Local Foods and Franklin County, NC
The way I read the facts, we need all the farmers we can keep and get in production in Franklin County, N.C. The one common component we all need, that is FOOD, the fresher the better. From the 2010 census, there has been an 8.1 percent increase of people moving into the county, i.e., the second fastest growth rate of surrounding counties (behind Wake County). In 2018 alone, 3.86 people per day moved into Franklin County. The farmers in the county, both large and small, have a real opportunity to supply fresh, healthy, LOCALLY produced food, both proteins and vegetables, right here in Franklin County as well as south of us in Wake County and surrounding counties.
N.C. Cooperative Extension has been and continues to educate those interested in agriculture and producing food with opportunities regarding production and marketing. One that comes to mind is the annual Successful Small Farms Opportunities Conference, held in mid-February at Louisburg College where twelve timely topics were taught. Over 100 citizens interested in agriculture and local foods were in attendance, both learning new practices and networking with one another.
N.C. Cooperative Extension not only educates adults about agriculture but also youth. During the Small Farms Conference, two chapters of young people involved with Future Farmers of America (FFA) assisted with the day-long event, rotating between the programming to learn from experts in their respective fields.
In the summer of 2019, the popular LOCAL FOOD week will be conducted for 4-H youth, which includes visiting area food farms then returning to the extension center to learn how to prepare healthy, fresh meals. New this year will be a visit to a buffalo farm in the region and tasting of their meat. Also, a two-day Animal Science camp will be held for 4-H’ers along with a new youth BEE day, learning how valuable the honey bee is to our food production.
For more information about local food, contact N.C. Cooperative Extension of Franklin County at 919-496-3344 or Martha Mobley, at firstname.lastname@example.org.