Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Animal Welfare Approved Announces 2011 Good Husbandry Grants

Animal Welfare Approved is pleased to announce that it will offer a third year of Good Husbandry Grants. AWA is seeking proposals for projects to improve farm animal welfare with a concentration on three areas: increased outdoor access, improved genetics and improved slaughter facilities. Animal Welfare Approved is a free third party certification for independent family farms raising animals humanely, outdoors on pasture or range. Current Animal Welfare Approved farmers and those who have applied to join the program are eligible for grants of up to $5,000. Farmers may apply for certification and for a grant simultaneously. Slaughter plants working with AWA farms are also eligible to apply but should contact Grants Coordinator Emily Lancaster to discuss proposed projects before submitting a proposal. Examples of projects funded in previous cycles include mobile housing, a mobile processing unit, infrastructure to facilitate humane handling and breeding stock adapted to pasture-based management.

The deadline for proposals is October 1, 2010. Guidelines, FAQ’s, project profiles and an application form are available at www.AnimalWelfareApproved.org or by contacting Emily Lancaster at 919.428.1641 or Emily@AnimalWelfareApproved.org.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Building NC's Local Food Economy - The 10% Campaign

The intent of the 10% Campaign is straightforward: Encourage consumers to commit 10 percent of their existing food dollars to support local food producers, related businesses and communities. Funded by the Golden LEAF Foundation, the 10% Campaign will:
  • Promote North Carolina's farmers, foods, communities and businesses
  • Educate consumers, decision makers and the media
  • Collaborate further with the many influential organizations/initiatives already in the field and those just beginning to bloom
Why 10 percent? It is achievable for most, and meaningful for all:
  • North Carolinians spend about $35 billion a year on food. If individuals spent 10 percent—$1.05 per day—locally, about $3.5 billion would be available in the local economy.
  • The state has the 12th highest rate of adult obesity in the nation, and today, more than a third of its 10- to 17-year-olds are overweight or obese. Infusing fresh and flavorful fruits and vegetables into diets at every age can significantly reduce long-term health care expenses in the state.
  • Expanding the market will result in new farm, food and manufacturing businesses and create jobs.
Sign up now or learn more at www.nc10percent.com

Thursday, July 22, 2010

NC Pesticide Fee Increases

With the signing of the 2010-2011 State Budget by Governor Beverly Perdue on June 30, 2010, the General Assembly has mandated fees for administered examinations and an increase in licensing fees in accordance to General Statutes 143-448, 143-452, and 143-455 of the NC Pesticide Law of 1971.

The fees below went into effect July 14th 2010

(Applies to all Testers, regardless of license type)

Core, Dealer, Worker Protection Designated Trainer, Aerial, and Consultant...…..$50.00

Ornamental and Turf, Right of Way, Forestry, Public Health, Ag Pest Animal, Pet Grooming, Poultry, Ag Pest Plant, Seed Treatment, Demonstration and Research, Wood Treatment, Regulatory, and Aquatic…….…. $20.00



(026) Ground, (027, 028, 029) Aerial, (030) Consultant, (033) Public Utility, and (037) Dealer…………………………………………………………………. $75.00

(038) Private Applicator…………………………………………………………. $10.00

(031, 032) Public ………………………………………………………….....…No Charge

Aircraft Inspections……………………………………………………………… $25.00

North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
Structural Pest Control & Pesticides Division
1090 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1090

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Equine Piroplasmosis in North Carolina

On Tuesday, July 13th the State Veterinarian’s office was notified by the National Services Veterinary Lab (NVSL) of five (5) horses from a single location in North Carolina that had tested positive for Equine Piroplasmosis (EP) on routine testing to meet export requirements to another state. (Equine Piroplasmosis is a blood parasite of equines and is not contagious to other livestock or humans.) On Wednesday morning, Veterinary Division field personnel visited the veterinary hospital that had submitted the samples to NVSL, obtained necessary information, and visited the stable where the 5 horses were located. There were a total of 35 horses on the premises; none of the horses appeared ill in any way. All 35 horses, including the 5 that had previously been tested positive, were individually identified and blood samples taken.

