Volume 20 | Issue 18
State offering free masks for farm workers
The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is offering to deliver surgical-grade masks at no-cost for farm workers.

To support prevention efforts that are proven to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, NCDHHS is implementing its plan this week to deliver over 900,000 masks and other infection control supplies to North Carolina Cooperative Extension county centers across the state for distribution to farms and agricultural operations. In addition to masks, the deliveries included hand sanitizer and cloth face coverings for workers to take home.

Thirty-one counties have been selected to receive the first delivery, including: Alamance, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Duplin, Durham, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Franklin, Granville, Greene, Guilford, Harnett, Henderson, Johnston, Lee, Lenoir, Lincoln, Martin, Mecklenburg, Nash, Pender, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Wake, Wayne, Wilson.

“Many of our farmworkers live in group housing, putting them at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19. Providing masks is one way we are helping to protect workers,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen.

NCDHHS is partnering with N.C. Cooperative Extension, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the N.C. Department of Labor and the N.C. Agromedicine Institute to expedite a delivery plan and raise awareness about this resource among the farming community.

“Some of these supplies have been difficult for farmers to source as demand has exceeded supply. I am grateful that farmworkers and farmers have been prioritized for these much-needed materials,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “The health of our farmers and farmworkers is very important because we all rely on them every day.”

If you are in one of the 31 counties listed above, contact your County Cooperative Extension office to arrange for masks.


Contact the Office of the State Veterinarian directly. Send a point of contact (name, phone number, email address and delivery address) as well as the number of workers at your facility to: Dr. Doug Meckes, state veterinarian

Signage (like the image above, is available in English and Spanish from NCDHHS
Lamb named NC Farmer of the Year for Sunbelt Expo
James L. "Cookie" Lamb of Clinton was recently named the Swisher Sweets / Sunbelt Expo North Carolina Farmer of the Year. The honor puts him in the running to be named the Southeastern Farmer of the Year. A distinguished panel of judges will be in Sampson County in early August to interview the Lamb family and tour his operation. There are winners in 10 states competing for the honor. The winner will be announced at the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, Ga., in October.

He was nominated for the honor by Jessica H. Tripp, district Field Representative for North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation . His application was selected by a panel of judges as the North Carolina winner.

“James Lamb is a nationwide advocate for agriculture, a leader and gifted spokesperson for North Carolina’s hog industry, and an educator who enjoys informing the public about where food comes from and introducing them to new trends and innovations in today’s agriculture," Tripp said. "Farming for him is not just a job; it’s a way of life, a heritage, and a calling.”

Since its inception in 1990, the Swisher Sweets / Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year Award has evolved into the most prestigious honor in the southeast and nation with 265 outstanding agribusiness leaders being honored for their “excellence in agriculture.” Ten states participate in the program: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

Lamb isn't the first pig farmer to represent North Carolina. Danny Kornegay was named Southeastern Farmer of the Year in 2015, Wilbur Earp represented in 2013 and Tommy Porter took home the top prize in 2011.

If you are interested in being considered for the 2021 Swisher Sweets / Sunbelt Ag Expo Farmer of the Year award, contact your local Farm Bureau field representative.
BE AWARE: activist activity expected to increase the last week of August in Georgia, Carolinas
An activist group with the goal to "eradicate the normalization of violence against all sentient beings" and "achieve animal liberation" is hosting a Week of Action, August 23-29, with events scheduled for each day in Georgia, South Carolina or North Carolina. Most events will be held in collaboration with the Animal Save Movement and its local chapters. They are planning events in North Carolina on Aug. 28 & 29.

All farms and plants in the area should be on high alert that week, as well as the days leading up to and after the event, as activists traveling through the area may target facilities.   
What can you do on your farm?

The most important this you can do is to remain vigilant. We would encourage you to review all new hires and applicants for jobs and conduct thorough background checks. Watch the facilities around your farms. Pay attention to unusual vehicles or activities near your farms. On the inside of your buildings, watch for anything that seems out of place or unusual. We believe the activists used wireless cameras that then connected to a mobile hotspot like you could create with your phone to download video. You should be aware of any new or unusual wireless networks in or around your farms.

Report unusual activity

If you see unusual activity, please let your local law enforcement officials know. We’d also ask that you let us know . We can share information about unusual activity with other producers in the area and with state officials. The NC Pork Council is asking the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services to share information about these activist activities in other states with law enforcement officials in North Carolina.
It's not too late too late to take part in the Summer of 'Cue!
From now until Labor Day, gather your family and check some restaurants off your Barbecue Bucket List! Throughout your travels, post five photos of you and/or your plate at five different NC BBQ Restaurants and we’ll send you a special edition “NC PORK SUMMER OF ‘CUE” t-shirt! More info
Nominations needed for pork delegates
The North Carolina Pork Council is seeking nominations for the 2021 National Pork Producers (Pork Act) Delegate Body. Those elected to serve will represent North Carolina at the Pork Industry Forum scheduled for March 3-5, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Individuals eligible for nomination as a Pork Act Delegate must meet the following requirements:
1.  An individual, or an authorized representative of a corporate producer, who produces porcine animals in the U.S. for sale in commerce and is subject to assessment.
2.  The individual, or the entity they represent, must have paid all checkoff assessments due since the previous election (August 2019).
3.  Must be a resident of North Carolina.
4.  Must be 18 years of age or older.

As you consider candidates to nominate, the National Pork Board encourages states to have greater participation by women and minorities in the process of nominating and electing producer delegates. 

All nominations must be submitted by 5 pm on Monday, August 3 rd .

To submit a nomination, please email the candidate’s name to Amy Cave at amy@ncpork.org .

If you have any questions, please contact Amy Cave by email or at 919-781-0361.
Iowa State University Extension, in partnership with the Iowa Pork Producer Council, is hosting a five-part webinar series starting Aug. 19, about swine farm maintenance. Topics include concrete pit maintenance and construction, truss management, roof and moisture management, and other repair and maintenance issues that can help protect the building and extend its life. The webinars will also cover a new way of making clean air enter into the attic space to minimize pit ventilated gases from entering the attic during periods of minimum ventilation during winter months. Maintenance and repair methods for concrete slats to help enhance their usable life will also be covered.

Pre-registration is required and the cost is $20, which gives you access to all five webinars. You can tune into only the sessions that are relevant to you. Learn more
Share your pork pride using #NCPorkProud