Farmers, business leaders, and community come together to not only enjoy a meal but to be a part of an event that highlights the importance of the agricultural industry in the Vance County area, and recognize the efforts of farmers and others who contribute to the agricultural industry.
Farm-City Week is an opportunity to recognize the role agriculture plays in Vance County and to increase the understanding between the urban and farming communities. Vance County has 242 farms total, covering 54,880 acres with the average farm size being 227 acres.
About 90 people gathered inside the Vance County Regional Farmers Market on Thursday morning, November 30th for the 15th annual Farm-City Breakfast hosted by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Vance County Center.
The morning started with a little social time, then breakfast and was followed by a little business.
Turner Pride, Vance County Cooperative Extension Director welcomed attendees and thanked them for coming. In his remarks, he noted that “Our purpose today is to acknowledge that farms and cities are connected, that we depend on each other. Together we are stronger, together we make our communities better. And we also want to celebrate the hardworking farmers who bring us food and fiber. The crops that Vance County farmers raise each year are worth $13 million for our economy.” He also commented that the Vance County Regional Farmers Market generated approximately $250,000 in sales for vendors during the 2018 season. Also in attendance to offer remarks were Mayor Eddie Ellington and Chamber President John Barnes.
Just before the guests filled their plates with a selection of delicious farm-to-table breakfast options, Vance County Commissioner Archie Taylor gave the invocation. Breakfast was prepared using local ingredients by Chef Gavin Jackson of Gavin’s Grub Hub. Eggs were provided by J.W. Creek Farms, while the sausage was from Faulkner Family Farms.
Thomas Shaw, President of the Vance County Farm Bureau Board of Directors introduced the featured speaker, Jay Boyette. Mr. Boyette is Director of Commodities with NC Farm Bureau and spoke about the devastation farmers throughout North Carolina, and especially in eastern NC, experienced from Hurricane Florence.
A collection $156 was taken up and given to the Vance County Farm Bureau office to assist with the Hurricane Florence Relief fund. Paul McKenzie presented Boyette with a beautiful poinsettia from Franklin Brothers Nursery.
The morning ended with special recognitions. This year’s award recipients were:
Eileen Novak – 4-H Volunteer of the Year, presented by Lina Lue, 4-H Agent; Ron Rubin – Community Supporter of the Year, presented by Turner A. Pride, CED; Charles and Debbie Powell, Small Farmer of the Year, presented by Wayne Rowland, Agricultural & Natural Resources Technician; and the Stainback Family – Farm Family of the Year, presented by Paul McKenzie, Agricultural Extension Agent.
Door prizes of small table arrangements from Franklin Brothers Nursery were also given away to over 20 individuals. This event was sponsored by the Vance County Farm Bureau.