News Roundup: Nov. 11-18

Each week we round up the latest N.C. agricultural headlines from news outlets across the state and country, as well as excerpts from the stories. Click on the links to go straight to the full story.

Top USDA official discusses future of farming as growers age,” Hendersonville Times-News: The No. 2 official with the U.S. Department of Agriculture told a packed crowd at Brevard College’s Porter Center Thursday that the farming industry has reached a time of “major transition,” but also has the chance to capitalize on the increasing “buy local” sentiment among American consumers. …

Fall – A Great Time to Soil Test! ,” Pender Gardener: If your lawn or garden did not do as well this year as you would have liked, part of the problem may be in the soil. …

Rural towns wonder how to keep kids,” News & Observer: Young people continue to leave rural North Carolina at an alarming rate, and the exodus will continue as long as the best jobs and volunteer opportunities are somewhere else, community leaders said Wednesday at the annual Rural Partners Forum. …

Post-Irene aid for N.C. reaches $64 million,” News & Observer: More than $64 million has been approved for disaster aid in North Carolina in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday that more than 34,000 people in the state have sought help or information on disaster assistance since the Category 1 hurricane. …

US farm exports boom as rest of economy struggles,” Charlotte Observer: As U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visits Vietnam and China to talk trade this week, he’s hoping to build on one of the few bright spots in the struggling American economy: agricultural exports. …

N.C. Christmas Tree Farms Ready For Best Season in Years,” Fox Charlotte: Take a short drive to the North Carolina mountains and you’ll find a mecca of Christmas tree farms. A tree can be cut, wrapped and in your living room within 24 hours! …

Dean Johnny Wynne announces retirement,” CALS News: Dean Johnny C. Wynne of North Carolina State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has announced his planned retirement, effective July 1, 2012. …

Asheville man finds new career in ancient art of aquaponics,” Asheville Citizen-Times: Everyone has heard the adage: Instead of giving a man a fish, it’s better to teach a man to fish. But Cliff Jagger had a better idea: Why not teach fish and plants to feed each other to then feed humans? …

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