Flippin' the Switch

S5 E3: Harvesting Innovation in Local Agriculture with Nicole Hall

March 18, 2024 Jones-Onslow EMC Season 5 Episode 3
S5 E3: Harvesting Innovation in Local Agriculture with Nicole Hall
Flippin' the Switch
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Flippin' the Switch
S5 E3: Harvesting Innovation in Local Agriculture with Nicole Hall
Mar 18, 2024 Season 5 Episode 3
Jones-Onslow EMC

Celebrate National Agriculture Day with us as we chat with the impressive Nicole Hall, a fierce advocate for North Carolina farming and the current National Miss US Agriculture 2023! Known to many as North Carolina Nicole, she's not just a beauty queen—she's a barnyard strategist dedicated to changing the way we think about, and purchase, our food. From her own tale as the daughter of tobacco sharecroppers to her contemporary role in the poultry industry, Nicole serves up a feast of knowledge that's not just about farming, but about making conscious decisions that benefit our local economies.

This episode is a treasure trove of down-to-earth wisdom, as Nicole spotlights the Visit NC Farms app, your digital compass to the freshest, community-supporting provisions your heart (and stomach) could desire. She's shattering misconceptions and planting seeds of change, showing us the importance of supporting local farms, not just with our wallets, but with our understanding. Tune in to hear Nicole's insights on how every soybean, ear of corn, and cluck from the chicken coop is part of a greater cycle that keeps counties like Onslow and Jones thriving. You'll walk away not just entertained, but equipped to make choices that can keep our farming communities robust and our dinner tables rich with local bounty. Be sure to follow her Instagram page @northcarolina.nicole!

Run Time: 12 minutes

Show Notes Transcript

Celebrate National Agriculture Day with us as we chat with the impressive Nicole Hall, a fierce advocate for North Carolina farming and the current National Miss US Agriculture 2023! Known to many as North Carolina Nicole, she's not just a beauty queen—she's a barnyard strategist dedicated to changing the way we think about, and purchase, our food. From her own tale as the daughter of tobacco sharecroppers to her contemporary role in the poultry industry, Nicole serves up a feast of knowledge that's not just about farming, but about making conscious decisions that benefit our local economies.

This episode is a treasure trove of down-to-earth wisdom, as Nicole spotlights the Visit NC Farms app, your digital compass to the freshest, community-supporting provisions your heart (and stomach) could desire. She's shattering misconceptions and planting seeds of change, showing us the importance of supporting local farms, not just with our wallets, but with our understanding. Tune in to hear Nicole's insights on how every soybean, ear of corn, and cluck from the chicken coop is part of a greater cycle that keeps counties like Onslow and Jones thriving. You'll walk away not just entertained, but equipped to make choices that can keep our farming communities robust and our dinner tables rich with local bounty. Be sure to follow her Instagram page @northcarolina.nicole!

Run Time: 12 minutes

Speaker 1:

Welcome back to another episode of Flip and the Switch. Tuesday, march 19th is National Agriculture Day. We have a special episode for our members featuring guest Nicole Hall, also known as North Carolina Nicole. Nicole is National Miss US Agriculture 2023 and is incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about North Carolina farming. She shares how to connect with local farms and support them when shopping for produce and meat, as well as some misconceptions when it comes to locally owned farming businesses. We can't wait to share this episode with you. Stay tuned for the what's happening portion of the podcast for additional Jones-Onslow news and announcements, and with that, let's start flipping the switch.

Speaker 2:

As you know, jones-onslow is a local company and the people that work here live here and are in your communities. You know we're your neighbors, we're your friends, we're your family and, seeing we are local, we like to find members who are on our lines to feature in our podcast, and today's absolutely no exception. I randomly found today's guest one day, scrolling endlessly on Instagram, like many of us do, but it was not a bad thing that day, because I came across this woman. She's not only beautiful, but she's a local realtor. But, most importantly, for today's podcast, we will introduce her as National Misses. Us Agriculture 23, Nicole Hall. So welcome, nicole.

Speaker 3:

Hello everyone, I am Nicole Hall. Most of you may know me from Instagram as North Carolina Nicole. I'm just got a passion for you know educating on agriculture, telling people how they can support local farms and bridging the gap in busting misconceptions between farmers and consumers.

