Some good news for Rowan County

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 30, 2016

SALISBURY — Rowan County has been in the news a lot and not all of it has been for good reasons. This is my home and as I write this article I feel like it would only be fitting to end the year with a bang, but in a good way.

I decided I was going to write about some successes of this year and what to be on the lookout for in the New Year. Since most of us are not out in the gardens yet, here are a few things to reminisce about and plan for in the future.

One of our shining glories this year was how well we did at the North Carolina State Fair. Rowan County alone had more than 24 pages of winners and honorable mentions.

Morgan Watts, our livestock agent, briefly mentioned some of the livestock winners, but I thought they needed a final recognition for representing Rowan County with their awesome accomplishments. I will not mention which place, but I will list all of our superstars from our very own Rowan County.

Lane Bolmer, Olivia Foster, Jonathan Luther, Lauren Luther, Colby Menius, Ryan Menius and Sydney Nash all were recognized showing in the dairy cattle categories. Cynthia Connolly, Matthew Connolly, Josie Correll, Talton Correll, Lauren Hayes, Colby Menius, Ryan Menius, Rebekah Russell, Emry Starnes, Abigail Wilson, Joshua Wilson and Lydia Wilson took the show within the sheep categories.

Alayna Moore, Grayce Moore, Kaitlyn Moore, Lucy Moore, Meghann Moore, Jackson Noble and Madison Noble placed in the dairy goat divisions. Talton Correll and Joshua Wilson were recognized in the gilt and barrow categories. Joe Hampton, Lexi Roberts and Victoria Roberts placed well in the poultry breed classes. We even had a great representation of our beef from Austin Teeter.

Aside from livestock we were even able to get some recognition in Cake Decorating by Pamela Burris. Rowan County took a few first, second and third place prizes in cheese by Fading D Farm. Cauble Creek Vineyards was also awarded several medals for its delicious wines. If that doesn’t make you proud of Rowan County I do not know what will! If you would like to see all of the winners and each of the categories visit the NC State Fair website at:

Another honorable mention of the highlights for 2016 is the Beer and Barley tour. This was a follow-up of the Poinsettia and Winery tour of 2015. This tour helped educate the public about the local farms growing beer barley all while under the guise of a beer and barley tour. This helped educate more than 49 participants about Rowan County farms and how important they are to support.

Submitted photo Dr. Paul Murphy (plant breeder for NCSU) and Joe Hampton speak about growing barely for breweries in North Carolina during the Beer and Barley Tour.

Submitted photo Dr. Paul Murphy (plant breeder for NCSU) and Joe Hampton speak about growing barely for breweries in North Carolina during the Beer and Barley Tour.

One of the last great programs that was held in 2016 is the annual Farmer’s Appreciation Breakfast. We had over 150 participants this year. This was double our usual attendance because we combined the event with the Chamber of Commerce.

It was a great program where farmers and businesses came together to honor the hard work of our local farmers. The breakfast was a great way for businesses to understand the plight of farmers and how everyone is needed to support our growers or we will not have many farms in the future.

There you have it. Those were just three instances of how great Rowan County can be. We need more of these experiences to help our community and give us some much needed morale. As for the future, here are a few programs to be on the lookout for in the New Year.

If you need assistance getting your farm taxes in order, we have the class for you. Rowan County Cooperative Extension will be hosting a farm tax class on Jan. 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Cooperative Extension office at 2727 Old Concord Road. The cost is $20 and it will cover federal and state income taxes for farms, depreciation of agriculture assets, sales tax for value added products and services, and present use value for property tax deferment. To register visit this website:

We will also continue with the Farmers’ Appreciation Breakfast in 2017 on March 16 at 7:30 a.m. at the St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Mt. Ulla. We are planning on topping the 2016 celebration so stay tuned for later details on how we plan to celebrate our Rowan County farmers.

I hope that this has made you proud of Rowan County and that you are looking forward to the New Year. With the New Year we can continue to make a difference in each other’s lives and in our farming community.

If you are you are interested in any of the topics discussed in this article call your local Cooperative Extension agent, Danelle Cutting, at 704-216-8970.