News Roundup: Dec. 8-14

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.

  • FDA review of tobacco products grinds to a halt,” Charlotte Observer: Talk about a smoke break. Tobacco companies have introduced almost no new cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products in the U.S. in more than 18 months because the federal government has prevented them from doing so, an Associated Press review has found. …
  • Planners support loosening Durham agriculture limits,” Durham Herald-Sun: An ordinance that would loosen existing restrictions on where farmers’ markets and farms can operate in Durham picked up a key endorsement this week from the Durham Planning Commission. …
  • Cheers! Oskar Blues brewery opens in Brevard,” Asheville Citizen-Times: The lively local craft beer scene really got hopping Wednesday with the opening of the new Oskar Blues East Coast expansion plant. It’s the first of three big national craft breweries coming to Western North Carolina, and it joins almost 20 smaller breweries already open around the mountains, most of them in Asheville. …
  • Next farm bill could be the last,” Southeast Farm Press: As Congress decides whether to move on a new farm bill or to continue to punt the issue into next year, some wonder if this could be the last farm bill available to U.S. producers. …
  • Taking stock of their livelihood,” Charlotte Observer: Around two years ago, Bradley and Nicole Mills starting looking at their livestock – and their livelihood – in a different way….
  • Competition dining adds Asheville and Charlotte,” Mountain Times: Last year, Blowing Rock’s Fire on the Rock Competition Dining Series went statewide. …In 2013, the competition will pick up two new locations. Fire on the Rock will have both an Asheville and a Blowing Rock component, and Fire in the City will take place in Charlotte. …
  • Herald-Sun editorial: Rural America looks to make a comeback,” Durham Herald-Sun: Depending upon where you live, as well as your background in agriculture (or lack of same), you might not realize the impact that agriculture and rural communities have on everyone, whether you live in an urban area or a rural one. …
  • Robeson County farmer seeking to become ag spokesman in national contest,” Fayetteville Observer: A Robeson County farmer is in the running to become a national spokesman for agriculture and farming. Bo Stone was selected Nov. 15 as one of nine finalists for the “Faces of Farming and Ranching” contest sponsored by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. …
  • Troxler says NC Exports Moving State’s Ag Economy to $100 billion Goal,” Southern Farm Network: North Carolina’s Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler says the USDA recently released information about agricultural exports for 2011 and it was a record year for the state. The total value of NC agricultural exports was mroe than $3.75 billion, a half-billion dollar increase from 2010, and boosting North Carolina to 11th in the nation. …
  • Blighted icon: Volunteers aim to revive chestnut,” WRAL: Jim Hurst has doted on his trees, arranged in three “families” on a bluff high above the rushing French Broad River….Hurst hopes the trees on his hillside farm — part of a vast experiment in forest plots where this “linchpin” species thrived before the onslaught of an imported parasite — might hold the key to regaining that Eden. …
  • Forest farming key to saving wild ginseng from extinction,” Hendersonville Times-News: For generations, Appalachian residents have harvested ginseng roots as a source of extra income. Often, whole families would search the woods each fall for the distinctive three- or four-pronged plant and the lucrative roots lying beneath its yellow leaves. …
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