Thursday, July 28, 2011

Transportation of Swine Law- Listening Session

In response to farmers’ concerns over the passage of House Bill 432- "Transportation of Swine," NC Choices, Animal Welfare Approved and the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS), Veterinary Division will host a listening session for NC swine producers from 6:30pm-8pm on August 3rd, 2011 in Raleigh (see below for directions).

Governor Beverly Purdue signed HB 432 "Transportation of Swine" into Session Law on June 27th. The new law takes effect October 1st, 2011. Of primary concern to small and mid-sized swine producers is the new prohibition against the transportation of live swine unless the swine has an official form of identification approved by the State Veterinarian. Anyone who transports live swine without carrying official identification may be subject to civil penalty. This includes all swine being sold and transported to another farm and all swine being transported to a processing facility for home use or commercial sale. Swine remaining on your farm, and not being transported, are not subject to this law.

The implementation of the ID program is the responsibility of the NCDA&CS -Veterinary Division. The Veterinary Division has approximately 12 weeks to design and implement a program that will work for farmers of all sizes. Dr. Tom Ray, Director of Animal Health Programs at the Veterinary Division has offered to meet with swine farmers to further discuss the implementation of the program and hear specific challenges to small and mid-sized producers who will now be required to ID animals in transport.

Swine Producers: This is an opportunity to share your ideas and voice your concerns on how this new ID program will affect your operation. There is no need to RSVP and no cost to participate. If you cannot attend, contact Casey McKissick ( and provide him with written comments. He will ensure they are submitted to the Division. Prior to attending, please take time to review the following documents Session Law "Transportation of Swine"- as signed by Governor Purdue June 27, 2011

NC Choices response to HB 432- "Transportation of Swine"

Directions: The meeting will be held in the Jim Graham Building Hall of Fame Room, located at the State Fairgrounds complex (see directions here). The Jim Graham Building is adjacent to Hillsborough Street, and is best accessed through Gate 2 from Hillsborough Street, Gates 4 or 5 from Youth Center Road, or Gate 9 from Trinity Road.

Non-native and Invasive Forest Plants Workshops for Landowners

The Non-native and Invasive Forest Plants Workshops for Landowners is a series of six free one-day educational workshops (choose one to attend that is closest to you) featuring presentations by experts in non-native invasive plants that impact North Carolina’s forests. Each workshop will engage regionally based stakeholder groups in the planning and educational content. These workshops are designed for family forest landowners, but all forestland ownership types and professional forestland managers and advisers are welcome. Commercial and educational exhibits will be displayed at each workshop.

These workshops are made possible by a grant from the USDA Forest Service, distributed by the North Carolina Forest Service, in partnership with North Carolina State University's Forestry and Environmental Outreach Program (FEOP).

Workshop Regional Locations and Dates:
· August 19, 2011 - Carthage, NC
· September 13, 2011 - Asheville, NC
· October 18, 2011 – Kenansville, NC
· February 7, 2012 - Williamston, NC
· May 1, 2012 - Greensboro, NC
· May 8, 2012 - Wilkesboro, NC

What You Will Learn:
What are non-native and invasive (NNI) species, and why should you care?
Identification of specific problem species
The impacts of these plants on forest communities (ecologic, economic and cultural)
How non-native species are introduced
What are the risks of the “do-nothing” style of management
Gain exposure to organized NNI stakeholder groups and efforts currently taking shape, or ongoing, in your region
Resources available to landowners and what steps you can take
How your neighbors and local professionals are dealing with NNI challenges

The workshop is free but you must pre-register. View the complete agenda and registration details at

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

NC Egg Law Survey

Do you raise laying hens in North Carolina? If so, you are probably familiar with the state’s Egg Law, which imposes standards for grading, labeling and marketing eggs. The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is conducting an evaluation of the law to identify ways to balance regulatory burdens on small farms with the need to ensure public health and orderly markets.

To develop information for that evaluation, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is asking small-scale NC egg producers to complete a survey. Your information will be kept confidential and results of the survey will only be reported in aggregate form. If you are an egg producer marketing your own eggs on the farm, at farmers markets, to local retailers and restaurants, or to other local foods venues, please take a couple of minutes to respond to this short, 15-question survey.

