Potential for an Ag Center in Randolph County

— Written By and last updated by Jill Cofer
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On June 30, 2021, the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Randolph County staff provided a supporting document for a Farm, Food, and Family Education Center as requested by Rep. Allen McNeill. Rep. McNeill requested a supporting document to be used for a funding request he made to fund the construction of a new Agriculture Center in Randolph County from the North Carolina’s American Rescue Plan Act funds.

The N.C. Cooperative Extension of Randolph County staff had a very short turnaround period to create a supporting document. The staff created a document that supports the construction of a Farm, Food, and Family Education Center. The Farm, Food, and Family Education Center is a dynamic,  innovative, and collaborative place for people and organizations to build Farm, Food, and Family systems that strengthen economies, enhance resiliency, and build community.

Resiliency must be intentional and planned. This Educational facility will serve as a “hub” for innovative and collaborative sharing of resources and ideas. The Educational theme will allow us to focus on collaboration, practicum, creativity, modeling, and innovation. The “spokes” of this hub will center around the themes of “Farm, Food, and Family.” We feel this communicates in a clear and concise manner what the purpose of the facility is and creates a message that everyone in Randolph County and the surrounding region can connect in some way to these collaborations.

The pandemic has helped to enhance many people’s desire to know more and collaborate around the issues of farm, food, and family. The Farm, Food, and Family Education Center will bring knowledge and innovation to how Randolph County and area residents provide for their essential needs in the future. The Farm, Food, and Family Education Center will accomplish this task by creating a dynamic, innovative, and collaborative place for learning and skill-building.

Currently, at the writing of this article funding for the construction of the Randolph County Farm, Food, and Family Education Center is in the North Carolina House budget plan. The next step in the budget process is for the North Carolina House and Senate to work together to create a budget bill. If the funding proposal survives the reconciliation process between the House and Senate, the Governor will receive the bill.

That is where things stand. Thank you for supporting and “ag”vocating for agriculture in Randolph County. If you have any questions please contact, Kenny Sherin, County Extension Director. 336-318-6000.