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Amy-Lynn Albertson: Arts and Ag Farm Tour set for June 5

May is here and that means spring, strawberries, flowers, baby animals and the promise of tomatoes to come.  The Rowan County Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee is holding its Arts and Ag Farm Tour on Saturday, June 5, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

The free self-guided tour is focused on the western side of Rowan County in Mt. Ulla and Cleveland, with seven stops.

  You will get to experience Rowan County agriculture and meet some of the county’s finest farmers and artists. The Rowan Country Life Museum is the home base.  The museum has made lots of improvements and exhibits.

Metal caster Mark DeYoung, silversmith Lisa Waugh and potter Connie Christman will be at the Country Life Museum. Marcia Hartman will be at Hoffner Farm demonstrating her unique beadwork.

Jessica Evans and her family raise sheep, chickens, and pigs. Experience how they rotate their animals on their pastures to keep their soil healthy and robust and improve the health of their animals at Evans Family Farm.

Two dairies are on the tour. Lutheridge Creamery, a small dairy that is in the process of beginning to bottle   milk and make artisan cheese, joins Hoffner Organic Farms, a USDA organically certified dairy. Hoffner Farm has a herd of 140 cows and sells to Organic Valley. You will get to see and pet a cow.

Ray Horton Farms has soybeans, corn, wheat and barley.  The barley goes to Carolina Malt, where it is malted and sold to breweries across the Carolinas.

Chuck Payne will also be at Ray Horton’s Farm. He forges metal into knives and decorates handles. Lee Menius also works in forging metal into knives and creating leather sheaths for them. Rosty Menius works in wood, making a variety of products for their Wild Turkey Workshop.

Tranquility Vineyards offers muscadine slushies and West Rowan High School FFA program will have plants for sale and demonstrate activities offered at school.    

More information is on Facebook and at rowan.ces.ncsu.edu.  You can also download the app Visit NC Farms Today and find out about the tour and all things agriculturally local.

Amy-Lynn Albertson is Rowan County Extension director.

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