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As the holidays approach, support N.C. agriculture

By Laura Allen

Rowan County 4-H Agent

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is quickly approaching, and as we plan the perfect holiday get-together with family and friends, we should also think about supporting North Carolina agriculture.

North Carolina produces a variety of agricultural products across the state. The mountains, Piedmont and coastal plains each provide unique growing opportunities for a plethora of agricultural commodities. Many of these agricultural products are staple items used during the holidays.

Here are some ways that you can support N.C. agriculture during the holiday season.

• When planning your holiday meals, try to plan for and purchase foods that are grown in North Carolina. Sweet potatoes and turkey seem to be holiday favorites for many families. Did you know that North Carolina ranks No. 1 in the nation in the production of sweet potatoes and ranks No. 2 in the United States for the production of turkeys? Those two commodities, among many others, help N.C. agriculture thrive. To help you find North Carolina products while shopping, look for products with “Got to Be NC” labels.

• Buy local. Rowan County and surrounding counties have farmers who grow and market their products here locally. Get to know your local farmers and support them. You can visit the Rowan-Salisbury Farmers’ Market until Dec. 22 to buy fresh, local products for the holidays.

• Buy North Carolina grown Christmas trees and greenery for your holiday decorating needs. North Carolina ranks No. 2 in the nation for the production of Christmas trees, so we are in the perfect location to find beautiful, fresh decorations that support our state’s economy. A majority of our state’s Christmas tree producers are located in the mountains. However, Rowan County is home to Pine Top Farm, which sells Christmas trees and greenery. You can also support N.C. agriculture and Rowan County 4-H during our 4-H Wreath Sale. We are selling fresh wreaths, Christmas stars, kissing balls and garland which are all grown on a Christmas tree farm in Alleghany County. Orders are due by Wednesday, Nov. 14. For more information, visit https://rowan.ces.ncsu.edu/2018/10/rowan-county-4-h-wreath-sale/ or call 704-216-8970. Pick up is on Nov. 29 from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Rowan County Cooperative Extension office.

N.C. agriculture is an $84 billion industry, which aids our economy and provides citizens in our state and around the globe with a variety of safe, affordable food options. I’m thankful for the farmers who grow our food and hopeful that N.C. citizens see the value in supporting the many farmers in our state who put in long hours to produce a wholesome product.

As you adorn your home for the holidays and prepare your holiday meals, don’t forget to support N.C. agriculture.

Rowan County Cooperative Extension is located at 2727-A Old Concord Road Salisbury, NC 28146.

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