New assistant manager has deep roots in agricultural fairs; brings a passion for ag education to the job

The N.C. State Fair’s new assistant manager Robert Fogle is new to North Carolina, but definitely not to agricultural fairs. The native of Frederick, Maryland grew up showing animals at his local fair through 4-H and FFA programs, gaining a love for agricultural education along the way. Fogle, 51, showed dairy goats, market lambs and beef cattle. Today, he and his family still raise Dorper and Shropshire sheep, which are now shown by his nieces. Those early experiences instilled many life lessons and left Fogle with a fondness for agricultural fairs, so he is not surprised he has ended up…

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Heart-led Home Chef Challenge Celebrates Cancer Warriors – Entries due Oct. 3

“As human beings, food connects us to each other more than anything else,” said Dr. Neeraj Agrawal, Duke Health Cancer Care oncologist. Each day the N.C. State Fair hosts cooking competitions to showcase the talents of home chefs in the area. On Saturday, Oct. 22, the judging will be a little more heart-led than usual. In partnership with Duke Raleigh Hospital’s Cancer Care program, the recipes will focus on cancer warriors in remembrance or celebration of someone who has experienced cancer. Each entry must include a story of why this dish represents someone who has fought cancer. The story will…

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The Kennedy Family has a fair devotion to swine

Brian and Sherry Kennedy of Duplin County are devoted N.C. State fairgoers. Not only do they pack up the family to attend the annual State Fair, but they are keen livestock competitors, especially when it comes to showing swine. Brian Kennedy’s passion for livestock started at a young age. “My life has always been ingrained in agriculture. Growing up, I was a part of FFA. At first, I started by showing steers and heifers and then moved into swine showmanship.” Brian is the finishing production manager at Prestage Farms where he has worked since 1991. His job at Prestage Farms,…

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State Fair Adventurer Scavenger Hunts helps make the fair an educational experience

Calling all elementary, middle and high school students – the fair makes it easy to turn your field trip to the fair into an educational one. The State Fair Adventurer Scavenger Hunts allow students and their teachers or parents to learn a little about the state while at the fair. Once completed, students can turn in their answers and receive a State Fair Adventurer Ribbon. “Each year we try to include new booths and questions on the annual hunt,” said Kent Yelverton, fair manager. “Locations like the Flower Show, N.C. Forest Service and N.C. Wildlife Resources Commision are always excited…

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New fair competitions highlight creativity and art

If you are headed to the beach for one last weekend of summer this Labor Day you might want to pick up a shell or two. One of this year’s new competitions is seashell art. It joins the line up with traditional fair competitions like artwork, photography, livestock, cooking, canned food, flowers, woodworking, decorated cakes and more. “It is exciting to announce new competitions to go along with categories that are alwaysso popular, like decorated cakes and quilts,” said John Buettner, competitive exhibitscoordinator. “We have competitions to appeal to a wide variety of individuals from painted rocks, terrarium building, shoe…

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In-person Interns are back: Meet Sweet Potato

Katie Hubbard

Hi, I’m Katie, recently nicknamed Sweet Potato by my fun and loving coworkers here at the Department of Agriculture. I am so lucky to be the first in-person intern since 2019; I was even granted my own ultra mini desk. (I’m only kidding), it’s wonderful here, and I can’t wait to become part of such a memorable event. A little bit about me, I’m a rising junior at UNC-Chapel Hill, where I am studying Communications with a concentration in media, technology, and production. Before starting college, I grew up in Wilkesboro, a rural farm-loving town at the foothills of the…

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“Ag”vocating for the Industry at Williams Produce Farm

Leah

The Young Farmer of the Day program is a new addition to the Got To Be N.C. Festival. The program, sponsored by Farm Credit, recognizes three young farmers who work hard everyday to impact our state’s agriculture industry & blaze the trail for a strong future. Individuals either nominated themselves or were nominated by members of the community. One young farmer will be recognized each day of the Got To Be N.C. Festival, taking place May 20-22, 2022 at the N.C. State Fairgrounds! For over 100 years, the Williams family has been growing a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables…

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Roots run deep at Andrews Tree Farm & Nursery

Landon

The Young Farmer of the Day program is a new addition to the Got To Be N.C. Festival. The program, sponsored by Farm Credit, recognizes three young farmers who work hard everyday to impact our state’s agriculture industry & blaze the trail for a strong future. Individuals either nominated themselves or were nominated by members of the community. One young farmer will be recognized each day of the Got To Be N.C. Festival, taking place May 20-22, 2022 at the N.C. State Fairgrounds! Andrews Tree Farm & Nursery in Sparta has been providing high-quality Christmas trees to the community since…

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Six generations of community centered agriculture at Powers Strawberries & Market

Family photo

The Young Farmer of the Day program is a new addition to the Got To Be N.C. Festival. The program, sponsored by Farm Credit, recognizes three young farmers who work hard everyday to impact our state’s agriculture industry & blaze the trail for a strong future. Individuals either nominated themselves or were nominated by members of the community. One young farmer will be recognized each day of the Got To Be N.C. Festival, taking place May 20-22, 2022 at the N.C. State Fairgrounds! Powers Strawberries and Farm Market in Lumberton has been a staple in the community for six generations!…

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New fairgrounds police chief settling in just in time for GTBNC festival

The N.C. State Fair has a new police chief who’s just getting settled into the job in time for the Got to Be NC Festival. Anthony “Tony” Prignano started on April 25. Technically, his job title is Public Safety and Security Chief, and it’s a shift from his decades of work in the Durham County Sheriff’s Office. “When I retired from the sheriff’s office in March at age 53, I didn’t want to just quit working,” Prignano said. “I’ve been in in law enforcement for nearly 30 years. It’s not just something that leaves your blood. When it comes to…

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