Speaker 2:

So, nicole, how did you get into farming? Were you raised on a farm, or is it something you took up later in life?

Speaker 3:

So I'm the daughter of tube tobacco, or, as they will call it, back a farmers. They were sharecroppers back in the day, so I was always grew up like ag, adjacent when they finally retired from that. From there I worked in the alpaca industry before translating over to poultry. So for as long as I can remember, ag just been in my background.

Speaker 2:

Interesting. You've had quite a wide variety of farming experience.

Speaker 3:

I just love learning. Every farm is so different. You can go to the same type of farm from cattle to cattle and it'll still be a completely different operations of how they do their day to day tasks. Every farmer has a way of doing things and every farmer thinks their way is best.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so agricultural facts in Oslo and Jones County. Can you give me some? Because I mean we do have a lot of farms here in the community, so tell me some facts about some of those.

Speaker 3:

So everyone knows I'm the chicken farm and queen, so I'm definitely a poultry girl and that is what Oslo and Jones County is known for. As far as crops are concerned, you'll see a lot of soybean in the corn crops, which it all works in a cycle because the soy and the corn go to feed the chickens and so everything feeds itself and it's kind of self-sustainable.

Speaker 2:

Okay, interesting, all right, and then we have a lot of farms in our area we do. Okay, can you tell people like how to find them and just tell us a little bit more about those?

Speaker 3:

So I really focus on advocating for the Visit NC Farms app. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture actually developed it. It gives people the opportunity to shop local, so they have a function where you can click shop local and filter it based off of your location or what you're trying to find, and that way you can put your money and your economic opportunity back to your local community and local farms to keep them alive and productive.

Speaker 2:

Very good, very good. So what else can they do to support local farmers in our area?

Speaker 3:

Well, especially in the Jones and Oslo area. I love to recommend Bionum Family Farms. They have been quite good to me over the years. I really love what they're doing when it comes to getting their meat to consumer by offering delivery and pickup for meat boxes. They do a thing where if you can get 10 people in your neighborhood on an order, they'll deliver it to you. So it's a great way to get pasture raised meat at a good price locally without having to worry about going through the labels at the grocery store and really picking and choosing. Is this true? Is this really free range? Is this right for the animal?

Speaker 2:

I like that. I like knowing where our products come from, supporting local, because what you get in the grocery store you don't know where it came from.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and they allow you to actually tour the farm so you can see where your animals that you're eating and consuming and feeding to your kids are actually raised and how they're treated.

Speaker 2:

I like that. I like that. Now, a little plug here for one of our employees. I don't know if you're familiar with their farm, but they are JS, lola and cattle. One of our right away guys here that is his family farm has been in the farm for years, so that is another farm in the area that people can support.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, just to touch on that too, just because Jones and Anzlo County we're not really a big cattle area, so just to have a cattle farm out here that's available to people is huge. So if y'all have the opportunity, please check them out.

Speaker 2:

Definitely. Now going back to the National Misses US Agriculture 23,. How does one get that title?

Speaker 3:

So we had a state pageant so I won as the North Carolina Queen for Misses United States Agriculture and so I went in July of last year. We went out to Alabama and it had a road trip, made a whole thing out of it, and we were all able to compete against 155 contestants, all with ag backgrounds in different fields, and we competed in what's called Spokes Model, where we talked about our passion for ag and what we wanted to implement and changes we wanted to make. We competed in our state fun fashion, where we advertise what our state does in the agriculture industry. My state fun fashion was Mount Olive Base, because we are home to Mount Olive Pickles and so that's a large user and manufacturer for cucumbers and they make them into pickles and it's all across the nation brand. So that's huge for us. We actually have Mount Olive North Carolina here and then after that we have gown and after in.

Speaker 3:

I honestly did not think I was going to win. So when they called my name it was just like, oh my gosh, just how amazing. And since then I've been able to hit the ground running. I have a goal to hit 100 farms by the end of my reign, which comes up in July. So if you're a farmer that's listening and you want me to come out, please reach out to me.

Speaker 2:

And what will you do when you go out to their farms?

