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200 Attend 62nd Farm City Banquet in Watauga

An estimated 200 people attended the 62nd annual Farm City Banquet in Watauga County. Photo by Jesse Wood

By Jesse Wood

The 62nd annual Farm City Banquet in Watauga County was held on Thursday at Boone United Methodist Church. An estimated 200 people attended the event, where several individuals in the local agricultural community were honored during a wonderful farm-to-table dinner.

The theme of this year’s banquet was “Food Unifies” as Watauga County Extension Director Jim Hamilton referenced in his opening remarks.

Each year, Richard Tumbleston finished one of his paintings and presents it to a lucky winner at the annual Farm City Banquets.

“Each day I get to talk to the farmers, homeowners, citizens and leaders here in the county, and it’s an honor to work with so many folks committed to our agricultural economy and working to make our community better,” Hamilton said. “And the beauty of working in this environment is everybody is on the same page. Despite the news and headlines each day, when it comes to food, and everyone who is working to enhance our farm and food economy here is unified in that effort.”

Boone Chamber President David Jackson emceed the event. Casa Rustica catered the meal with food provided by Old Beech Mountain Farms, High Mountain Farms, Lett-Us Produce and Cheek Farmstead Creamery.

Door prizes were provided by Apple Hill Farm, Betty Bond, Critcher Brothers Produce, Extension and Community Association, Four Prongs Ginseng Tea, Goodnight Brothers, Mast General Store, Moretz Mountain Orchard, Otus Branch Farm, Panoramic Choose & Cut, Richard Tumbleston, Stick Boy Bread Co. and Watauga County Beekeeper’s Association.  

Sponsors of the event included Farm Bureau NC, New River Building Supply, Southern Ag, Watauga County Christmas Tree Association, Carolina Farm Credit, PHARMN, Watauga County Farmers Market, Mast General Store, Blue Ridge Energy, Hollar and Green Produce Co., Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture and Watauga County Cattlemen’s Association.

Music was provided by Ian and Kelly Sheets Snider and Richard Tumbleston and Steve Lewis. Perry Yates, owner of New River Building Supply and a Watauga County Board of Commissioner, recited the pledge of allegiance.


Spirit of Farm City Award

Carol Coulter

Watauga County Cooperative Extension

Watauga County Cooperative Director Jim Hamilton presents Carol Coulter with the Spirt of Farm City Award

Friend of Agriculture Award

Andrew Long, chef of Over Yonder restaurant in Valle Crucis

Sponsored by Mast General Store

Mary Woods with Mast General Store presents Over Yonder chef Andrew Long with the Friend of Agriculture Award.

Christmas Tree Grower of the Year

Joey Miller of Miller Choose & Cut in Meat Camp

Sponsored by Watauga County Christmas Tree Association.

Paige Patterson presented Joey Miller with the Christmas Tree Grower of the Year Award.

Cattleman of the Year

Rodney Presnell

Sponsored by Watauga County Cattlemen’s Association

Beekeeper of the Year

Mary Williams

Sponsored by Watauga Beekeeper’s Association

Ted Brunch presented Mary Williams with the Beekeeper of the Year Award.

L.E. Tuckwiller Award

FFA at Watauga County

Sponsored by Boone Chamber of Commerce

The Watauga FFA was presented with the L.E. Tuckwiller Award.

Woman in Agriculture Award

Debbie Bauer

Sponsored by Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture

Carol Coulter with Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture presents Debbie Bauer with the Woman in Agriculture Award.ds

Youth in Agriculture Award

John Norris from WHS FFA

Sponsored by The Goldsmith

Olivia Haigler presented John Norris from the WHS FFA with the Youth in Agriculture Award.


Conservation Farm Family of the Year

South Angus Farm Jimmy and Brenda South and daughter Martha

Sponsored by Watauga Soil and Water Conservation Board

Denny Norris with the Watauga Soil and Water Conservation Board presents the South family with the Conservation Farm Family Award.