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Monday, February 28, 2011

First Annual Carolina Meat Conference

NC Choices and CEFS present the First Annual Carolina Meat Conference March 25-27, 2011 at the Cabarrus Event Center, Concord, NC Bringing together independent meat producers, processors, buyers and allied professionals for a weekend of workshops, trainings, panel discussions and networking in an effort to strengthen marketing and processing opportunities for the region's rapidly growing local meat industry. HANDS-ON TRAININGS Optimizing Carcass Utilization: A Training for Commercial Processors and Demystifying the Beef and Pork Carcass: A Breakdown for Farmers Dr. Gregg Rentfrow, University of Kentucky, Food and Meat Science and presented by Weaver Street Market: Artisanal Butchery and Whole Animal Utilization for Professional Chefs and Butchery Craft in Your Home Kitchen for Consumers Tia Harrison, Co-Founder-The Butcher's Guild, Owner-Avedano's Meat Market and Executive Chef-Sociale, San Francisco, CA Marissa Guggiana, Co-Founder-The Butcher's Guild, President of Sonoma Direct Sustainable Meats and Author of Primal Cuts: Cooking with America's Best Butchers Berlin Reed, The Ethical Butcher, Portland, OR Craig Deihl, Executive Chef- Cypress, Charleston, SC KEYNOTE Scaling the Supply of Quality, Local Meats Mike Lorentz, Lorentz Meats, Cannon Falls, MN- Learn how this mid-scale meat processing company has successfully grown to meet the demand for niche meat, providing custom slaughter and processing for both national niche brands and individual farmers.

Friday, February 25, 2011

NEW 4-H Rabbit Club

Forsyth County 4-H is forming a rabbit club for youth ages 10-18, and they are looking for input from interested youth before setting the date, time and location. To help them set the date for their first meeting, please contact: Christi Eley, (336) 766-1441 or

Thursday, February 24, 2011

4-H Information Share

4-H Share Fair March 1st, 2011 @ 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Do you want to know what 4-H is? Have you asked, “What can you do in 4-H?” Join us for the 4-H Information Share and Nutrition Fair on Tuesday, March 1st beginning at 6:00 pm at the Forsyth County Cooperative Extension Center. Everyone is invited to bring their youth ages 5-18 to learn more about 4-H including: project record books, presentations, the 4-H Honor Club, the Application, Interview, Resume and Essay (AIRE) contest, community service projects, 4-H Talent Show and more! Also, taking place is our 4th annual Nutrition Fair. After judging we will do a buffet so that everyone may sample the dishes. Email for more information. Event Location 1450 Fairchild Road Winston-Salem, NC 27105 Contact April Bowman at (336) 703-2850

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Growing Mushrooms in the Home Garden

Growing Mushrooms in the Home Garden April 4th, 2011 @ 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Winston-Salem, NC Learn the basics of growing mushrooms, primarily Shiitake, in the home landscape. Some discussion will be given to other types of mushrooms. A demonstration of growing shiitakes will be shown. Contact Kathy Hapler at 703-2852 to register. Event Location Carver School Rd Library 4915 Lansing Dr Winston-Salem, NC 27105 Contact Kathy Hepler at (336) 703-2850

