December Newsletter

Got to Be NC Marketing Update


The N.C. Specialty Food Association 2014 catalog is now available on-line featuring products from 40 local companies.


GTBNC produce boxes available to CSA, direct-to-consumer farmers


A limited number of produce boxes branded with the Got to Be NC logo are available to Goodness Grows in NC members who sell directly to consumer thanks to a grant from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.

Cost will be about 50 cents per box, in bundles of 25.  The reusable boxes are non-waxed with a water-resistant inner seal and include a lid.

For more information, email Jack Nales, NCDA&CS marketing specialist.

“12 Days of Got to Be NC” connects

public with local agricultural products



Steve Troxler

One of the core values of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is to promote agriculture in the state—something our Marketing Division does extremely well.  I’m proud of their efforts throughout the year promoting the diverse agricultural products grown, raised, caught and made in North Carolina.

As you prepare for holiday meals and family gatherings, I hope you remember to share your agricultural story with everyone you meet.  The holidays present a great time to educate consumers on the abundance of food grown

in North Carolina.  That’s why I’m especially proud of the department’s current promotion with WKSF-FM in Asheville called “12 Days of Got to Be NC.”  The promotion started Nov. 24 and highlights a different agricultural product each morning for 12 days. During the promotion, listeners can call in to win the Got to Be NC prize for the day. They also win the agricultural prize for the preceding days of the promotion.

The promotion started Nov. 24 and highlights a different agricultural product each morning for 12 days. During the promotion, listeners can call in to win the Got to Be NC prize for the day. They also win the agricultural prize for the preceding days of the promotion.

Promotions like this can help expose people without a direct connection to agriculture to the variety of products made right here in our state. Thank you to all the partners and participating companies that made this promotion possible:

AIR Asheville, The Biltmore Estate, Butterball, Creperie Bouchon, Ginny ‘O’s Cheese Straws, Goodnight Brothers, Ingles, Luella’s BBQ, The Lobster Trap, Manna Cabanna CSA, Meanwhile: The Wine Shop and Local Market, Mill Spring Agricultural Center, Moss Farms, N.C. Apple Growers Association, N.C. Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, Overmountain Vineyards, Polk County Farms, Sunburst Trout Farms, Togamay Gourmet, and WNC Cheese Trail.

It is so simple to support local agriculture in North Carolina, especially during the holidays. Thank you for making that possible. I wish you and your family a joyful holiday season. 

--  Commissioner Steve Troxler    

Send us your upcoming events.


Flavor NC will feature Neese’s Country Sausage on Dec. 18 at 10:30 p.m. and Dec. 21 at 7p.m. on UNC-TV


Dec. 6   Holidays in Flavor NC, a special featuring local products perfect for the holidays on UNC-TV at 10 p.m.


Dec. 7 Poinsettia Open House 1-5 p.m.  Horticulture Field Laboratory Raleigh.  Free.


Dec. 7   Mitchell’s Nursery & Greenhouse at 1088 W. Dalton Rd. in King, NC will host their nationally acclaimed Poinsettia Open House showcasing over 8,000 poinsettias in 76 varieties from 12:30-4:30 p.m.  Free.


Dec. 16   A Chef’s Life Holiday Special airs 10 p.m. on UNC-TV. A Chef’s Life is a PBS series chronicling Vivian Howard and her husband’s life running two restaurants in her hometown of Kinston while raising twins.


Jan. 15-16 Agritourism Conference  Hickory


Feb. 4-6  Southern Farm Show  Raleigh


Mar. 4   Flavors of Carolina, Raleigh (watch for details!)


Mar. TBA   Flavors of Carolina, Charlotte (watch for details!)


Apr. 26  WNC Cheese Festival  Asheville


May 15-17  Got to Be NC Festival/ Food, Wine & Beer Expo, Raleigh

Miami trade mission links N.C. food producers with Caribbean, Central American buyers

Food and agricultural exporters from North Carolina can meet in 30-minute intervals with qualified buyers from the Caribbean and Central America during a June 22-25 trade mission in Miami, FL.