The premises was quarantined by NCDA&CS, Vet Division personnel and lengthy discussions with the owners took place, providing the owners information on EP, answering whatever questions were asked, and obtaining information on the 35 horses that were at the facility that will be necessary to pursue this investigation. The 35 blood samples were sent this evening by overnight delivery to NVSL for EP testing; results should be available by the middle of next week or sooner. The event was entered into the Emergency Management Response System (EMRS), the USDA/APHIS/Veterinary Services data management system to track this situation.

New Invasive Pest of Soybeans

The bean plataspid (Megacopta cribraria Fabricius) is a new invasive pest from south Asia that is currently spreading throughout the southeastern United States (Fig. 1). This insect is a piercing sucking pest (similar feeding as stink bugs) on legumes and was first found on kudzu in Georgia during December 2009. It has since been confirmed on both soybeans and kudzu in both Georgia and South Carolina in 2010. The confirmed distribution is represented in Fig. 2.

Fig. 1. Bean plataspid adult. Image by P. Roberts, UGA.

Fig. 2. Current known distribution of the bean plataspid from December 2009 to 13 July 2010. Image created by D. Reisig, adapted from P. Roberts and J. Greene.
Research on insecticide management options is being conducted by Dr. Phillip Roberts, UGA, and his GA colleagues. UGA researchers and Dr. Jeremy Greene, Clemson U., are monitoring this pest and we need to be vigilant for the appearance of this pest in North Carolina. Many invasive insects are found in extremely high numbers upon initial establishment, which may aid in our detection of this pest (Fig. 3). Current numbers from GA in soybeans are reported as close to 10 insects per sweep near field borders, where the distribution of this pest is the highest.

Fig. 3. Size of bean plataspid demonstrated on vegetative soybeans. Image by J. Greene.
Please contact both Ken Ahlstrom, Cooperative Agriculture Pest Service coordinator with the NCDA (Ken.Ahlstrom@ncagr.gov, (919) 733-6931 x236), and me, Dominic Reisig (Dominic_reisig@ncsu.edu, (252) 793-4428 x133) if you find this pest. Researchers in GA and Dr. Greene, in SC, are collecting GPS locations of where this insect is found to map distributions. If you could also provide this information, as well as the plant on which it was found, it will enhance our ability to respond to this new threat.
From: Dominic Reisig, Extension Entomologist

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Increasing Beef Profitability: Perspectives on Processing and Marketing Opportunities in Local Markets

Monday, July 26th, 2010, 7pm-9pm
Chatham County Cooperative Extension- Agricultural Building

NC Choices and Chatham County Cooperative Extension present "Increasing Beef Profitability: Perspectives on Processing and Marketing Opportunities in Local Markets." Please join us for an evening with guest speakers, Dr. Scott Barao , Dr. Arion Thiboumery and Dr. Matt Poore for a roundtable discussion, Q&A, and a “meat social” with producers, extension personnel and meat processors. The event will be held at the Chatham County Cooperative Extension Agricultural Building located at 45 South St. Pittsboro, NC.

Topics for discussion will include grass-fed genetics, determining production costs, maintaining high quality carcasses, smart carcass utilization, forage management, value added products, successful case studies around the country and building a relationship with you processor.
The event is free, but please RSVP to Casey McKissick at casey@ncchoices.com by July 16th.

Dr. Scott Barao is a graduate of Michigan State University where he received his Ph.D. in beef cattle nutrition and management. He also holds degrees in human nutrition, biochemistry and ruminant microbiology. Scott held a faculty position in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Maryland for 20 years where he served as the state Beef Cattle Extension Specialist. Scott also served his last 10 years, as Beef Program Leader, directing all beef research and outreach programs at the university’s Wye Research and Education Center, the home of the historic Wye Angus herd. Scott retired from his faculty position as a full professor in 2005. Since 2005, Scott has served as the Executive Director of the Jorgensen Family Foundation, a 501-3-C Agricultural Research and Education Foundation devoted to developing and demonstrating profitable and sustainable models of beef cattle production for beef cattle producers in the Mid-Atlantic region. Scott also directs the day-to-day operation of
Hedgeapple Farm, the centerpiece of the foundation. In addition, Scott has served as the Executive Vice-President of the Maryland Cattlemen’s Association, the state’s largest single commodity organization, and as Executive Director of Maryland Beef Council continuously since 1985. Scott, along with his wife and 2 daughters own and operate their own farm in Woodbine, Maryland which is home to the only certified kosher herd of cattle in the world.

