Why is agriculture important?
Agriculture is the art and science of cultivating the soil, growing crops, and raising livestock.
For more than 200 years, agriculture in Johnston County has been associated with the production of basic food crops. Agriculture and farming is a key component of economic development and many more occupations allied to farming are recognized as a part of agriculture. At present, agriculture besides farming, includes forestry, fruit cultivation, dairy, poultry, swine, cattle, mushrooms, herbs, beekeeping, nursery, as well as, marketing, processing, and distribution of agricultural products are all accepted as a part of modern agriculture.
Tourism is also now a segment of agriculture as more and more farms are part of the "farm to table" movement for area restaurants, and farmers are opening up their operations to welcome visitors and host special events. The Johnston County has been working with our farmers for more than 20 years to cultivate activities on farms like corn mazes, farm stands and markets, and hosting a variety of fun activities like pick-your-own berries, hayrides, even corn bins. So many children have made lasting memories on area farms in fun and educational ways.
Agriculture plays a crucial role in the life of an economy. It is the backbone of our economic system. Agriculture not only provides food and raw materials but also is responsible for employment opportunities to a very large proportion of our population in North Carolina.
We invite you to learn with us, visit a farm, and support local farm families in JoCo!
Join Us and Support our Campaigns
We want you, your farm, your business, or your family to join our efforts to market and educate the community on the importance of the agriculture industry in Johnston County. Your sponsorship could start for as little as $50 for farms, and each level comes with several member benefits and funds will contribute to a variety of marketing and educational campaigns. The levels of support are outlined in the following flyer which you can download the flyer here, or simply email us directly to discuss your options.
The JoCo Grows Agriculture committee has been awarded a NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission grant entitled, Consumers and Farmers: Bridging the Gap, 3-year campaign which will continue the committee's outreach and education efforts, and will launch new campaigns to executive the marketing plan established in 2019.
Grant funds will be used to market two major harvest seasons in the county, Strawberries in the spring and Fall Farm Fun to promote on-farm activities, increase buy-direct revenues for our farmers, community outreach through festivals, webinars, and farm visits.
In January 2023, the JoCo Grows Agriculture Marketing committee was awarded a second grant, entitled JoCo Grows Specialty Crops with the Specialty Crop Block Grant program with the NC Department of Agriculture. This grant will focus on increasing direct sales for more specialty crops like blueberries, row crops, pumpkins, sunflowers, pecans, collards and much more. Whatever we grow in JoCo, we will be marketing to consumers. In addition, we will develop a marketing toolkit for our farmers to teach more marketing skills and provide a roadmap for increasing sales.
We will also be working with People First Tourism as a partner to expand farm activities and provide farmers a direct event ticket purchasing system. They bring a statewide reach and new resources to the JoCo Grows Agriculture Marketing Committee.
We will continue to seek grants and local support to educate and share how important agriculture is to the local economy. Stay in touch with the committee, learn more from our farmers, and get information on local events by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
5 Fast Facts
- Number of Farms: 1063
- $$$ in Cash Crops: $140 million annually
- NC Rank in Crop Production: 4th
- NC Rank in Ag Income: 8th
- 2018 Johnston County Stats
- Johnston County Census of Agriculture
- The agriculture industry supports nearly 700,000 jobs
- More than 80 different crops and commodities are grown in North Carolina
- More than 8 million acres of land is used for farming
- NC leads the nation in sweet potato, egg and poultry production, and ranks in the top 3 for Christmas trees, pork, trout, and turkeys
- NC State generates a $1.6 billion annual impact from research and extension with just four key crops (blueberry, peanut, sweet potato, and tobacco) while supporting over 13,000 related jobs in 97 of the state’s 100 counties
- NCDA Ag Statistics - LINK
Fun Puzzles for the Family
As we all may be looking for some fun activities to occupy our children (the young and young at heart), click and download two puzzles with some ag-related themes! Word Search Puzzle and Crossword Puzzle. We also have created a coloring book that includes these puzzles as well as pictures to color of fun JoCo attractions, animals, and more.
We hope to see you soon on a farm, the farmer's market or picking some berries!