Speaker 3:

So the thing I like to do is I like to see what makes your farm different, what makes it unique. Tell me your family's story. How long have y'all been doing it? If you're a third generation farmer, tell me how it grew to what it is today, your farm practices, what makes y'all unique and how we can support you. If you sell your products, then by all means tell me so I can communicate that to my following as well as educate. A lot of people don't know what it takes and what goes into growing their food. They just go and buy it at the grocery store. So I help bridge that gap. So if there's something that you know, most people don't know or misconception, allow me to give them the facts behind that Nice.

Speaker 2:

So it looks like JS Lowland cattle might be getting a visit from you.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. I'm adding it to the list. It'll give me one step closer to my hundred farm goal.

Speaker 2:

Awesome. How many more?

Speaker 3:

do you have to go? So I have some scheduled. I'm at 70 left so I still got a lot of work to go, but I'm all over North Carolina in the next couple months. Back to back to back.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so if anybody's listening, they can reach out to you and say hey, I have a family farm and I'd love for you to come out and visit us.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. In April I'll be in Western North Carolina, so if somehow this reaches y'all, please reach out.

Speaker 2:

And how can people reach out to you?

Speaker 3:

So the best way to reach out to me is either on my Instagram, which is North Carolina dot Nicole, or on my webpage, nicole NC dot com.

Speaker 2:

All right. Well, thank you, nicole, it's been great talking to you and good luck.

Speaker 3:

Thank you for having me.

Speaker 4:

Mark your calendars. The Jones-Onslow EMC 2024 annual meeting is almost here. New venue same family fun. Join us on Friday, march 20 segment the River of Life Church on Gumbrian's Road. Food, entertainment and displays will begin at 5.30 pm and the business meeting will follow shortly after. Keeping with tradition, attendees will have the chance to win gifts worth hundreds of dollars. Learn firsthand about how we power our community at this fun-filled event. For more information, visit joemccom.

Speaker 1:

Hey there Jones-Onslow members. I'm Natalie Oldoni and I'm here to let you know what's happening at the co-op this month. One of the many benefits of being a JOEMC member is receiving a capital credits refund. During the middle part of February, members should have received a green letter from JOEMC concerning the co-op's Board of Directors' authorization of a capital credits refund. There is a space provided near the bottom of the page for your signature and a return envelope so you can mail it back to our office. Capital credits are the annual margins allocated to each member based on their individual purchase and use of electricity. Have any questions about this? Feel free to call our member service representatives at 910-353. At 1-940.

Speaker 1:

At Jones-Onslow, we take pride in serving our community and providing our diverse member base with opportunities that extend beyond Jones and Onslow counties. For the seventh consecutive year, we continue our search for disabled veterans within our service territory to nominate for the no Barriers Warriors Expedition Program. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Cobank, this program offers expeditions crafted to challenge veterans both mentally and physically, through an immersive five-day experience that enables veterans to push their limits and foster enduring support networks. Cobank remains committed to covering all participant expenses, including meals, gear and travel To be considered for this expedition. Someone can nominate a disabled veteran or you can self-nominate through the community page on our website. We're excited to see who will embark on this once-in-a-lifetime journey this year.

Speaker 1:

Last but not least, we have our energy efficiency tip of the month. Lengthen the life of your clothes dryer with regular cleaning. Clean the lint filter after every load, which improves air circulation and safety. Check the lint trap opening to ensure it's clean. Use a vacuum to remove any lint that's fallen inside the opening. If you use dryer sheets, check the lint filter for residue buildup. Remove any residue with hot water and a nylon brush or toothbrush. Over time, dryer sheets can leave a film on the filter which can affect the performance of the motor. Our offices will be closed in observance of Good Friday on March 29th. We hope everyone has a safe weekend, and that's what's happening at JOEMC.

Speaker 5:

Do you have a rising sixth or seventh grader who dreams of playing basketball on a college campus? Joemc is partnering with UNC, chapel Hill, an NC State University, to make that dream a reality for two lucky students. The scholarships cover all expenses and campers receive instruction from Division I coaches to enhance their basketball ability. Download the Touchstone Energy Sports Camp application at JOEMCcom. The deadline to apply is March 31st.

Speaker 6:

Well, folks, that'll do it for this episode of Flipping the Switch Until next time. If you don't currently follow us on Facebook, instagram or any of our other social media channels, consider doing so. It's the best way to keep informed about what's going on with your cooperative. Thanks again.