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Upcoming Arts and Ag Tour to promote Rowan agribusiness

By Samuel Motley

Samuel.motley@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — This weekend, the Rowan Arts and Ag Farm Tour will celebrate local farms and artists.

In its second year, the event is a great opportunity to come out and support local agriculture and artists, said Corrie Connolly, a member of the Rowan County Arts and Ag planning committee.

The self-guided tour, scheduled Saturday and Sunday, will offer an opportunity to explore Rowan County’s “rich farm heritage and vibrant arts culture,” according to the tour website. It is a rare opportunity to see how each farm operates firsthand, the website says.

Farms and businesses on the tour will host activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Each farm stop will host a local artist, Connolly said, showcasing different arts and crafts.

Moving from farm to farm, tour-goers can purchase hand-crafted jewelry, decorative glass, photography, leather, mixed-media works, metal work, sculptures, watercolors, drawings and decorative arts.

Agriculture is an important part of life here in Rowan, Connolly said. By visiting farms, people will have the opportunity to bring the community together behind Rowan’s agribusiness, she said.

Rowan County ranks eighth in the state for dairy production, a 2018 N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services report states. The county’s cash receipts from 2018 showed that farmers here made $37 million from livestock and $38 million from crops.

And in North Carolina more broadly, agribusiness is a backbone to the economy, adding nearly $85 billion to the state’s economy and employing 16% of N.C.’s workforce, according to the report.

Connolly said this is a chance to see the variety and diversity of crops throughout Rowan County farms.

The tour also aims to bring the Rowan community and local artists together, she said.

In total, there will be 15 farms participating. Several of the farms aren’t usually open to the public, said Elaine Spalding, president of the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce.

Spalding added the tour is an opportunity to see where some local restaurants and breweries get their ingredients. The experience shows how food comes “full circle,” she said.

The tour will have seven participating farms in the East Rowan/Salisbury area:

• Morgan Ridge Vineyards and Brewhouse.

• Saving Grace Farm.

• Emerald Rose Horse farm.

• Renn Bee Farm.

• Elium Berry Farm.

• 4S Farms.

• Twin Creek Farm.

It will also have eight farms in the West Rowan area:

• Correll Farms LLC.

• West Rowan High School agriculture education department.

• West Rowan Farm, Home and Garden Inc.

• Black Creek Farms.

• C&M Farm.

• Patterson Farm Market & Tour Inc.

• Rowan Country Life Museum.

• Cauble Creek Vineyard.

These farm businesses will be tour stops as well:

• Salisbury Farmers Market.

• Father & Son Produce.

• Godley’s Garden Center.

• James River Equipment.

• Goodman Farm Supply.

• Lazy 5 Ranch.

The tour is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit artsandagtour.com.

Contact reporter Samuel Motley at 704-797-4264.

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