Craddock is new Extension agent
Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 8, 2021
By Cody Craddock
N.C. Cooperative Extension
Hello everyone, my name is Cody Craddock, and I am the new Extension agriculture and natural resources agent serving Rowan County. I am pleased to be working with the community and look forward to meeting many new faces.
I am from Trinity, located in Randolph County, and have been involved in agriculture since I was young. Like many of you, I have always had a garden where I grow vegetables, greens and other fresh produce. My interest in agriculture encouraged me to attend the University of Mount Olive where I studied agricultural business and was an involved student. I started a project on campus called “Farms 2 Fridges” which helped local farmers close their marketing deficit by providing an additional route for marketing their produce. Also, in college I was able to visit a plethora of agricultural operations — from cotton growers to cattle farms. In my free time, I enjoy visiting historical sites and learning about the history around us. I also enjoy volunteering at Victory Junction in its horse barn helping kids enjoy horseback riding. I even worked there one summer as a barn counselor — I enjoyed being the “camp cowboy!”
What I find most fascinating about our state’s agriculture is the sheer variety of the soil types, climate, crops and elevations. In fact, North Carolina is known as one of the most diverse agricultural states in the country. From Christmas tree farms in the mountains to sweet potatoes in the coastal plains, holidays just wouldn’t be the same without our state’s contribution; nor would the traditions. Our state has had Christmas trees and turkeys featured at the White House for holiday traditions. The producers in our state take pride in the commodities they grow. Like all producers in N.C., Rowan County producers grow top-quality produce that can be found at the Farmers’ Market.
I enjoy seeing local food programs, farms participating in agrotourism, and am an advocate for agricultural literacy. What I love about these ideas is that the community is brought together in a reciprocal way. Members of the community that shop at local farms support their neighbors and connect with others. In the process, it is not uncommon for people to learn about how their food is grown and sourced. You’ll find that many farmers want the public to understand how their food is grown and will be happy to describe in detail to anyone that asks. Especially dedicated farmers may participate in agrotourism and teach others where their food comes from by on-farm demonstrations and tours. I am an advocate for agricultural literacy because a well-informed individual can make decisions on food purchasing based on their understanding rather than an outside, potentially biased source.
I am excited to get to know Rowan County and the people who call it home. I look forward to designing programs aimed at addressing the needs of small-scale farmers in the county while promoting local food and agriculture to the community. Feel free to call my office at 704-216-8970, or email me with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cody Craddock is agriculture and natural resource agent for N.C. Cooperative Extension Center in Rowan County Center.