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59th Annual Watauga Extension Farm City Banquet Held Thursday, Bryk Receives Church Stewardship Award

By Jesse Wood

Nov. 7, 2014. The theme of last night’s 59th annual Farm City Banquet was “Barns: Out Standing in their Field.”

As Boone Area Chamber President Dan Meyer noted in his introduction, “Nothing captures the spirit and rural aesthetic and symbolism of our rural heritage and agricultural economy as old barns do.”

Before handing out the awards after a dinner sourced by a number of local farms including Jimmy and Sheila Greene of North Fork Farm (brisket), Janie and Chad Poe with Sugar Trees Finest (potatoes), Brian Chatham of High Mountain Farm (pumpkins for pies) and Richard Boylan of Otus Branch Farm (winter squash), Watauga County Cooperative Extension Director Jim Hamilton “bragged” a little bit on the work that the extension has done over the last several years to help growers, farming partners and residents in the county.

Hamilton noted that throughout the past five years, the Watauga County Cooperative Extension has held 965 meetings, workshops, demonstrations, lectures and programs to more than 31,000 participants. Through he emails, in person and over the phone, the extension has interacted with 191,000 individuals. Also, the extension has written or assisted on grants and secured more than $894,000 in funding for farmers, producers and partner organizations in Watauga County.

“We’ve been a successful agency in this county not only because of the hard work of our agents, but through support by our commodity groups, our county government and many individuals and organizational partners who we work with,” Hamilton said. “With our agricultural economy, just as they say for raising kids, ‘It takes a village …’ and I thank the many members of our village here for this event and your support of the Cooperative Extension mission that can hopefully continue for another century here in Watauga County.”

Meyer described the banquet as an opportunity to recognize the “unsung heroes” in our community who work tirelessly to improve our local agricultural economy.


– Special award from Watauga Christmas Tree Association – Suzanne Winebarger

– Cattleman of the Year Award – Jimmy South

– Beekeeper of the Year Award – Katy Wilson

– Agri-tourism Award (in honor of Pauline and Constantine Alimanestiano) – Joey Clawson and Panoramic View Christmas Tree Farm

– L.E. Tuckwiller Award – Watauga County Farmers’ Market

– Charles Church Food and Farm Stewardship Award – Cory Bryk of New Life Farm

– Woman in Agriculture Award – Susan Preston Owen

– Agriculture in Arts Award – Richard Tumbleston

– Community Volunteer Award – Courtney Baines-Smith and the ASU Child Development Center Learning Garden

– Youth in Agriculture Award – Ellen Beatty

– Friend of Agriculture – Mike and Mary Hall of Bandana’s BBQ

– Spirit of Farm City – Wendy Patoprsty

– The Conservation Farm Family of the Year Award – Scotty Eller and Family

Local businesses and farms that donated items for door prizes:

  • The Watauga Beekeepers provided honey
  • Bill Moretz provided apples
  • Goodnight Brothers donated ham
  • Betty Bond gave birdseed
  • Hollar and Greene provided cabbage
  • NC Cooperative Extension provided books
  • Brian Chatham of High Mountain Farm provided the pumpkins and corn in each basket
  • High Country Local First donated Discount cards
  • Richard Tumbleston provided original artwork
  • Stick Boy Bread Company – muffins

Sponsors of the 2014 Farm City Banquet

  • Watauga County Farm Bureau (platinum)
  • Hollar & Greene Produce Co.
  • New River Building Supply (gold)
  • Carolina Farm Credit
  • Watauga County Christmas Tree Association
  • Southern Ag
  • Bandana’s Inc.
  • Bare Essentials
  • Watauga County Cattlemen’s Association
  • Boone and Blowing Rock Lodging Association