SMALL FARM FIELD DAY AT UNIVERSITY FARM ATTRACTS FARMERS AND STUDENTS

The North Carolina A&T State University Cooperative Extension Program held its 12th annual Small Farm Field Day at A&T’s University Farm.

Local farmers and eager students were scattered among the crowd engaging with cooperative extension representatives as they demonstrated the latest agricultural technologies and techniques.

“We’re showing some of the research and demonstrations that we do here at the farm. This is our way of helping farmers; they can ask questions and it introduces them to cooperative extension and what we have here at the university,” said Grace Summers a Cooperative Extension associate.

Summers presented bell pepper production during the field day. Other presentations included organic pesticides, cucumber grafting, protective equipment for noise and respiratory hazards, crops for biofuel, sheep and goat forages, pastured pork and plants from test tubes.

A professor of natural resources and environmental design, Gouchen Yang explained micro propagation of plant tissue culture or “test tube plants.”

“That means we can produce a lot of plants within a short period of time which is an alternative and faster way to produce plants,” he said. “The technique can be used for any plants but you have to fine tune it.”

Local high school students at the field day talked about their school garden, greenhouse and agriculture club Gen Z.

“With Gen Z we’re going to take stuff we grow out of the garden and sell it at the local farmers market,” said Katelynn Nielsen, “and to teachers and students,” Anttraniecey Elps added.

The Cooperative Extension Program at A&T serves as  a historical reverence for the university’s humble beginnings. North Carolina A&T is an 1890 Land-Grant Institution created by the Second Morrill Act of 1890. Land-grants were responsible for educating citizens in agriculture, home economics, mechanical arts and other practical professions.

The extension program provides training and technical assistance to groups and individuals across North Carolina in the areas of sustaining agriculture and forestry, protecting the environment, maintaining viable communities, developing responsible youth and developing strong, healthy and safe families.