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Today’s Email Announcements

New Nonprofit Supports Diversity in the High Country

Sirens on the Mountain Music and Art Festival, with headliner Ruthie Foster, to benefit Mountain Mermaids Collective, NC’s new nonprofit arts organization.

The mission of Mountain Mermaids Collective is to support the development of an inclusive, diverse, and sustainable arts community in western North Carolina. To support the mission, the Collective is collaborating with Sirens on the Mountain Music and Art Festival, happening June 18th at the High Country Fairgrounds in Boone.

Proceeds from the festival will benefit new and existing art and music programs in the high country, specifically targeting underserved and underrepresented populations. As Mountain Mermaids co-founder Beth Carroll explains, “Public support for the arts and arts education has been on the decline. When adjusting for inflation, total public funding for the arts has decreased by 15 percent since 2008.  These cuts have had a disproportionate effect on rural communities like the high country, which rely heavily on public funding and grant programs. We started this nonprofit to provide another means of supporting the arts in our community.”

Mountain Mermaids Collective is organizing a musical instrument donation campaign at Sirens on the Mountain to collect gently used instruments for young people.  A silent auction at the festival benefitting the Collective will feature items from renowned local artists as well as gift certificates to popular local restaurants and businesses.  To donate to the silent auction or to the musical instrument drive, contact Kirsten Tiedemann at kirstenmosaic@gmail.com. For more information on Sirens on the Mountain Music and Art Festival and Mountain Mermaids Collective, visit http://www.sirensonthemountain.com or contact Beth Carroll at sonicyonicproductions@gmail.com or 828-719-8206.

Watauga Community Band Memorial Day Salute

The Watauga Community Band will honor veterans with their annual Memorial Day Concert Sunday, May 29 at 4 PM. The performance will be held at the Rotary Gazebo in Blowing Rock Park. In the event of rain, the concert will be moved to the American Legion building on the back side of the park.
Under the direction of Bill Winkler, the band will play a number of patriotic pieces including The Ultimate Patriotic Sing-Along, a series of familiar tunes arranged by Jerry Brubaker, and two John Philip Sousa marches, The Washington Post and The Stars and Stripes Forever. The band will honor our servicemen and women with the Armed Forces Salute. This piece, arranged by Bob Lowden, features the anthems of each branch of the armed services as well as the Coast Guard. Members of each branch are encouraged to stand and be recognized when they hear their anthem.
The Watauga Community Band will also honor its late members with a special ceremony and The Mansions of the Lord, the theme from the movie We Were Soldiers.
This concert is free, although donations to the Watauga Community Band are welcome. Everyone is encouraged to come out and honor our military personnel.

Online Self Defense at the Library: Brown Belt

June 2nd, 2016 – Watauga County Public Library – Meeting Room

The Watauga County Public Library would like to invite you to join Sean Haupt for the fourth in a series of Online Self Defense classes on Thursday, June 2nd from 10:00 am – 11:00 am in the Meeting Room at the Watauga County Public Library, 140 Queen Street, Boone, NC 28607.

The internet is a scary place. Come learn to defend your privacy online. This is the fourth of an ongoing series. Brown belt level will cover email security. Sending unencrypted email out over the internet is like sending a postcard through the mail. Anyone along the way can see what is written. Learn how to secure your communications with strong encryption and reclaim your privacy. This session will cover PGP encryption for email using Thunderbird and the Enigmail plugin and ”Off the Record” (OTR) messaging using Pidgin.

Space is limited to 10 participants. To RSVP or for more information please call: (828) 264-8784 ext. 2.

3rd Annual Carolina Ramble & Reunion Announces 2016 Lineup

*Tickets On Sale Wednesday, June 1*

For the third consecutive year, N.C.-based Americana band Possum Jenkins will host The Carolina Ramble & Reunion; an intimate, family-friendly fall music festival taking place on Saturday, October 1, at beautiful Brayshaw Farm near Boone, N.C.

Performers at this year’s event include Possum Jenkins, Alexa Rose, Hilltop Riot, The Menders, Quilla + Molly McGinn, Spice Creek Ramblers, Soul Benefactor, The Worthless Son-In-Laws, Wurlitzer Prize and more.

The Ramble will feature two stages, with music kicking off at noon and lasting until 10:00 p.m. In addition to the day’s musical offerings, the Ramble will feature field day competitions, yard games and activities for kids and adults, including arts and crafts, corn hole, yoga, frisbee golf a bonfire and much more.

Camping is encouraged at the Ramble, and is free with Ramble ticket purchases. Family camping is available.

Tickets for the Carolina Ramble & Reunion go on sale to the public onWednesday, June 1. Purchasing tickets in advance is strongly encouraged, as space is limited. To purchase, visit www.carolinaramble.com and click the tab for the “Online Store.”

For more information and directions, visit www.carolinaramble.com orfacebook.com/carolinaramble, or email carolinaramble@gmail.com.