Buyers are expected to be most interested in suppliers of fruits/ nuts/vegetables, high value/ processed foods, and meat.

There is a participation fee of $100 before April 20; $150 between April 21 - May 30.

Additional information and registration forms can be found here.

Buyer profiles will be available prior to the mission for pre-meeting selections that will provide networking access and low-cost feedback.

For additional information, contact NCDA&CS export marketing specialist Cathy Ma,, 919-707-3132


Flavor NC:

Military, NC Ag bring local foods to Marine mess halls

Farm families in 10 N.C. counties eligible for grants


N.C. AgVentures announced a new grant opportunity offered by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service and funded through the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.
N.C. AgVentures will award a minimum of 20 grants to agriculturally dependent farm families in
Edgecombe, Forsyth, Martin, Nash, Pitt, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Wilson, and Yadkin counties.
These are competitive grants for producers with innovative project ideas to diversify, expand, or implement new entrepreneurial plans in their farm operations. The program will award an average of $5,000 to $10,000, but will allow applications up to $15,000 if they can show strong justification.

The application deadline is Dec. 17. A local orientation date has been planned for producers interested in learning more about the grant award and application process.

For additional information, or to obtain an application, contact a local Cooperative Extension office. Applications also can be downloaded here.


They say the military marches on its stomach, and if so, then the forces stationed in NC are marching strong! Flavor NC set off to Wayne County to see how our two biggest industries – agriculture and the military are working together to help Tar Heel farmers. Then it’s into the mess hall to get a taste of our Marines’ favorite dishes. Trust us, this ain’t your daddy’s mess hall anymore!


Toolkit available for

small, mid-sized livestock, poultry producers


The USDA GIPSA (Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration) has created a new toolkit aimed at small and mid-sized livestock and poultry producers.  This comprehensive toolkit provides several resources for producer grants, loans, and technical assistance.


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This year’s apple production was mixed, says Jack Ruff, NCDA&CS marketing specialist.  “Due to the late freeze we had last April we had overall about 75 percent of a crop.  Some apple growers had 90 percent; others had only 20 percent.  It really depended on the location of the orchard.  But as far as sales, we had a good year.”

The four major varieties comprising the bulk of North Carolina's production are Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Rome, and Stayman.

Many N.C. farmers, however, are turning to newer varieties such as Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Candycrisp, Gala and several newer Fuji varieties.

Over 40 varieties are grown on a limited basis. Antique varieties such as Arkansas Black, Grimes, Limber Twig, Virginia Beauty, and Wolf River are still available at roadside stands.

The growing popularity of hard apple cider has given rise to an increasing number of N.C. companies producing the beverage.

That may offer new markets for our apple growers.  However, hard cider makers want specific varieties of apples, some currently not grown in the state.

It would take about three years for growers to plant and begin harvesting these varieties, according to Ruff.

The latest trend involves new plantings.  A number of apple growers are planting the trees much closer together and growing the trees on a trellis system.  Some are planting the trees as close as 3 to 4 feet apart in the row.  Large posts (like telephone poles) are spaced in the row and several wires attached.  The trees are tied to the wires and trained to grow.  While establishing this type of orchard is much more expensive, the pruning, spraying, and picking costs when the orchard gets into production will be less.


North Carolina ranks 7th in apple production in the United States. North Carolina has over 300 commercial apple operations comprised of 10,000 bearing acres of apple orchards.    Eight million bushels of apples can be produced in a given year. 40% of the state's crop is marketed as fresh apples through packing/shipping operations and direct marketing outlets while the remaining 60% is utilized in the processing industry, mainly as apple sauce and juice.


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Herbed Pork and Apples

Find farms, roadside stands, CSAs, and pick-your-own farms for fresh N.C. apples at

N.C. Apple Growers AssociationPO Box 58 Edneyville, NC 28727


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