North Carolina’s agricultural offerings can be described in one word: abundant. From broilers, corn and cotton to blueberries, sweet potatoes and turkeys, the state produces a wide variety of crops and commodities, contributing significantly to both its own and the nation’s economies.
An astounding 50,200-plus farms – totaling more than 8.4 million acres of farmland across the state – help push North Carolina to the top of the pack. The state is the national leader in production of all tobacco, flue-cured tobacco and sweet potatoes. It ranks second in the nation for Christmas tree sales, hogs and turkeys, as well as poultry and egg cash receipts.
These agricultural commodities are important, but North Carolina’s industry is made of much more. Food manufacturing, aquaculture and seafood, exports, agritourism, agricultural education, and technology and innovation are just a few of the other aspects the state’s industry encompasses. And none of it would be successful if not for the hardworking farmers who make it their life’s work to care for the land and feed the world.
Farmers are the original conservationists. An understanding passed down through generations, they know the importance of land stewardship for their livelihoods. North Carolina farmers continue to do their part to use best management practices, water and soil conservation methods, sustainable growing methods, and more to leave the land better than they found it for the next generation of growers.
On that same thread, stewardship extends to their communities as well. Who better to feed the hungry than those who grow our food? Making sure people have fresh food to eat, whether by visiting a food bank or a next-door neighbor, is a top priority for farmers.
It is this level of care – for North Carolina and North Carolinians – that keeps the industry thriving.
From Dirt to Shirt
Mindful Supply Co. is providing cozy, soft, high-quality apparel straight from the soil.
With the goal of creating a quality product right here at home, Mindful Supply Co. set out to build a sustainable company and supply chain, using locally grown cotton to make its products. The T-shirts, hats, bags and more are also made at local gins, with the knitting, dyeing, designing and printing all happening in North Carolina. The “mindful” part happens in three ways – being mindful of where clothing comes from, how it’s made and who makes it.
The company even allows customers to “track their shirt,” providing the story of its journey from seed to closet.
Learn more about Mindful Supply Co. and how to order products at mindfulsupply.com.
Fueling the Way
Ethanol is usually field corn’s endgame, but Raeford-based Tyton NC Biofuels is shaking things up. The ethanol biorefinery uses energy from tobacco as a feedstock for ethanol production with little modification.
Corn is still a major player in biofuels production, and Tyton plans to use the crop initially but eventually transition to tobacco as it continues to grow more acres. This energy tobacco is expected to produce up to three times the amount of ethanol per acre as corn, significantly securing North Carolina’s place in the biofuels arena.
Biofuels, including ethanol and biodiesel, are better for the environment, resulting in less carbon dioxide emissions. They also help North Carolina’s economy, allowing farmers the opportunity to grow crops specifically for the industry.
Learn more about Tyton NC Biofuels at tytonbiofuels.com.