Gospel Singing in Zionville May 28

WHAT:                       Watauga County Gospel Singing


WHERE:                     Mabel Baptist Church

Old US Highway 421

Zionsville, NC


WHEN:                      May 28, 2016

7:00 p.m.


CONTACT:                Clint Cornett – 828-297-3270

Neil Oliver – 828-297-3653


We will be singing from the newly published 2016 Jeffress-Phillips Song Book.

Farm Credit Testifies Before Senate Ag Committee

Farm Credit participated in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry’s full committee hearing titled, “The Farm Credit System: Oversight and Outlook of the Current Economic Climate.” On May 19th.

Farm Credit Services of America CEO Doug Stark testified about the importance of Farm Credit’s broad mission to serve rural communities and agriculture and how Farm Credit is working with customers during the current downturn in the agricultural economy. The Committee also heard from Michigan farmer and U.S. Army veteran Jed Welder, Farm Credit Administration board members Kenneth Spearman, Dallas Tonsager and Jeffery Hall, along with representatives of the commercial banking industry.

In addition to those testifying in-person today, nearly 80 groups representing farmers, ranchers, farmer owned cooperatives and other agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and rural communitiessubmitted statements for consideration by the committee.

“Farm Credit exists to serve agricultural and rural communities in good times and bad. Unfortunately, there are challenging economic indicators ahead,” said Stark. “It’s times like these that highlight the importance of Farm Credit—to remain that financial partner to producers and rural communities when the times get tough. We’ve been in our rural communities preparing our borrowers to weather the storm, and we’ll be here to see them through to the other side.”

Similar to the producers Farm Credit serves, the System has built financial strength in anticipation of the economic cycle through diversification in loan geography, industry and size.

“Farm Credit’s mission is to support rural communities and agriculture, irrespective of the economic climate,” said Stark. “We saw this downturn in commodity prices coming and have been building financial strength to make sure we can continue to fulfill our mission and support our customers.”

Michigan farmer and U.S. Army veteran Jed Welder also weighed in on the current economic conditions in agriculture and the value of Farm Credit. “This is a challenging time for farmers like me across the country. Right now, we are planting corn and soybeans with prices very near breakeven,” said Welder. “Having a lender that works with me, that knows my farm and the challenges I face, is more important than ever.”

Welder explained how he relied on Farm Credit, saying “They understood what I wanted to do and what I needed to run my operation, they made good, solid recommendations and over time became a trusted partner.”

“Farm Credit and specifically Carolina Farm Credit take great pride in understanding agriculture, our member borrowers, and the dedication that it takes to provide the food and fiber needed to feed and clothe America.  For 100 years, Farm Credit has been supporting rural communities and agriculture with reliable consistent credit and financial services.” Vance C. Dalton, Jr., Carolina Farm Credit CEO.

The complete hearing can be viewed at http://www.agriculture.senate.gov/hearings.

Carolina Farm Credit is a stockholder-owned cooperative providing financing to full and part-time farmers and agricultural-related businesses and also provides financing for the construction and purchase of homes in 54 counties through 34 branch offices.  Other financial services available are credit life insurance, appraisal services, leasing programs and financial planning.

For 100 years Farm Credit has been supporting rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services.

Carolina Farm Credit serves over 9,200 members with loans outstanding totaling more than $1.4 billion.  The association’s territory covers the western half of North Carolina, with branch offices located in Albemarle, Asheboro, Asheville, Boone, Browns Summit, Burnsville, Carthage, Concord, Conover, Ellerbe, Graham, Hendersonville, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lenoir, Lexington, Lincolnton, Monroe, Murphy, Pilot Mountain, Roxboro, Rural Hall, Salisbury, Shelby, Siler City, Sparta, Spindale, Statesville, Taylorsville, Wadesboro, Waynesville, Wilkesboro, Yadkinville, and Yanceyville.

Carolina Farm Credit was recognized as a 2015 Best Employer in North Carolina.  The list of the Best Employers in North Carolina was created by Business North Carolina, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) – NC State Council and Best Companies Group.

Directors for Carolina Farm Credit are L. Kim Starnes, Chairman, Salisbury; W. Rex Bell, Vice-Chairman, Statesville; John M. Barnard, Statesville; E. Bernard Beck, Seagrove; Mark A. Bray, Lawsonville; David M. Coltrane, Pleasant Garden; Susie J. Gambill, Sparta; Joseph A. Lail, Shelby; Clark M. Newlin, Haw River; Thomas E. Porter, Jr., Concord;  Tony L. Ragan, Sanford; D. Kaleb Rathbone, Waynesville; Lewis E. Smith, Lincolnton; Vickie N. Smitherman, East Bend; Dr. Alton Thompson, Summerfield.

Avery County Memorial Day Ceremony

The annual Avery County Memorial Day Ceremony and dedication of the new Veterans Monument will be held on Monday, May 30, beginning at 2 pm on the square in Newland. The program will feature the Avery High School Band,  rifle salute and “Taps,” guest speakers and a ceremonial raising of the flags at the monument. Everyone is invited.