What is Farm-City Week?

Charles Mitchell
Cooperative Extension Director

Greg Fishel

Pictured, from left Franklin County Cooperative Extension Director, Charles Mitchell, WRAL-TV Chief Meteorologist, Greg Fishel, Franklin County Farm Bureau Agent, Jessica Cochran.

The first Farm City Week was born in 1955 when Charles Dana Bennett, businessman from Vermont and Merle H. Tucker, Chairman of Kiwanis International Agriculture and Conservation Committee, were seated together on a train headed from Chicago to Washington, D.C.

In 1955, the net farm income was declining. Farm cost, debts and property taxes were on the rise. Charles and Merle were having discussions about the poor public image of agriculture, the strong urban influence on ag policies and a growing population with no direct ties to agriculture. To them, it seemed that farm and city people were drifting farther and farther apart and they felt that positive public relations between farm and city dwellers must be improved. Mr. Bennett made these issues public and soon after that the National Farm-City Committee was created and coordinated by Kiwanis International. The Kiwanis coordinated Farm-City until 1988 when the American Farm Bureau Federation assumed the responsibility.

These same efforts continue today by trying to establish a better understanding between the agriculture community and urban dwellers. Across the entire country Farm-City events are planned by Cooperative Extension, Agri-Businesses, Farmers, Youth Groups, Civic Groups and other organizations to educate the public about the interdependence of agriculture and industry.

Each year National Farm City Week is proclaimed by the President as being the week leading up to and including Thanksgiving Day. This year Franklin County celebrated Farm City Week with a luncheon at Mitchell Farms in Bunn on October 28th. Greg Fishel was the guest speaker for the event. Awards were presented for Cooperative Extension "Volunteers of the Year" in the areas of Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences and 4-H & Youth Development. Cooperative Extension also recognized recipients for the "Friends of Extension Award." Cooperative Extension appreciates all of the sponsors for this year's event.