We've all seen the bumper sticker - 'No Farms. No Food.' While agriculture remains North Carolina's largest industry, a new census from the U.S. Department of Agriculture reveals that farmers in the state are getting older and scarcer. Experts say we need more growers and more attention on building the local and regional food economies. Eating local isn’t just the hip thing to do anymore; many see it as vital for environmental sustainability as well. Farmers markets are growing in popularity, more restaurants are locally-sourcing their ingredients and we're seeing the rise of agritourism that connects the eaters with the growers. Ahead of the 'Know Your Farms' tour this weekend, we meet some of our local farmers and food systems experts to find out about their challenges and discuss the future of food and farming in the Charlotte region.
Aaron Newton - Local Food System Program Coordinator for Cabarrus County. Farm Manager at the Elma C. Lomax Incubator Farm and co-author of A Nation of Farmers: Defeating the Food Crisis on American Soil
Kristin Davis - Extension Agent, Mecklenburg County, NC State University Cooperative Extension Service and Local Foods Coordinator for the Center for Environmental Farming Systems’ 10% Campaign.
Mary Roberts - Farmer, Co-Owner of Windcrest Organic Farm in Union County.
Greg Jones - Volunteer Coordinator for the 'Know Your Farms' farm tour