Partner Profile: The North Carolina Small Grain Growers Association
North Carolina farmers plant on average 500,000 acres of small grains annually, predominantly soft red winter wheat harvested for animal feed and for milling purposes to make flour. The Association also represents barley, oats, rye, grain sorghum and canola/rapeseed. The North Carolina Small Grain Growers Association was one of the early supporters of the N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative, continuing its mission to invest in research that will improve the small grain industry in North Carolina and beyond. We caught up with Executive Director Nikki Johnson to learn more about the association.
Please tell us about the North Carolina Small Grains Growers Association.
The North Carolina Small Grain Growers Association, Inc. is a non-profit corporation formed by a group of small grain producers and agri-business representatives from across the state to educate, promote, market and advocate for the small grains industry. Our goal is to participate in all matters relative to the interest of small grain producers in North Carolina.
Why was the association interested in funding the N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative?
Our association felt this innovative research center would create a world-class facility, making our state the leader in agriculture — we really wanted to be a part of making that happen. We believe the research that will be delivered from the Plant Sciences Initiative will positively impact our state and the world.
What are you hoping will come out of the partnership?
We look forward to seeing the innovative research that ultimately helps our growers with the ongoing agricultural challenges they face each year, such as a rapidly growing population, less farmland, climate changes, crop diseases and pests. We hope the Plant Sciences Initiative will continue to grow agriculture for North Carolina and keep our industry strong.
Photo caption: North Carolina Small Grain Growers Association Executive Director Nikki Johnson and former President Timmy Thomas at the N.C. Plant Sciences Building groundbreaking ceremony in 2019.
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Senior Director of Development, Plant Sciences Initiative