You can access the survey here,

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Shivaugn Rayl,

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Equipment Cost Share Opportunity for Ag & Forestry

There is a cost share program for agricultural producers funded through the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. The cost share program will cost share up to 50% of the cost of equipment for value-added agricultural products. The program is open to agricultural producers in North Carolina and to processors of NC agricultural products. Processors must use at least 50% NC agricultural inputs in their product. Agricultural products includes forestry products. For example a producer wanting to purchase a small sawmill to add value to timber production could apply.

There is an application period open now with applications due Aug 31. There will also likely be an application period early in 2012.

Information and application materials for the cost share program can be found at

Click here for cost share guidelines and applications:

A good article describing the program can be found at

If you have questions regarding the Equipment Cost Share Program, please contact Blake Brown at


Scholarship application deadline is Sept. 3, 2011.

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Scholarship program is designed to give new and beginning farmers and ranchers a low-cost opportunity to participate in Carolina Farm Stewardship Association's (CFSA) Sustainable Agriculture Conference Nov. 11-13, 2011 in Durham, NC.

The Sustainable Agriculture Conference is an unparalleled opportunity for beginning farmers to learn how to be successful in their sustainable farming enterprises. The conference has special programming for beginning farmers on basic farm planning, marketing, how to avoid common startup pitfalls, and applying for grants and loans for farmers. Other conference workshops cover cutting edge issues in sustainable agriculture, including organic weed and pest control, plant diseases, soil fertility, heritage livestock, food safety and processing, and direct marketing. All of it is essential information for new farms to thrive.

Scholarship recipients will be eligible to attend all regular conference activities, beginning with the dinner and evening program on Friday, Nov 11, and including all workshops, plenary sessions, meals and networking sessions taking place on Saturday, Nov. 12 and Sunday Nov. 13. The scholarship does not cover the pre-conference workshops and tours held on Nov. 11, or travel & lodging costs. The value of this scholarship totals $300.

Scholarship Eligibility: Up to 40 scholarships are available. For purposes of this scholarship program, a new or beginning farmer or rancher is defined as an individual who:* Has not operated a farm or ranch, or who has operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10 consecutive years, and* Will provide substantial day-to-day labor and management of the farm or ranch.

CFSA encourages minority farmers to take advantage of this scholarship. Fourteen of the 40 scholarships are reserved for minority farmers.

Scholarship Requirements: Recipients will be required to attend one of the two Basic Farm Planning workshops and cover the cost of their own lodging and travel expenses.

Scholarship Application Deadline:The deadline to apply for this scholarship is Sept. 3, 2011.

Scholarship recipients will be notified of award decisions by Sept. 23, 2011.

To Apply for the Scholarship, please complete the scholarship application and email to Cheryl Ripperton Rettie at Please put Beginning Farmer Scholarship in the subject line of your email. Applications can also be submitted by postal mail; send your completed application to:
c/o Beginning Farmer Scholarships
P.O. Box 448Pittsboro, NC 27312

Download Scholarship Application

.pdf -

.doc –

This scholarship program is made possible by a grant from National Institute for Food and Agriculture and the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and we are grateful for this support.

FSA Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP)

The "Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008" authorized the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) to provide benefits to livestock producers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather that occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2008, and before Oct. 1, 2011, including losses because of hurricanes, floods, blizzards, disease, wildfires, extreme heat, and extreme cold. The livestock death losses must also have occurred in the calendar year for which benefits are being requested.

LIP provisions are similar to other livestock indemnity programs implemented by FSA in recent years except that an owner or contract grower’s livestock do not have to be located in a county or contiguous county designated a natural disaster by the president or declared by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Under the current LIP, an owner or contract grower’s livestock payments will be based on individual producers’ losses.

Eligible Livestock Owners
To be eligible for LIP, a livestock producer must have legally owned the eligible livestock on the day the livestock died. Owners of the following types of livestock that were maintained for commercial use as part of a farming operation the day they died may be eligible for LIP: Cattle (beef & dairy), Buffalo/Beefalo, Chicken, Ducks, Geese, Turkeys, Hogs, Alpacas, Emus, Sheep, and Goats.

For More Information
For more information about FSA and its programs, visit your local USDA Service Center or online at:

Rabbit HAACP Training

The next Rabbit HAACP training course is scheduled for August 9-10, in Morganton. Registration fee for the two-day program is $60, which covers meals and materials. The registration deadline is August 2. The class size is limited to 24 participants, and they are nearly one-half full.

The registration form can be accessed here:

Contact information if you have questions regarding the program is available on the registration form.