Vance County couple are top small farmers in North Carolina
Greensboro – Vance County growers Louis and Magnolia Williams were named the 2015 North Carolina Small Farmers of the Year by The Cooperative Extension Program at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University during ceremonies Wednesday on the campus. The couple and their LouMag Enterprises were lauded for 41-years of farm production, including row crops of watermelon, sweet potatoes and other vegetables, as well as extending their growing season into fall by using high-tunnel hoop structures, selling at farmers markets, and for transplant production.
The Williamses attributed part of their success to guidance from Vance County Cooperative Extension, whose staff nominated LouMag for the farming award.
“My husband and I both grew up on farms in Vance County,” Magnolia Williams said. “We have worked with the Vance County Cooperative Extension Office for over 30 years as we participate in various trainings to learn more about agriculture and increase our profit with our farm.”
Louis Williams thanked an audience of about 300 at the awards program and said it was a surprise to be chosen.
Small Farms Week recognizes the small-scale producers in North Carolina who generate $250,000 or less, annually, in agricultural gross sales. The Williamses were presented with gifts of a plaque, monogrammed jackets and $1,500 during a Small Farmers’ Appreciation Day program, which was the culmination of the 29th annual observance of Small Farms Week. Workshops, farm tours, demonstrations and panel discussions were also part of the series of events.
This year also marks the 125th anniversary of the Second Morrill Act, which established the system of 1890 land-grant institutions such as N.C. A&T State University, and 18 other historically black colleges and universities.