Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nickels for Know How Referendum: Support Ag, Extension and Teaching

A self-assessed, state-wide check-off that supports agricultural research, extension, and teaching programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at NC State University will be held Wednesday, November 16, 2011 subject to approval by the Board of Agriculture.

Users of feed and fertilizer in North Carolina will vote on November 16 whether to continue the voluntary 15 cents per ton self-assessment on fertilizer and animal feed produced in our state. Since 1951, the Nickels check-off has been voted on every six years and has passed in the 13 previous referenda by an average 90% favorable vote.

Co-Chairs of the November 16 Referendum are Mr. Larry Wooten, President of the NC Farm Bureau, Mr. Jimmy Gentry, President of the NC State Grange and Mr. James I. (Jim) Smith, Chairman of the NC Agricultural Foundation, Inc. and a farmer from Stem, North Carolina.

Dean Johnny C. Wynne of CALS says: “Virtually every significant advancement in agriculture in the last 60 years has received Nickels funding at some point. Without Nickels, our College would not be able to serve the citizens of North Carolina as well as we do.”

In addition, Nickels for Know-How provides support for fund raising efforts in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences that generate over $20 million annually in private contributions. This is a $50 return on every $1 dollar invested. Some of the entities that Nickels provides support include the NC Cooperative Extension Service Foundation, the CALS Research Foundation, the NC 4-H Development Fund, the NC FFA Foundation, the NC Family & Consumer Sciences Foundation, the NC Dairy Foundation, the CALS Alumni and Friends Society, and the JC Raulston Arboretum Board of Directors.

Nickels funds have helped the College to raise funds for over 550 endowments valued at over $100 million that provide $900,000 in support of scholarships for 800 undergraduate students in the College. In addition, these endowments support faculty efforts, county extension programs, commodity research efforts, and other programs in CALS.

Efforts to keep rural agricultural students at NC State through the “Spend a Day at State” program, the CALS Student Ambassadors Program, CALS Teaching and Advising Awards, Workshops for High School Vocational Agriculture Teachers, On-Campus Internships and Annual Scholarship Enhancement are also funded by Nickels.

Since 1951, most of the state’s research-based agricultural advances have at some point shared Nickels funds. Some examples of those faculty-driven projects are as follows:

  • Construction of the NC State University research-based feedmill – the only facility of its kind in the US.
  • Switchgrass varieties as feedstock for bioethanol production.
  • Family & community disaster preparedness education.
  • Strengthening agricultural programming in 4-H through commodity groups.
  • International competitiveness of the NC swine industry.
  • Helping NC Farmers survive during difficult times.
  • Developing 4-H livestock programs and educational materials
  • Using vitamin E to improve pork quality.
  • Alternatives to herbicide spraying for woody vegetation.
  • Integrating swine waste mgmt. with greenhouse tomato production.
  • Off-season production of small fruits.
  • Development of a method for estimating potato yield losses.
  • Processing mortality silage into valuable poultry and swine feed products.
  • Fertility regimes for high density apple orchards in Western, NC.
  • Using animal waste for horticultural compost production.
  • Assessment of flood impacts on agricultural soils in NC.
  • Profitable peach production as part of a diversified farming operation in NC.
  • Evaluation of cover crops & conservation tillage for conventional & organic sweetpotato production in NC.
  • Development and delivery of on-farm HACCP educational safety programs.
  • New forage grazing strategies to improved conversion of grass to beef.
  • Development of niche markets for new orange and yellow watermelon cultivars.
  • Integrated strategies to minimize disease risk & enhance strawberry enterprises.
  • Development of an online course on Feed Mill management.
  • Enhancing quality and safety of North Carolina specialty meat products.
  • Building a superior striped bass.
  • Wheat transformation for drought tolerance.

These are just a few of the ways Nickels for Know-How has worked to support North Carolina farmers and agribusinesses. NC State University is grateful to the citizens who make this possible by voting on November 16, 2011 for the statewide Nickels Referendum.

Polling Places:

Haywood County

  • County Cooperative Extension Service Office located at 589 Raccoon Road, Waynesville
Henderson County
  • County Cooperative Extension Service Office located at 100 Jackson Park Rd (formerly 740 Glover St.) in Jackson Park, Hendersonville
  • Valley AG Farm and Garden Supply located at 4221 Boylston Highway, Mills River
  • Crop Production Services (CPS) located at 1657 Sugarloaf Rd, Hendersonville
  • Helena located at 3590B Chimney Rock Rd (64), Hendersonville
  • Coastal AgroBusiness Inc located at 814 McMurray Rd, Flat Rock
Buncombe County
  • County Cooperative Extension Service Office located at 94 Coxe Ave in downtown Asheville

For addition information on the Nickels for Know-How November 16 Referendum or the Nickels Program, please contact Keith Oakley at 919.515.9262 or at

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