This month the State Library of North Carolina is celebrating agriculture, the leading industry in North Carolina. Agriculture has long been a valued part of the North Carolina economy. While in no way comprehensive, we've compiled a collection of resources for those interested in the industry, history and culture of North Carolina agriculture.

    Did you know?

  • North Carolina is number one nationally in the production of flue-cured tobacco and sweet potatoes.
  • North Carolina is second in the nation in the production of Christmas trees, hogs & pigs, trout, and turkeys.
  • In 2011 North Carolina had 50,400 farms, with an average farm size of 169 acres.
    *2012 NC Agricultural Statistics Book, NCDA&CS Agricultural Statistics Division

back to topHistory

back to topAgriculture Industry

  • American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture
    The mission of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture is to build awareness, understanding and a positive public perception of Agriculture through education.
  • NC Department of Agriculture
    Also provides a variety of resources and activities for children of all ages.
  • NC Cooperative Extension
    North Carolina Cooperative Extension gives our residents easy access to the resources and expertise of NC State University and NC A&T State University. Through educational programs, publications, and events, Cooperative Extension field faculty deliver unbiased, research-based information to North Carolina citizens.
  • North Carolina Future Farmers of America Foundation, Inc.
    The North Carolina FFA Foundation, Inc. was founded in 1976, for the primary purpose of securing financial support for agricultural education and FFA in the public schools of North Carolina.
  • North Carolina in the Global Economy
    This website presents and analyzes up-to-date information on seven of North Carolina's key industries, including: banking, biotechnology, furniture, hog farming, information technology, textiles & apparel, and tobacco.
  • North Carolina Wine & Grape Industry
    North Carolina ranks 7th in United States wine production and is home to Biltmore Winery, the most visited winery in the country, and the world's largest muscadine wine producer, Duplin Winery.
  • USDA
    The USDA also provides resources for kids.

    North Carolina State Beekeepers Association According to a 2005 estimate, honey bees account for approximately $154 million in annual crop productivity in North Carolina. This site provides information about beekeeping, beekeeping associations nationwide, and information for kids. Find additional information at NCpedia!


back to top Agricultural Education

  • Learn NC
    Lesson plans about agriculture.
  • National Agricultural Library
  • National Agricultural Law Center
    In 1987, Congress recognized the University of Arkansas School of Law for its "unique expertise in the area of agricultural law" and called for the creation of the National Center for Agricultural Law Research and Information at the Law School. Since then, the National Agricultural Law Center has been funded with federal appropriations through the National Agricultural Library, an entity within the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • NC A&T University
    The School of Agriculture at NC A & T has a rich history of innovation and application of cutting-edge technology. Through our Agricultural Research Program and our Cooperative Extension Program, we are able to research issues of importance to North Carolina and also provide research-based outreach training to citizens across the state and around the world.
  • NC College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
    The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University "discovers, develops, teaches, and applies knowledge and technology that enable students, clientele, and citizens of North Carolina and others to improve the quality of their lives and to enhance the agricultural, economic, environmental, and social well being of the state and world and to create and extend new knowledge through scientific research and extension in agriculture and the life sciences."
  • NC Project Food, Land & People
    A workshop for K-12 educators illustrating connections between people, agriculture and the environment. Activities have been correlated to the NC Standard Course of Study.
  • US Environmental Protection Agency Agriculture Resources

    Community Supported Agriculture (CSA's) Community Supported Agriculture consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes the community's farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. Typically, members or "share-holders" of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer's salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm's bounty. Members also share in the risks of farming, including poor harvests due to unfavorable weather or pests. Find a CSA, farmer's market or farm near you by using Local Harvest, or, request FREE local produce postcards to distribute from the Office of Environmental Education.

    Boy with Chickens

back to top Resources from the Government & Heritage Library

back to topNC Digital Collections

back to topGenealogical Research

  • U.S. Agriculture Census Schedules
    From 1820 to 1910 the U.S. government did an agriculture census; unfortunately only the 1840-1880 Agriculture Census Schedules have survived. The Government & Heritage Library has all of the surviving Agriculture Schedules of North Carolina. For more information about what can be found on the Agriculture Census Schedules and a complete list of locations that have these records, check out this article.

back to topAgritourism

  • Duke Homestead
    See the early home, factories, and farm where Washington Duke first grew and processed tobacco. His sons later founded The American Tobacco Company, the world's largest tobacco company. (NC Historic Sites, NC Department of Cultural Resources)
  • Homegrown Handmade
  • Historic Stagville
    Stagville was the largest plantation in the state during the Antebellum period. (NC Historic Sites, NC Department of Cultural Resources)
  • Horne Creek Farm
    Once the Hauser family farm, Horne Creek enables visitors to experience farm life in North Carolina's northwestern Piedmont circa 1900. (NC Historic Sites, NC Department of Cultural Resources)
  • NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
    Provides links to agriculture related travel by category.
  • North Carolina Farmers Markets
  • Somerset Place
    During its 80 years as an active plantation (1785-1865), hundreds of acres were converted into high yielding fields of rice, corn, oats, wheat, beans, peas, and flax; sophisticated sawmills turned out thousands of feet of lumber. By 1865, Somerset Place was one of the upper South's largest plantations. Through one general tour, visitors explore the lives of the plantation's owners, enslaved community, employed whites, and free blacks. (NC Historic Sites, NC Department of Cultural Resources)
  • Visit NC Farm Fresh Festivals
    Provides information about food related festivals throughout the year and farm locations across the state that are open to the public.

back to top Community Gardens

  • Community Gardens
    NC Community Garden provides information about community gardens including a free pdf book on starting a community garden. It also lists community gardens in North Carolina by county.
  • Gillings Sustainable Agriculture Project
    The Gillings Sustainable Agriculture Project is a two-year Gillings Innovative Laboratory through the Gillings School of Global Public Health established to study the public health impact of moving toward a local, sustainable food system. Can eating local address obesity, the environment, and economic viability? This blog also provides links to related local organizations, resources, and blogs.
  • SEEDS (South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces, Inc.)
    A nonprofit community garden in Durham, NC with a youth gardening program, DIG (Durham Inner-city Gardeners).
  • Universities promote agricultural awareness!

    At UNC-Chapel Hill many students, faculty, and community members participate in a campus garden that provides low-wage workers at UNC access to fresh produce, although anyone who works on the garden can take home produce. North Carolina State University has a Farmer's Market on campus, as does Duke University.

    Watch this video about Duke University Community Garden!

back to topImage Credits

Header: Image G.W. Ackerman, 1932. United States Department of Agriculture Extension Service. From the NCSU Special Collections Archives Photograph Collection, Raleigh, NC, USA.

Agriculture Resources: Flock of chickens and a young boy in a chicken yard somewhere in North Carolina, c1900. From the Albert Barden Collection, N.53.16.4427, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC, USA.

Additional Digital Resources: Grape photo courtesy of NC Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development, Raleigh, NC, USA.

Bee Photo: Apis mellifera flying back to its hive carrying pollen in a pollen basket, photo courtesy of Muhammad Mahdi Karim accessed at Wikimedia. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

Listen to this : Photo by Tom Rankin for the Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.

Read this: Homegrown Handmade image courtesy of NC Department of Cultural Resources, Raleigh, NC, USA.

Recreation: Duke's Community Gardens - From: Duke's Community Gardens on YouTube. Video courtesy of Working@Duke, uploaded May 18, 2009.