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Foothills Pilot Plant

Foothills Pilot Plant- Marion, NC McDowell County -Poultry and Rabbit Processing January 2011 Update: The plant is nearing completion and scheduled to open for processing in the spring of 2011. The photo to the left was taken in late January 2011. Small family farms and community leaders are supporting the development of the Foothills Pilot Plant, a small scale slaughtering and processing facility serving independent growers of poultry and rabbits. Based upon a feasibility study commissioned in 2006, a plan has been developed for establishment of this project in Marion NC, in partnership with the McDowell Economic Development Association (MEDA), McDowell County Government, independent growers, NCDA&CS, and NC State University’s College of Agriculture & Life Sciences (CALS) and NCA&T University. As of January 2009, the project has received $636,000 in support for development. Major contributors include the North Carolina Golden LEAF Foundation, the North Carolina Rural Center, and the Appalachian Regional Commission. This project will serve small, diversified farms located primarily in the western half of the state with a strong interest in increasing production of poultry and rabbits through use of an inspected slaughter and processing facility. The western half of the state has the greatest unmet demand for access to a USDA- or state-inspected small-animal slaughter facility. At least 30 small scale independent poultry and rabbit producers in the western NC region have expressed demand for access to inspected slaughter and processing services. These growers are dispersed among 15 counties, with McDowell County located in the center of the producer range. The closest inspected plant serving independents is located in Kingstree, South Carolina, over 200 miles to the east. Most growers cannot handle the logistics of live bird transportation that far, and some who have tried have experienced high mortality rates. This project pursues the following set of outcomes: •A facility is established that allows producers to have small volumes of a variety of poultry and rabbit products of their own raising processed and inspected. •Producers receive formal training for safe and wholesome commercial growing, processing and marketing of meat products that are state or federally inspected. •Producers are able to understand and meet all regulatory issues affecting their businesses. •Producers have a variety of options for marketing inspected meat, including direct marketing, wholesale distribution and participation in associations or other business entities for marketing and sales. •Small-volume producers are able to expand production and professionalize their businesses. The establishment of slaughter and processing services for small meat animals in the region would likely substantially increase production among growers. Using data supplied only by existing small animal producers, research indicates an annual potential of 33,205 head of small animals processed at an inspected facility in its earliest stages of operation, with a retail value estimated at $377,000 per year. This represents a five-fold increase from current recorded production volumes. Based on measured levels of producer demand and potential availability of funding, participants are developing a pilot plant for slaughter and processing of multiple species of poultry and rabbits with a maximum daily throughput of not more than 1,000 chickens per day. The project expects to build a ca. 3,000 square foot prefabricated building and thereafter complete interior build-out using local skilled labor. The design will meet regulatory requirements for every level of inspection, including USDA and state inspection. The pilot plant is expected to provide slaughtering services approximately twice weekly during its initial year of operation, with facility operations led by a paid general manager. Labor for processing can be sourced from the minimum security prison on a work-release program, until sufficient production volume is achieved to justify hiring full-time processing staff. For more information contact

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Texas Pete Twin City Rib Fest

In 2005 the Texas Pete Twin City RibFest began in downtown Winston-Salem, NC. With its success came national recognition: in Bon Apetit magazine and, as well as being named Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Bureau. The 2011 Texas Pete Twin City RibFest is being held at the Dixie Classic Fairgrounds in Winston-Salem on June 9-12th.
Thursday June 9, 11 am - Midnight Friday June 10, 11 am - Midnight Saturday June 11, 11 am - Midnight Sunday June 12, 12 Noon - 7pm Admission: $7 Adults, Kids Free (12 and under) No Pets Allowed/ No Coolers/ No Weapons/No Outside Food **There will be no admission charge on Thursday/Friday from 11 AM until 2 PM** Ribs and music are not all that you will find at the 2011 Texas Pete Twin City RibFest. Once they have their fill of ribs our attendees love to meander through The Market which has an assortment of offerings, everything from jewelry to pets. It's a RibFest tradition to present thematic music days on our Main Stage and like always they have a stellar line-up of local, regional and national acts this year. Thursday, June 9 - '80s Night 6:00 PM - TBD 7:45 PM - TBD 10:00 PM - The Breakfast Club Friday, June 10 - Funkalicious Friday 7:00 PM - FuhnetiK Union 9:30 PM - Mother's Finest Saturday, June 11 - Down & Dirty Saturday 5:30 PM - Evan & Dana 7:30 PM - American Aquarium 9:45 PM - Old Moonshine Revival Sunday, June 12 - TBD 6:00 PM - TBD 7:45 PM - TBD 10:00 PM - TBD

