campus and in communities throughout the state. 

Most Small Farms Week events are free and open to the public, but registration is required. A registration form and a full schedule of events will be posted on the Small Farms Week 2023 website. Visit the site for updates and more information.

Media Contact Information: llbernhardt@ncat.edu

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