Nickels for Know-How Referendum

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Nickels for Know-How Referendum Vote Set for November 17, 2022

A self-assessed, state-wide check-off that supports agricultural research, extension, and teaching programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at NC State University will be held Wednesday, November 17, 2022. Rutherford County will have a polling place at the Rutherford County Extension Center located at 193 Callahan-Koon Road in Spindale.

Jeff Bradley, N.C. Cooperative Extension, Rutherford County Center Director, explained that the referendum is being held to let users and producers of feed or fertilizer decide if they wish to continue the self-assessment program. Since 1948, the Nickels check-off has been voted on every six years and has passed in the 13 previous referenda by an average 90% favorable vote. The funds, about $1.4 million annually, are collected by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. These funds are then allocated by the NC Agricultural Foundation’s 148 volunteer Board of Directors to support agricultural research and Extension projects that benefit agriculture in North Carolina.

In addition, Nickels for Know-How provides support for fund raising efforts in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences that generate over $20 million annually in private contributions. This is a $50 return on every $1 dollar invested. Some of the entities that Nickels provides support include the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service Foundation, the CALS Research Foundation, the NC 4-H Development Fund, the NC FFA Foundation, the NC Family & Consumer Sciences Foundation, the NC Dairy Foundation, the CALS Alumni and Friends Society, and the JC Raulston Arboretum Board of Directors.

Efforts to keep rural agricultural students at NC State through the “Spend a Day at State” program, the CALS Student Ambassadors Program, CALS Teaching and Advising Awards, Workshops for High School Vocational Agriculture Teachers, On-Campus Internships and Annual Scholarship Enhancement are also funded by Nickels.

Since 1948, most of the state’s research-based agricultural advances have at some point shared Nickels funds. Some examples of those faculty-driven projects are as follows:

*Construction of the NC State University research-based feed mill – the only facility of its kind in the US

*Family & community disaster preparedness education.

            *Helping NC Farmers survive during difficult times.

            *Developing 4-H livestock programs and educational materials

            *Alternatives to herbicide spraying for woody vegetation.

            *Fertility regimes for high-density apple orchards in Western, NC.

*Profitable peach production as part of a diversified farming operation in NC.

            *New forage grazing strategies to improve the conversion of grass to beef.

*Integrated strategies to minimize disease risk & enhance strawberry enterprises.

*Enhancing quality and safety of North Carolina specialty meat products.

*Management of red imported fire ants in North Carolina pastures.

*Wheat transformation for drought tolerance.


These are just a few of the ways Nickels for Know-How has worked to support North Carolina farmers and agribusinesses. NC State University is grateful to the citizens who make this possible by voting on November 17, 2022 for the statewide Nickels Referendum.

For information on the referendum, please contact the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Rutherford County Center at 287-6010.