Vance County has declared the third week in November each year as Farm-City Week. During that time, local residents are encouraged to reflect upon the connections and interdependence between the people and businesses in our towns, and the farms that surround them. This great nation was built on agriculture, but the towns and cities provide the markets and support businesses that make farming possible. — Paul McKenzie
OUR AGING FARMERS: A LOOMING CRISIS FOR OUR NATION?
By Paul McKenzie, Agriculture Extension Agent, Vance County Cooperative Extension
If you happen to be a farmer, I have some important information for you: You’re not getting any younger. Sorry, don’t mean to get personal, but the 2007 Census of Agriculture reports that the average age for farmers in Vance County is almost 60. Nor is this phenomenon limited to our own community. For North Carolina as a whole, the average age is a hair over 57, while the figure is just over 58 for our nation (2012 Census of Agriculture).
Now, this is not necessarily a problem over the short term, since I’ve met plenty of 70-year old farmers who could outwork me all week and twice on Sunday. We shouldn’t see bare grocery store shelves anytime soon. But in the long run, our community, state and nation depends on recruiting young folks to pick up the plow. And since recent decades have seen the daughters and sons of farmers leaving the farm for jobs in the city, the issue is complex.
Young people who are interested in farming usually lack experience, and perhaps more importantly, the capital to invest in land and expensive equipment. Comprehensive strategies to address these barriers are vital to our nation’s future. Fortunately, agriculture presents fantastic career opportunities, and it’s way more interesting than sitting on a tractor all day. Farmers today must deal with high tech equipment, manage complex pest issues, and have sharp business skills.
If you know a young person who is exploring career options, encourage them to look into the many great opportunities available in agriculture.
(Paul McKenzie can be heard on WIZS each Tuesday at 4:35 P.M. on the Home and Garden Show and at other times Monday through Thursday at 2:05 P.M. for the Vance County Cooperative Extension Report.)
The Granville County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Thanksgiving Breakfast is being held Wednesday, November 25, at 7:30 am in the Family Life Center of Oxford Baptist Church, Main Street, Oxford.
District 2 House of Representatives member Larry Yarborough will be the guest speaker for the event. Representative Yarborough represents Person and Granville Counties. He is a native of Mississippi and has lived in Roxboro for 20+ years. From 2004 to 2008, he served as a Person County Commissioner. Yarborough labels himself as “a common sense person that looks at issues by applying common sense.”
Bridgestone’s continued sponsorship of this annual event spans 25+ years. The November Thanksgiving breakfast began as an industry-sponsored breakfast, and Bridgestone has graciously remained the event supporter for all these years.
Attendees may expect the usual Southern buffet breakfast, prepared by volunteer men at Oxford Baptist. No one will leave hungry as we depart to begin the Thanksgiving holiday celebration!
Although there is no charge to attend the breakfast, attendees are requested to bring non-perishable food donations (canned food) for Area Congregations In Ministry (ACIM).
The School of Graphic Arts/Masonic Home for Children is continuing its tradition of providing attendees with desk calendars for the new year. Also, the Chamber will be officially kicking off its promotion for the National SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY – SHOP LOCAL by providing attendees with Shop Small tote bags filled with inserts – – “goodies”, gift certificates, etc. from Granville County Small Businesses.
Maria Parham Guild Gift Gallery endows VGCC scholarship in memory of local doctor
Volunteers from the Guild Gift Gallery at Maria Parham Medical Center recently presented a gift of $25,000 to the Vance-Granville Community College Endowment Fund that will create a new scholarship in memory of a Henderson physician, Dr. J. Franklin Mills, who passed away unexpectedly in July at the age of 61.
That brings the total to nine such scholarships created by the Guild Gift Gallery since 2008. The volunteer-operated Guild Gift Gallery offers convenience items and gifts as a service to both patients and hospital visitors. Profits from sales at the gift shop are used to provide scholarships to people entering the health care professions.
The new VGCC scholarship will be named the “J. Franklin Mills, MD / Guild Gift Gallery at Maria Parham Presidential Scholar Award,” and will assist deserving students in programs such as Nursing, Radiography, Medical Assisting and Pharmacy Technology.
