The Johnston County Visitors Bureau (JCVB) in partnership with the NC Cooperative Extension Johnston County Center, and the JoCo Grows Agriculture Steering Committee, is working to bridge the gap between consumers and the farming community. The committee was recently awarded a grant in the amount of $111,900 from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission (NCTTFC). This funding will support the JoCo Grows Agriculture Steering Committee’s efforts to market and gain awareness of the importance of agriculture in Johnston County.
“JoCo Grows is a way to let people know about what’s in season here in this part of North Carolina,” stated Michelle Pace, owner of Pace Family Farms, “we’re behind the scenes, to help bridge the gap between consumers and agriculture today, and the agriculture industry.”
As strawberry season continues, many planned promotional efforts have already been executed. Radio ads about picking strawberries ran regionally for 2 weeks, with an additional week of special giveaways. The JCVB and the Extension had a booth at the Ham & Yam festival, giving out goodie bags full of info and fun items. Visitors and residents that purchased strawberries from a local farm were given a postcard in their bag about JoCo Grows. Most recently, a strawberry season video was produced and shared which can be viewed on YouTube. (or below).
Strawberry season will likely continue for 2 more weeks, and pick-your-own farms will keep their fields open as long as the strawberries last. If you haven’t already, visit the unique web page set-up to promote strawberry season in the county: www.jocogrowsstrawberries.com.
Efforts like these will remain a part of the grant initiatives through 2023 to introduce area farms to local and regional consumers; plans are in place to highlight other growing seasons in the future.
Be sure to follow JoCo Grows on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on what’s going on at farms across JoCo throughout the year including on-farm events, other u-pick experiences, fresh produce in-season, and more.
The North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission (NCTTFC) was created to assist current/former tobacco farmers, former quota holders, persons engaged in tobacco-related businesses, individuals displaced from tobacco-related employment, and tobacco product component businesses in NC that have been affected by the adverse effects of the MSA. The NCTTFC can disburse funds through compensatory programs and qualified agricultural programs. For more information about NCTTFC, visit their website. To see the complete list of NCTTFC grant recipients go here.
Source: Ashby Brame, Johnston County Visitors Bureau