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N.C. State offering agricultural seminars in Kannapolis

By Emily Ford
Salisbury Post
KANNAPOLIS ó Following the resounding success of free nutrition classes last month, the N.C. Research Campus will offer more free seminars, this time focused on agriculture.
The series, which begins Wednesday, will feature information on everything from edible landscaping to eating more meals at home.
“It’s about how to integrate science into your everyday life,” said Tara Vogelien, the director for business and research administration at the N.C. State Fruit & Vegetable Science Institute in Kannapolis. “We’re focusing on the agricultural component.”
Vogelien has dubbed the series “Discovering Nature’s Possibilities” and will take up to 200 participants for each class.
Last month, the UNC Nutrition Research Institute in Kannapolis had to cut off registration for its free seminars, “Frontiers in Nutrition,” after overwhelming response.
Other institutes at the Research Campus run by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Duke University will offer their own free classes this summer and fall.
“Lifelong learning is here in Kannapolis on a scale I would never have thought possible a few years ago,” said Phyllis Beaver, marketing director for the N.C. Research Campus.
Beaver collected evaluation sheets after last month’s classes and said she was touched by comments like, “Please keep educating us” and “We want to learn more.”
“They made me want to weep,” said Beaver, who worked for Cannon Mills and watched Kannapolis suffer when the textile giant closed. “There are so many thirsty seekers out there.”
The upcoming agricultural seminars should bring back students who attended the nutrition series, plus attract a whole new audience of people interested in growing their own food, Beaver said.
“We think the price increases we’re seeing at the grocery store lately will make these seminars very well attended,” she said. “Also, the seminar on how to connect with local growers … so you know where your food is coming from and how it’s grown will be a very popular session.”
All free seminars at the Research Campus aim to present high-tech information in an entertaining, accessible way. Each lecture ends with a question-and-answer session.
Discovering Nature’s Possibilities begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the old Cabarrus Bank building in Cannon Village. Classes will run every other Wednesday evening through May 21 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Registration is required. To sign up, call 704-250-5409 or go to www.ncsu.edu/fvsi.
Classes will include:
– April 9, “Eating Smart at Home” by Pamela Outen, Cabarrus County extension agent in family and consumer science. Simple solutions for planning, shopping, fixing and eating more meals at home, where you typically eat more fruits and vegetables and less fat.
– April 23, “Be Healthy ó Grow What You Eat” by Amy-Lynn Albertson, Davidson County extension agent in horticulture. Veggies and fruits grown in your home garden are often superior in quality, freshness and taste. Gardening relieves stress, provides mental relaxation and satisfies the human instinct to nurture.
– May 7, “The Importance of Locally Grown Products” by Brent Barbee of Barbee Farms. Buying products from local growers minimizes handling and transportation costs and lessens environmental impact. Small local farms maintain agricultural heritage, preserve land-use diversity and moderate development.
– May 21, “Landscaping for Healthy Eating” by David J. Goforth, Cabarrus County extension agent in agriculture/horticulture. Sustainable and environmentally friendly landscape that feeds and shelters humans and wildlife. Concepts, plants and specific tips for being a better environmental steward.
Contact Emily Ford at eford@salisburypost.com or 704-797-4264.

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