Beaufort Co. young farmer, Archie Griffin of Washington, (third from left) is shown holding his graduation plaque from the NC State Tobacco Short Course. With him (shown left to right) are: Dr. Loren Fisher, NC State director of tobacco programs; Dan Ward, vice chairman of the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission; and Dr. Richard H. Linton, dean of the NC State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
A young Beaufort Co. tobacco farmer, Archie Griffin of Washington, was among 34 participants who took part in an NC State Tobacco Short Course held recently in Raleigh, NC.
Griffin, a 2012 NC State graduate with a B.S. degree in agronomy, is now farming with his father, Steve. The Griffins will be growing about 200 acres of tobacco this season, along with soybeans, corn, wheat and oats.
During the week of the NC State Tobacco Short Course, which coincided with the Southern Farm Show and the annual meeting of the Tobacco Growers Assn. of North Carolina, Griffin and his fellow short course participants took part in workshops and other events aimed at helping them better understand all facets of tobacco production and marketing.
One day of the short course included a field trip to Wilmington to tour the NC State Ports Authority and the plant that manufactures sucker control products for Fair Products Inc. The group also stopped at the farm of Tony Jones, another young tobacco grower who farms land in Wayne, Sampson and Duplin Counties. Because of his and many other tobacco farmers’ needs for additional bulk curing barns this season, Jones is constructing bulk barns on his farm.
“Since our industry continues to face continuous change, we need to make sure our younger farmers are able to focus on how to attain efficient, quality tobacco production,” says Dr. Bill Collins, a retired NC State tobacco extension specialist and coordinator of the short course program. Collins says the participants in the group collectively plan to grow more than 6,000 acres of flue-cured and burley tobacco this season.
The program was conducted by the North Carolina Tobacco Foundation in partnership with the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University with a grant from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. Instructors in the program included NC State extension specialists in agricultural economics, biological and agricultural engineering, crop science, entomology and plant pathology.