RALEIGH, N.C. — In an effort to promote some of the amazing North Carolina women in agriculture, the N.C. Biotechnology Center’s Ag Sector Development team, N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, N.C. Farm Bureau and Feed the Dialogue N.C. created the Ponytail Ag campaign. During the four-month tour, key stakeholders from each organization will be traveling across the state’s six regions —Western, Greater Charlotte, Piedmont Triad, Research Triangle Park, Eastern and Southeastern— to interview influential women involved in all aspects of agriculture, from the farm to the lab and from government to schools.
This morning, we take off for our first leg in Eastern North Carolina, where we’ll be interviewing some awesome women involved in hog production, eggs, large scale row crop farming and valued-added sweet potato products. Learn more about a few of the women and agriculture companies we are visiting.
Lorenda Overman of Overman Farms
Lorenda Overman, along with her husband, Harrell, formed Overman Farms with his mother and father after graduating with an associate degree in science from Mount Olive College. The farm is comprised of row crops of corn, wheat and soybeans as well as 2,000 sows. Overman is also a member of the Women’s Committee for the Wayne County Farm Bureau, the current past chair for the NC Farm Bureau State Women’s Committee and serves as a member of the American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee.
Marlowe Ivey Vaughan
Marlowe Vaughan is the executive director of Feed the Dialogue NC Foundation, a group that interviews farmers, coordinates farm tours and hosts special events in an effort to facilitate communications around agriculture and farming in North Carolina. She is also a 4th generation farmer who co-founded Heritage Farms Premium Pork with her brother and serves as a NCALS Research Foundation Board Member at North Carolina State University.
Snow Hill, NC
In collaboration with North Carolina State University and the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Food Science Research unit, YamCo offers aseptically packaged sweet potato, spinach, pumpkin, butternut squash and carrot purees using patented microwave technology. The purees are all natural, kosher and A.I.B. certified and contain no additives or preservatives, resulting in greater nutritional value and excellent color and flavor.
Jill Sink of Songbird Farm (one of Braswell Family Farms’ partner growers) and Lisa Prince of the NC Egg Association
Jill Sink acquired Songbird Farm from her father after working there for 20 years. On the farm she, along with her husband and son, maintain three cage free hen houses that produce eggs for Braswell Family Farms’.
Lisa Prince is the recently appointed Assistant Director of the NC Egg Association, in which she promotes eggs and eggs products and carries out fundraising. She has also served as a marketing specialist for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture for 15 years and is the host of “Flavor, NC,” a television series showcasing North Carolina’s agricultural heritage.
Huchette is a horticulture professor at NC A&T State University. She has taught several classes on plant nutrition and propagation, environmental sustainability, vegetation for small scale production and more. She also serves as director of the university’s Reid Greenhouse.
Dr. Crystal Kyle
A U.S. Army Veteran, Dr. Crystal Kyle currently farms meat goats while working in the roles of NC Agromedicine Institute Campus Coordinator and North Carolina AgrAbility Program Director in order to help farmers with challenges, farm safely and productively. Her emphasis is to develop, implement, sustain and evaluate a comprehensive research-based educational program agenda that meets the needs of limited-resource and socially-disadvantaged, small farmers. Crystal’s recent research, “The Formation of Cultural Capital using Symbolic Military Meanings of Objects and Self in an Adult Agricultural Education Program serving Military Veterans” won dissertation of the year at Virginia tech.
Dr. Andrea Gentry Apple of the NC A&T Animal Research Unit
Dr. Andrea Gentry received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine in 2015 and a bachelor’s degree in animal science at North Carolina A&T State University in 2011, where she is currently an assistant professor in the animal sciences department. She is also in charge of the goats at NC A&T’s Animal Research Unit.
Renee McPherson of McPherson Farm
Renee McPherson is a member of Alamance County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee. During our stop with her we will be discussion the pressure of urban development on farming.
Learn more about a few of the women and agriculture companies we are visiting.
Follow us on social media using #PonytailAg for behind the scenes peeks.