ARE Excels at the 2022 Extension Conference

NC State Extension employees were invited to attend the 2022 Extension State Conference in Greensboro, North Carolina on Oct. 3 – 5. The conference included 11 sessions with over 100 different workshops to choose from. Most ARE extension faculty and associates were in attendance, and several presented their research during the sessions.

From left to right: NC A&T Cooperative Extension Interim Administrator Barbara Board, Extension Associate Brittany Whitmire and NC State Extension Director Rich Bonanno.

Brittany Whitmire, dairy extension associate, presented at the conference and was also honored with the Charles M. Brickhouse Career Development Award. This endowment is given to extension employees who seek to enhance their professional competencies through study trips, workshops, seminars and other development opportunities.

Congratulations, Brittany!

The workshops that our department’s extension faculty and associates presented in can be found below, in chronological order:

Agricultural Economic Issues and Updates
Andrew Branan, Eric Edwards, Nick Piggott and Rod Rejesus

The goals of this workshop were to provide attendees with: a market outlook for corn and soybeans in NC, updates on the Farm Bill, crop insurance and other related agricultural policies, information on agriculture and environment issues in NC (water, manure and carbon offsets), and discussion of legal issues relevant to agricultural land use, production and resource protection.

Southeast Dairy Business Innovation Initiative Grants for Farmers
Stephanie Ward and Brittany Whitmire

Attendees learned about the Southeast Dairy Business Innovation Initiative that offers grants focused on value-added dairy businesses. The application for the 2022 cycle is currently open through Nov. 1, 2022. This program is intended for existing or prospective dairy businesses that develop, produce, market, or distribute dairy products. Last year, 11 NC dairy businesses received $1.7 million for feasibility studies and specialized equipment.

Peaches & Cream: Economic Updates for Specialty Crops & Dairy
Daniel Tregeagle and Brittany Whitmire

Attendees joined ARE colleagues for an economic and policy update focused on specialty crops and dairy in North Carolina. Tregeagle discussed the outlook for the specialty crop sector, including macroeconomic forecasts, and trends in costs and prices. Whitmire relayed findings from a 2021 study on milk movement in North Carolina and the greater southeast.

Agricultural Labor Outlook
Alejandro Gutierrez-Li

This session discussed the agricultural labor supply problem, why it matters and what employers can do to mitigate the effects. Gutierrez-Li also discussed the H-2A Visa Program, extreme weather events and updated immigration policies, and what they mean for labor availability.

Refresher for Discover NC Dairy 360 & Troubleshooting VR Goggles
Brittany Whitmire

Discover NC Dairy 360 uses virtual reality headsets to enhance programming in counties across North Carolina. This session was a refresher course, a training session for anyone new to the headsets and a troubleshooting clinic.

Agriculture Issues for Non-Ag Agents
Tyrone Fisher, Mark Seitz and Derek Washburn

Social media is rife with false assumptions and misinformation about how food is produced on farms in 2022. This session had the goal of helping non-Ag Agents better understand how we got where we are, how farming is done today and why things are done differently here in the U.S. versus Europe, Asia or South America.

Great job, everyone!

To learn more about our extension programs, visit our ARE Extension page