I was raised in the city and am now married to the farm. By day I am a Marketing Specialist with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. In the evening I am a farm wife and mother.

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Women in Ag: 5 Things I Learned from School Food Tasting

I spent most of this week with school nutrition professionals, taste testing over 40 recipes that have been developed featuring fruits and vegetables offered through the North Carolina Farm to School program. This project started over a year ago and is still several months from completion. The goal is to have recipes that are standardized, meet federal requirements, are cost- and labor-effective, and feature fresh produce grown in our state.

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Women in Ag: Looking for a Man

Across North Carolina sweet potato farmers are on the lookout for a man. He’s ant-like in appearance, about 1/4 inch long, with a metallic blue head and wing covers and bright orange-red thorax and legs.  

Farmers are so serious about finding this man there are traps in every sweet potato field, packing shed and processing facility.  There are regulations on movement of sweet potato plants, roots and ornamental sweet potato plants or other hosts.  

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Women in Ag: When the Barn Burns

Smoke.  The shrill alarm of a fire truck.  These are sights and sounds no tobacco farmer wants to see or hear during harvest season.  
Two weeks ago friends heard and saw just that when they lost three bulk barns to a fire.  Fire claimed one of My Farmer’s barns years ago.  Several years ago we got the call that a neighbor’s barns were on fire.  I still remember the sight of firefighters scrambling to put out the blaze, pulling the metal boxes full of cured crop out of the barn to extinguish any flames.  
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Women in Ag: Halt! Who Goes There?

One Sunday while driving to scout our fields, I noticed that the power poles in one field had purple paint on them. “Why are those poles painted?” I asked. Turns out I was getting ready for a lesson on trespassing.

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Women in Ag: The Crack of the Bat

Baseball season is in full swing and I think most people recognize the sound of a bat as it connects with the ball.  You can thank agriculture (and the player at bat) for this signature sound.

Usually when I hear conversations about agriculture the discussion involves food (fruits, vegetables, grains, livestock) and occasionally fiber (cotton).  Rarely do I hear agriculture and forestry mentioned in the same breath but the truth is that forestry is a huge part of our industry.

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Women in Ag: When the Rain Doesn't Come

When the rain doesn’t come, they work twice as hard on the farm, which I didn’t think was possible.

When the rain doesn’t come, the crops can’t take advantage of the nutrients and fertilizer in the soil.

When the rain doesn’t come, we worry if the seedlings will emerge, if the transplants will survive, and if the crop will produce.

When the rain doesn’t come, we set sweet potato transplants, then have workers walk the field with a peg to replace the plants that didn’t survive.  

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Women in Ag: Dear Little Tikes

Dear Little Tikes,

My son received one of your turtle sandboxes for Christmas two years ago. He loves his sandbox and is happy spending hours moving sand around in it.

I would like to make one suggestion that I think many of your customers would benefit from. See, we are farmers and live in the country. I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo, but one of our fields is less than 20 feet from the sandbox.

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