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

2nd Annual Warm Hearts for Wagging Tails

Lend a helping paw at Fantasy Photography's 2nd annual Warm Hearts for Wagging Tails pet charity event! Last year they photographed 37 dogs in two days and collected over 350 pounds of dog food for local shelters - this year they hope to collect even MORE! The condition of today's economy isn't only affecting humans. It's also leaving thousands of pets (and homeless animals) hungry and on the streets. Shelters are overflowing and pet owners are being forced to give up their best friends. What can you do to help? We know money is tight right now, so they're offering FREE SESSIONS to raise our paws for a cause. Bring a 20 pound or larger bag of dog food or cat food to this very special event and receive a FREE Pet Portrait Session and special package pricing for your favorite furry friend! They will also HAPPILY accept unopened treats and chew toys for pets in need. Sessions last 15 minutes and are BY APPOINTMENT ONLY, so schedule yours today before they're all gone! Call their studio at 336.575.7088 to get your appointment today :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

For Your Valentine...

Valentine's Day is coming up next Monday, February 14. For those of you looking for a gift for a fellow "goater" or others who enjoy natural soaps, we have Buffalo Gal's Soap packaged (red tin bucket containers, ceramic white bags with hearts and individual soaps in organza bags) for Valentine's Day available.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Helping Grow Healthy Kids

Helping Grow Healthy Kids: North Carolina to Serve as FoodCorps Site in Ten-State Launch High-caliber organizations with demonstrated experience implementing Farm to School and school garden programs selected as inaugural host sites for 2011 RALEIGH (November 30, 2010) — 4-H and the Center for Environmental Farming Systems proudly announce their role as hosts for FoodCorps, a new national AmeriCorps school garden and Farm to School service program, launching in 2011. FoodCorps will serve vulnerable children, improving access to healthy, affordable food, while training young leaders for careers in food and agriculture. North Carolina was chosen from 108 national applications as one of 10 states from across the United States to pilot the FoodCorps program. As a pioneer in applying the proven model of national service to the widening epidemic of childhood obesity, FoodCorps and the 10 chosen host sites are poised to improve the well-being of thousands of children in its first year and millions over the next decade. Eva Clayton says, “As the former Assistant Director General of the United Nations’ Food Agriculture Organization (FAO), a former member of the United States Congress and a citizen of Warren County, North Carolina, I welcome this opportunity to demonstrate how an effective and targeted nutrition program for schools can make a significant difference in addressing health disparities.” Nationwide, FoodCorps will put 82 members on the ground in 10 states to work 139,400 hours during the 2011-2012 school year. North Carolina expects eight to 10 FoodCorps members to be placed at four or five school locations across North Carolina, contributing upwards of 1,300 work hours. FoodCorps members will build and tend school gardens, conduct nutrition education, and increase the amount of local, fresh produce served in lunchroom cafeterias, all in the spirit of service for healthier kids. Utilizing the public service model of AmeriCorps, FoodCorps leverages federal funds to place young adults in high-need communities, with the mission of improving children’s knowledge and access to healthy food. FoodCorps also gives hands-on training to future farmers and food systems professionals. FoodCorps service members will receive training and support from the FoodCorps national office, and then will be placed across the United States where they will be directed by high-impact organizations working in home communities. North Carolina 4-H and CEFS have partnered with the Physical Activity and Nutrition branch of the Division of Public Health plus Cooperative Extension offices, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and schools across the state to form a collaboration of organizations committed to increasing the capacity and success of school garden programs. Congratulations to all the 2011-2012 FoodCorps Host Sites nationwide: •Arkansas: The Delta Garden Study at Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute •Arizona: Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health •Iowa: National Center for Appropriate Technology •Massachusetts: The Food Project •Maine: University of Maine Cooperative Extension •Michigan: C.S. Mott Group at Michigan State University •Mississippi: Mississippi Roadmap to Health Equity •North Carolina: North Carolina 4-H and the Center for Environmental Farming Systems •New Mexico: Office of Community Learning and Public Service at the University of New Mexico •Oregon: Oregon Department of Agriculture “These organizations demonstrated a clear commitment to combating childhood obesity through hands-on school garden programs,” said Debra Eschmeyer, a FoodCorps Founder. “Essentially a domestic Peace Corps, FoodCorps is poised for a fruitful first year.” ABOUT FOODCORPS FoodCorps is a national AmeriCorps program that focuses on service in rural, urban and suburban school food systems that have children challenged with high rates of obesity and limited access to healthy foods. Service members will build and tend school gardens, conduct hands-on nutrition education experiences, and facilitate Farm to School programming that brings high-quality local food into public schools. FoodCorps, a New York-based nonprofit organization, was developed with funding from AmeriCorps and the WK Kellogg Foundation, in partnership with Occidental College, the National Farm to School Network, Slow Food USA, the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and Wicked Delicate, as part of an open planning process engaging stakeholders from around the country. ABOUT NC 4-H 4-H is a youth organization committed to building citizen leaders with marketable skills. The N.C. 4-H Youth Development Program has long held a specific emphasis on cultivating another generation of youth engaged in sustainable agriculture, health and well-being. Statewide efforts include school gardens that foster a connection to nutrition through growing fruits and vegetables, building farm-to-school relationships, traditional 4-H community clubs focused on local foods, afterschool garden programs, and youth agricultural entrepreneurial programs. The N.C. 4-H Youth Development Program is a program of the N.C. Cooperative Extension involving adults and youth in all 100 counties and on the Qualla Boundary of the Cherokee Nation. ABOUT CEFS The Center for Environmental Farming Systems develops and promotes food and farming systems that protect the environment, strengthen local communities, and provide economic opportunties. CEFS was established in 1994 as a partnership between the two land grant universities, N.C. State University and N.C. A&T State University, and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) to serve as a center dedicated to sustainable agriculture research, extension and education. CEFS developed its 2,000-acre research farm in Goldsboro in 1996, still today one of the nation’s largest centers of sustainable farming practices. In 2008, CEFS launched a statewide sustainable local foods initiative in which more than 1,000 North Carolinians participated. In addition to the state action guide From Farm to Fork, the initiative sparked the development of the N.C. Sustainable Local Food Advisory Council, the establishment of a local food representive in each county Cooperative Extension office, and the development of a 10% Campaign for building a local food economy. ABOUT DPH, PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND NUTRITION BRANCH The Physical Activity and Nutrition (PAN) Branch is housed in the Division of Public Health of North Carolina. The mission of the PAN Branch is to, “Reverse the rising tide of obesity and chronic disease among North Carolinians by helping them to eat smart, move more and achieve a healthy weight.” The Branch is one of more than 60 partner organizations supporting Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina, a statewide movement that promotes increased opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity wherever people live, learn, earn, play and pray.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

