Livestock, Poultry, Sheep and Dairy Projects
2015 GRANT PROJECTS
Wilson County, Agent Billy Little
Alan Sharp from Sims is part of a fifth generation family farm. He received a small grant to market their pork and sweet potatoes to a new customer base through the development of Sharps Farm Sweet Potato Sausage. Alan is working with NCSU Food Science Department to formulate the final product and design the packaging.
Johnston County, Agent Dan Wells
Blake Thompson, of Smithfield will use the grant funds to raise pastured pork. This niche market has grown significantly in the past few years and will provide a new agriculture enterprise on the family farm. Blake will sell the pork through a local co-op.
Johnston County Community Grant, Agent Dan Wells
The Cattlemen’s Association of Johnston County received a small community grant to purchase portable cattle handling equipment that can be rented and transported to farms with small herds. The equipment allows the farmer to restrain and safely provide proper care such ear tagging, vaccinating and de-worming. The Johnston County Cattlemen’s Association along with Cooperative Extension and County Government will manage the day-to-day oversight of the program.
Forsyth County, Agent Mary Jac Brennan
Harmony Ridge Farms in Tobaccoville, has a diverse farm operation that includes produce, poultry, Peking ducks and hogs. Kevin Oliver will use the grant funds to expand the duck brooding operation and make the process more efficient.
Duplin County, Agent Adam Ross
Master Blend Family Farm, in Kenansville offers free range, all natural swine, and fresh produce. The pigs are born, raised and topped out on the farm. The family takes pride in saying, “From our table to your table.” With the grant award, they plan to purchase a freezer delivery truck to expand their market area for shipping whole hogs.
Surry County, Cooperative Extension County Director Bryan Cave
Pauline Hylton of Mount Airy received a grant to support a new farm venture. She and her husband Tom inherited the farm in 2013 from Tom’s grandparents. They plan to combine chickens and goats on their pasture and will sell meat at both the farmers market and to wholesale markets.
2014 GRANT PROJECTS
Forsyth County, Stokes County Director Debbie Cox, and Agent Randy Fulk
Mark Nicholson of Tobaccoville, and his family operate an educational farm that incorporates rotational grazing techniques they learned while living in the Tibetan Plateau of Western China. With the grant funds they will expand the educational farm tours and offer a semester long farm internship for high school aged students.
Update: Mark & Dana Nicholson have utilized NC AgVentures funds to successfully host their first summer camp session. This initial camp was used as a trial to gage community interest, and to work through the myriad of details involved in hosting the event. See their webpage: www.nomadfarms.org
Surry County, Agent Joanna Radford
Chad Bullington of Pinnacle, farms the same land his parents, and grandparents farmed, but he believes that change is a necessary part of farming. With the grant funds he will purchase equipment to establish a bagging operation to sell small bags of corn and poultry litter, to a niche market of buyers who do not need bulk orders from the mill.
Update: Chad Bullington is working toward getting his project underway. He will begin bagging deer corn when the season presents itself in October. His corn has been planted and is well on its way to a bountiful year. Chad has researched the hopper needed for the project and has discovered that it will be more efficient to build a hopper than to import one. He is working on building the hopper now. (This is largely due to the grant amount was less than what was needed for the hopper originally proposed.)
Business cards and invoices have been designed and created. He has identified the scales needed and will be purchasing them in the next few weeks.
Surry County Soil and Water, N.C. Cooperative Extension, and NC State University Animal Science specialists are working together to further the bagging and selling of the poultry litter. Litter will not be available for bagging until December. At this time, it appears the poultry will be sold as a soil amendment.
Sheep and Wool Equipment Expansion Project
Forsyth County, Agent Mary Jac Brennan
Laura Frazier of Kernersville has built a cottage industry around discarded fleece. She collects the waste wool from two commercial sheep operations and re-purposes the wool into art supplies for artists and for clothing. She markets the wool at local markets and through the internet. She has also created her own line of chemical free wool socks. Frazier plans to buy wool processing equipment and a sock knitting machine.
Update: Laura originally planned to purchase a sock knitting machine, but opted instead for a tabletop needle felting machine. The needle felting machine offers more diversity. A limited list of what can be created includes scarves, hats, vests, pillowcases, placemats and tapestries. See Laura’s blog page: Farmgirl Arts
Scott Show Pigs
Wilson County, County Director Walter Earle
Joey Scott of Lucama and his children have built a reputation and niche market for breeding show quality piglets. They plan to expand their production, and will use the grant funds to build a facility for housing sows and farrowing these highly prized piglets.
Update: The land was graded, wooden framing raised, concrete was poured, roof completed, metal siding and curtains were installed, electrical, plumbing, and gas heat were installed. Farrowing crates were assembled and placed, heating pads and lights were put in crates. Shelves were built. Fly spray system was expanded from existing barn into farrowing barn. The farrowing barn has been completed and 8 litters of pigs have been delivered. At the Got to be NC Show Pig Sale, June 20th, Ben sold the high selling pig at $1000.
Pitt County, Agent Andy Burlingham
Jonathon White of Greenville, farms with his father on land that has passed down through several generations. They transitioned from tobacco to soybeans, cotton. wheat, corn and hogs and cattle in 2011. They will use the funds to rebuild hay storage barn facilities that were destroyed by a tornado last spring.
Update: The hay storage facility is complete.