There’s no debate that agriculture plays an important role in our lives – whether we are the farmers responsible for growing the crops, livestock and commodities that make their way into the food chain or whether we are the consumers of those products.
Producers and consumers gathered at the Vance County Regional Farmers Market Tuesday for a luncheon as part of the annual observance of Farm-City Week, sponsored by NC Farm Bureau and the local N.C. Cooperative Extension.
“We had a great day,” said Paul McKenzie, horticulture agent in Vance and Warren counties. McKenzie recapped Tuesday’s events on WIZS Wednesday during the weekly cooperative extension segment of The Local Skinny!
One local producer was honored for his 25 years as a vendor with the farmers market.
Calvin Adcock has followed the farmers market to its various locations over the years – from humble beginnings on William Street to the YMCA and city operations center to the current location.
Adcock has been bringing fresh produce from his raised garden beds and home canned products to the farmers market, and “quickly developed a reputation for selling quality products,” McKenzie said.
“He is one of the hardest working vendors,” said Wayne Rowland, who also noted that Adcock was honored as Vance County’s Small Farmer of the Year in 2016.
“If you have been to the farmers market, you will see him most every day that the market is open,” Rowland continued. In addition to his devotion to the farmers market, Adcock also has helped the cooperative extension and other producers through his participation on the Small Farms Advisory Council and the Farmers Market Advisory Council.
“He is a wonderful person to work with,” Rowland said.
McKenzie said in written remarks that Adcock “has shown fierce loyalty and dedication to the market, showing up consistently with a warm smile and a good selection of products.”
The guest speaker for the luncheon was Jake Parker, legislative counsel and NC Farm Bureau’s legislative director. Parker discussed the work that Farm Bureau does on behalf of farmers, as well as some of the big issues facing agriculture.
The Farm Bureau provides insurance for farmers, but it does so much more as an advocacy and a community organization, McKenzie said.
“The Vance County Farm Bureau has done an unparalleled job in supporting the community,” he said, from providing equipment to Vance Charter School’s ag program to scholarships at Vance-Granville Community College and more.
As rural areas face increased development, farmers also can face complaints from new neighbors who feel their lives are being disrupted by the dust, sounds and smells that sometimes are created on farms as farmers plant, cultivate and harvest crops.
Parker, in his work with Farm Bureau, strives to protect farmers against nuisance lawsuits to create reasonable policies “to help farmers continue to make a living and continue to produce the food supply that we need,” McKenzie said.
Finding and maintaining positive relationships between farmers and nearby neighbors is critical, he added.