60th annual North Carolina Dairymen’s Conference

The 60th annual North Carolina Dairymen’s Conference will be held Feb. 17-18, at the Hickory Metro Convention Center, Hickory, N.C. The event draws dairy producers from North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, South Carolina and southern Virginia. This year’s event is combined with the North Carolina Cattleman’s Conference, creating a larger trade show. Conference speakers will include: Scott Whisnant, North Carolina State University, addressing beef and dairy reproduction; Monty Kerley, University of Missouri, discussing carbon credits for beef and dairy producers; Mike Hutjens, University of Illinois dairy nutritionist, discussing dairy nutrition; Scott Brown, University of Missouri, who will provide a dairy policy and economic outlook; and Jake Martin, dairy engineer, discussing dairy design and engineering. Other events include a dairy industry dinner and the annual meeting of the North Carolina Dairy Producers Association meeting. For an agenda and registration information, contact Matthew Lange, Dairy Development Coordinator, North Carolina Dairy Advantage Program, phone: 919-740-1762; or e-mail:

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Vegetable Gardening Workshop

Vegetable Gardening Workshop February 8th, 2011 @ 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM Davidson County Agricultural Building 301 East Center Street Lexington, NC 27292 Learn how to grow fresh vegetables. In a time where our food supply is uncertain and new precautions come out almost daily; it's time to think about producing your own supply of vegetables. There has never been a more urgent time to learn these skills than now. Call (336) 242-2085 or e-mail to register. There is no cost to attend.