On the Local Level Winter 2019-20

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Take a look at what’s happening with the North Carolina Farm Bureau across the state this winter:

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Photo by John Lambeth

Achievement Award

Josh Watson grew up on a beef cattle and tobacco farm, and he traces his farming career back to working for his father at age 12. In 2001, he tried his hand at growing an acre of tomatoes, kicking off his produce business. After studying agribusiness management in college, he married his wife, Mayghan. The couple now owns a 65-acre farm in Surry County called The Farm that encompasses a roadside stand, a CSA program and an educational agritourism operation. That includes the state’s first and only pizza farm, which is a half-acre circle divided into “slices” that grow wheat, tomatoes, onions and herbs, as well as a T-shirt garden with cotton landscaped into the design of a shirt.

These creative agricultural endeavors, along with extensive leadership experience, helped the Watsons win the 2019 Agricultural Achievement Award, which recognizes young farmers and ranchers who have excelled in their operations and honed their leadership abilities to superiority. The contestants are evaluated on a combination of their farm’s operational growth and its financial progress, as well as leadership and participating in Farm Bureau and other organizations. Judges look for excellence in management, growth and scope of the enterprise and self-initiative.

The Watsons hope to one day expand their farm to include a cannery, where they would offer classes on food preservation in an effort to reduce food waste, and a restaurant serving family-style meals comprised exclusively of North Carolina products. In the meantime, kids and adults alike are learning about agriculture on field trips, at birthday parties and through the CSA program. Learn more at letsgotothefarm.com. 

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