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 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
Watauga County Cooperative Extension
Friend of Agriculture Award
Andrew Long, chef of Over Yonder restaurant in Valle Crucis
Sponsored by Mast General Store
Christmas Tree Grower of the Year
Joey Miller of Miller Choose & Cut in Meat Camp
Sponsored by Watauga County Christmas Tree Association.
Cattleman of the Year
Sponsored by Watauga County Cattlemen’s Association
Beekeeper of the Year
Sponsored by Watauga Beekeeper’s Association
L.E. Tuckwiller Award
FFA at Watauga County
Sponsored by Boone Chamber of Commerce
Woman in Agriculture Award
Sponsored by Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture
Youth in Agriculture Award
John Norris from WHS FFA
Sponsored by The Goldsmith
Conservation Farm Family of the Year
South Angus Farm Jimmy and Brenda South and daughter Martha
Sponsored by Watauga Soil and Water Conservation Board