NCDA&CS employees attend N.C. State University’s Tobacco Short Course

Photo of Tobacco Short Course participants

Five NCDA&CS employees and an N.C. State University entomology graduate student were among the 34 participants in the N.C. State Tobacco Short Course, led by Dr. Loren Fisher, N.C. State's director of tobacco programs. Pictured are, left to right: Fisher; Blair Owens of the Border Belt Tobacco Research Station; Aurora Toennisson, N.C. State graduate student; John Couch of the Upper Mountain Research Station; Lloyd Ransom of the Border Belt Research Station; agronomist Dwayne Tate; Steven Mills of the Upper Coastal Plain Research Station; and Dr. Sandy Stewart, director of the NCDA&CS Research Stations Division.

A new regional agronomist in the Agronomic Services Division and four representatives from three research stations were among the 34 participants who took part recently in the N.C. State Tobacco Short Course in Raleigh.

Participating from the department were Dwayne Tate, Region 12 agronomist with the Agronomic Services Division; Steven Mills of the Upper Coastal Plain Research Station in Edgecombe County; Lloyd Ransom and Blair Owens of the Border Belt Tobacco Research Station in Columbus County; and John Couch of the Upper Mountain Research Station in Ashe County.

During the week of the N.C. State Tobacco Short Course, which coincided with the Southern Farm Show and the annual meeting of the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina, the five NCDA&CS employees took part in workshops and other events aimed at helping them better understand all facets of tobacco production and marketing. One day of the short course included a field tour with stops at the N.C. State Ports Authority and the manufacturing plant for Fair Products Inc. sucker control products, both in Wilmington, and the farm of Tony Jones, a tobacco grower who farms in Wayne, Sampson and Duplin counties.

“Since our industry continues to face change, we need to make sure our younger farmers are able to focus on how to attain efficient, quality tobacco production,” says Dr. Bill Collins, a retired N.C. State University tobacco extension specialist and coordinator of the short course program.

The program was conducted by the North Carolina Tobacco Foundation in partnership with the NCSU College of Agricultural and Life Sciences with a grant from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. Instructors in the program included N.C. State extension specialists in agricultural economics, biological and agricultural engineering, crop science, entomology and plant pathology.

–Information and photo courtesy of Jim Haskins, ABC Group

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