Dr. Arion Thiboumery co-coordinates the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN, www.nichemeatprocessing.org), a national network of professionals in cooperative extension and state departments of agriculture working to support small-scale meat processors. Dr. Thiboumery splits his time between Iowa State University Extension, specializing in Sustainable Agriculture and Meat Science, and Lorentz Meats, a Cannon Falls, MN medium-small-sized meat processing plant specializing in organic and natural
meats with about 65 employees. Dr. Thiboumery received his Ph.D. from Iowa State University in Sustainable Agriculture, Rural Sociology, and Meat Science. Before going to graduate school he was a truck farmer in New England.

Dr. Matt Poore serves NC as an Extension Livestock Commodity Coordinator, Extension Ruminant Nutrition Specialist and Professor at NC State University. Dr. Poore also serves as the Beef Unit Coordinator at the Center for Environmental Systems (CEFS) research farm in Goldsboro, NC.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Grants for Organic Certification

Organic growers in North Carolina can still apply for partial reimbursement of the cost of becoming certified or recertified producers through a program offered by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

“We still have about a third of the grant funds available, so I would encourage organic producers who have gone through the certification process to submit their application for reimbursement,” said Kevin Hardison, marketing specialist with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “The deadline to apply is Sept. 30.”

Growers who are certified or recertified before Sept. 30, can apply for assistance. The program will pay 75 percent of the cost of certification, up to $750.

The program is funded through a $30,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

To apply, growers must fill out an authorization form that can be found online at www.ncdaorganic.com. The completed form, a copy of the farm’s certification and a copy of the receipts from the certifying agency should be mailed to the NCDA&CS Division of Marketing, Attn. Kevin Hardison, 1020 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1020. The invoice must show the total cost of certification and the 75 percent portion that is eligible for reimbursement.

Growers with questions can call Hardison at (919) 733-7887.

“As consumer interest in certified products has grown, so has the number of organic producers statewide,” Hardison said. “North Carolina has more than 6,000 certified organic acres, and these farms produce a variety of vegetables, livestock, herbs and other products.”

Food entrepreneur workshop

WHO/WHAT: The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will host a local workshop for food entrepreneurs, which will focus on marketing and making media work for your food business.

WHEN/WHERE: Wednesday, Aug. 11, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Virginia Boone Building, WNC Ag Center, Fletcher

WHY: The workshop is designed to help food entrepreneurs create and grow successful businesses.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Topics to be covered include boosting your web presence through social networking, web pages and Google alerts; developing an effective message and media strategy; using traditional media outlets and event marketing and more. Registration remains open for this one-day workshop. The cost is $30 and the deadline to register is Aug. 4. Registration is limited to 40. Registration information is online at www.ncagr.gov/markets/agbizmarketing.htm, or by calling Annette Dunlap at (919) 733-7887, ext. 257.

Monday, July 12, 2010

WCBGA Youth Goat Show

9:00 to 10:00 am – check in and weigh
10:00 am – show begins
Classes will be as follows:

Market Show Classes
  • Two entries per exhibitor
  • Divided by weight
  • Minimum weight 50 pounds
  • No breaking of skin or eruption of either of two permanent front teeth
Commercial Doe Classes
  • Two entries per exhibitor
  • Kids (0 to 6 months, no breaking of skin or eruption of either of two permanent front teeth)
  • Kids (6 to 12 months, no breaking of skin or eruption of either of two permanent front teeth)
  • Yearlings (two adult teeth)
  • Two years (4 adult teeth)
Buck Class
  • One entry per exhibitor
  • Kids (no breaking of skin or eruption of either of two permanent front teeth)
Showmanship Classes—youth 18 and under –Based on age of child
Premiums will be based on fundraising. For more information please contact Allison Brown, Alexander County Cooperative Extension Center at 828-632-4451.