Northeast NC Niche Agriculture Conference set for Nov. 18

Published 4:32 pm Friday, October 28, 2022

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BARCO – A new event is happening in Northeast North Carolina!

On Nov. 18, the Northeast North Carolina Niche Agriculture Conference will be held at the Currituck County Extension Center in Barco. This is the inaugural year of an annual event focusing on niche crops and livestock topics for small farmers and aspiring farmers in this part of the state.

The conference will begin at 9 a.m. and includes a full day of speakers and exhibitors. Livestock and horticulture educational sessions will run concurrently during the conference.

Livestock and horticulture educational sessions will run concurrently during the conference. Livestock topics will include alternative swine rearing systems, poultry production and processing, small ruminants (sheep and goats), understanding the new Veterinary Feed Directive and the NC Choices program. Horticulture presentations will include growing ginger in field and high tunnel, cut flowers, microgreens, and food safety for small farms.   Extension specialists and successful local farmers will present research based information and experiences.

A sponsored lunch is included, with keynote speaker Ron Simmons of Master Blend Family Farms, one of the 2022 Pinehurst BBQ Invitational Pitmasters, a 2021 Kingsford Preserve the Pit Fellow, 2019 NC Cooperative Extension Golden Star recipient, and 2018 NC Small Farmer of the year. In 2019, Ron’s farm was utilized as a shooting location for a major Hollywood film, Abandoned, starring Emma Roberts. Master Blend Family farms sells their products to premium restaurants, high-end eateries, and professional sports stadiums. He will share his story of developing and marketing their small farm successfully.

Registration is required for this event, but there is no cost. You can register by going to or by contacting your local NC Cooperative Extension office.

Exhibitors representing state and federal agricultural agencies, small farm groups, farm suppliers and NC Cooperative Extension will be available during breaks and designated exhibitor times for one on one visits.