A Vance County native, Dr. Mills graduated from Wake Forest University and Bowman Gray School of Medicine before moving back to Henderson in 1985. “When he was training, there was no question where he would practice medicine,” his wife, Janet T. Mills, recalled. “He loved being here as a doctor in his hometown. He thought of his patients and his staff, including his nurses, as his extended family.”
Dr. Mills served for 30 years a family practitioner at Henderson Family Medicine, later called Duke Primary Care of Henderson. To two of the Guild Gift Gallery volunteers who gathered to celebrate the creation of the new scholarship, Gean Bobbitt and Sylvia Edwards, he was their doctor. To another, Lou Reavis, he was her Sunday School teacher at First Baptist Church of Henderson.
“We are honored and humbled to receive this new endowment from the Guild, which continues its generous support for education by honoring the memory of an outstanding member of the community,” said VGCC Endowment director Eddie Ferguson. “Dr. Mills’s example of compassion, service and excellence in the health care field will inspire students for years to come. This scholarship will support our wonderful Health Sciences students, many of whom will stay right here to serve patients in our region.”
Dr. Mills had a specific connection to VGCC through his niece, Carrie, who graduated from the Associate Degree Nursing program and received endowed scholarships from the college. Today, she works as a nurse at WakeMed. Mills enjoyed talking to Carrie about her studies, according to his sister (her mother), Jane Mills Hicks.
“Dr. Franklin Mills was beloved by his patients, who appreciated not only his medical knowledge but also his caring and his dedication to them,” Henderson resident and Guild president Anne Bunch said. “He was carrying on the tradition of service in the community from his father, who was also a doctor. Now, we will try to continue that legacy through a scholarship in his name that will serve as a lasting tribute.”
Through the Endowment Fund, VGCC has awarded more than 8,000 scholarships to students since 1982. Scholarships have been endowed by numerous individuals, industries, businesses, civic groups, churches and the college’s faculty and staff. Tax-deductible donations to the VGCC Endowment Fund have often been used to honor or remember a person, group, business or industry with a lasting gift to education. For more information about the Endowment Fund, call (252) 738-3409.
For more information, contact: Andrew Beal, PIO
E-mail: [email protected]
The Henderson Police Department is still in need of the public’s help to solve a fatal hit and run which occurred about three weeks ago. Gordon Hargrove was in a wheelchair and was hit by a tractor trailer on East Andrews Avenue. He died at the scene.
A press release from Henderson Police says, “We are asking that anyone who was in this area and possibly witnessed anything involving this incident to please come forth with information.”
The release continues — On October 21, 2015, around 9:12 PM, officers with the Henderson Police Department responded to the area of E. Andrews Avenue and US 1 South in Henderson in reference to a person that had been struck by a semi-truck. Upon arrival, officers found the victim, Gordon Hargrove, deceased from serious injuries. The driver of the semi-truck struck the wheelchair-bound pedestrian, and then left the scene without contacting local authorities. The semi-truck drove away in the direction of US 1 South towards Vanco Mill Road, Henderson. The investigation is being conducted by members of the Henderson Police Department with the assistance from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
Companies that may have had their semi-trailer trucks in the area around the time of the collision are encouraged to contact the Henderson Police Department.
The Henderson Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating the semi-truck. Anyone having any information related to this case is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 252-492-1925 or the Henderson Police Department 252-438-4141. Crime Stoppers offer a reward up to $2,000 for information that may lead to an arrest. Callers may remain anonymous.
Authority: Chief M.W. Barrow
Henderson City Manager Frank Frazier has chosen Steve F. Cordell to become the next Fire Chief for the City of Henderson.
A press release from the City went on to say, “There were a number of well qualified applicants applying for this position, and after several interviews and careful deliberation, Steve Cordell was chosen as the top candidate to lead this department.
“Chief Cordell has over 24 years of experience with the Henderson Fire Department and has worked his way through the ranks of the department, serving as Assistant Fire Chief since 2008. He has also served as the Interim Fire Chief since the retirement of former Chief Danny Wilkerson.
“We look forward to working with Chief Cordell and have confidence that he will continue to strive for excellence within this department.”