Amy-Lynn Albertson: Nickels to Know How and so much more
Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 12, 2022
By Amy-Lynn Albertson
N.C. Cooperative Extension
Nov. 13-16 is Farm City Week in Rowan County. Farm City Week is the week we celebrate the farms that bring us food, fiber and fuel. North Carolina agriculture serves you three times a day. Rowan County is home to 925 farms with an average size of 129 acres. Ninety-seven percent of our farms are family-owned and run. During Farm City Week, organizations across the country will recognize farmers and ranchers with educational forums, social media campaigns and local events. Their contributions supplement the economy with jobs while providing bountiful crops to feed our population. From the crops and livestock we eat to textiles, farmers fill demand in nearly every country sector. Farmers also benefit from urban centers. Distributors, restaurants, grocers, producers and more provide expanded utilization of the farm product. Whether they provide food, medicines or textiles to consumers, they have an economic impact on their city and rural communities. During Farm City Week, we will be honoring the Rowan County Conservation Farm Family of the year, the Wallers. Bobby and Sue Waller, Coty and his wife Amanda, and children Klayton, Cole and Knox farm 2,200 acres of wheat, corn, barley and soybeans. Their farm started as a dairy in 1948 and transitioned to row crops in 2006 — the Wallers practice conservation efforts such as cover crops, grassed waterways and prescription fertility. Coty is a fourth-generation farmer and a West Rowan FFA alumni. The Wallers will be recognized at the Rowan County Annual Farm City Conservation Banquet on Nov. 17 at the Rowan County Agricultural Center, sponsored by the Rowan County Soil and Water District and Rowan County Cooperative Extension.
Also happening during Farm City Week is the Nickels for Know-How Referendum. Nickels for Know-How is a 71-year-old program that is a voluntary assessment of feed and fertilizer produced and purchased in North Carolina. The money is collected and deposited with the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation Inc., which uses the funds to support research, teaching and extension projects at N.C. State University. All users of feed and fertilizer in North Carolina are assessed three nickels per ton to support the program. Nickels for Know-How funds help rural agricultural students come to — and stay at — N.C. State. CALS Spend a Day at State program, Student Ambassadors program, workshops for high school vocational agriculture teachers, on-campus internships and annual scholarships are all funded by Nickels. This program provides operating support for the N.C. Cooperative Extension Agriculture Programs Foundation, the N.C. 4-H Development Fund, the N.C. FFA Foundation, the N.C. Family and Consumer Sciences & Extension and Community Association Foundation, the N.C. Dairy Foundation and the JC Raulston Arboretum board of directors. Nickels supports ag commodity, leadership and legislative efforts through its support of agricultural awareness campaigns. These are just a few ways Nickels for Know-How supports North Carolina farmers and agribusinesses. Help continue these good works by voting on Nov. 17 at the Rowan County Extension Center at 2727-A Old Concord Road in Salisbury. Nickels for Know-How raises about $1.4 million annually. That’s about $40 per farm for research. Supporting Nickels for Know-How keeps a good thing growing!
Amy-Lynn Albertson is director of the Rowan County Extension.