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Chamber’s agribusiness breakfast will feature state’s extension director

From staff reports

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Chamber of Commerce will have an agribusiness-focused Power in Partnership Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. on March 16.

The breakfast will be at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church — 11020 N.C. Hwy. 801 in Mount Ulla. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Richard Bonanno, the state director for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. 

Individual reservations are welcome for those without a Power Card. However, the reservation deadline is March 14 by 5 p.m. The cost is $15 for members and $25 for non-members. The price includes the cost of breakfast and the program.

For the second consecutive year, the event will combine the chamber’s salute to agri-business and the agricultural extension farmers’ appreciation breakfast. The breakfast will feature locally grown products, including: fresh eggs, jams and jellies from Patterson Farms, livermush and more. The breakfast is sponsored by First National Bank, Carolina Farm Credit and the Rowan County Farm Bureau. 

Bonanno was recently named state director for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service and associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University. The extension service is an educational partnership of N.C. State and North Carolina A&T State universities, county governments and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The service addresses agriculture, food, nutrition and youth development in local communities.

Before assuming his new position at the helm of the extension service, Bonanno in the 1980s had six years of service as an extension specialist at N.C. State University. He left to manage his family’s vegetable and flower farm near Boston. While farming, Bonanno also served as a part-time extension specialist for the University of Massachusetts, volunteer president of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation, and board member for the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The dates for the remaining 2017 PIP series are: April 20 (Health Care) and May 18 (Leadership Rowan Graduation). The April and May PIPs will be held at Trinity Oaks (728 Klumac Rd.).

The Chamber’s breakfast series averaged over 150 attendees each month during its last three seasons. The PIP series recruits top-notch speakers to the community and provides high-level networking opportunities. Sponsors have exclusive marketing rights to the banquet room and share a five-minute sponsor profile on their company. Partner agencies communicate updates with local business leaders and address issues of concern for the entire region.

The Leadership Rowan Class members start their day at the breakfast and then venture out for each day’s session focused on a different aspect of the community.    

Contact the chamber for information on reservations or sponsorship opportunities at 704-633-4221 or info@rowanchamber.com

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