Farmers and city slickers alike joined together at the James W. Warren Citizens Center Tuesday night to celebrate Farm-City Week.
â€œIt is a time of appreciation,â€ said Kevin Starr, director of the Lincoln County Cooperative Extension. â€œItâ€™s a time to appreciate one another and the society we live in and how we depend on each other.â€
Farm-City Week has been celebrated for 50 years. It was first created to give thanksgiving for food and the agriculture that produces it.
This yearâ€™s celebration held true to that tradition in the face of a drastically altered world.
â€œToday, farmland is being changed into shopping centers . . . at an ever increasing rate,â€ said Richard Reich, the North Carolina assistant agriculture commissioner, and the eventâ€™s keynote speaker.
Reich, who worked for Lincoln Countyâ€™s Cooperative Extension in the 1970s, told his audience how much things have changed since then.
He noted fast food chains popping up and farmland disappearing.
â€œLincoln Countyâ€™s changed so much and itâ€™s really typical,â€ he said. â€œIf you go across the state, youâ€™ll see North Carolina has changed so much.â€
Reich emphasized the importance of agriculture and encouraged farmers to continue their work and to keep traditions alive.
â€œDo it for your grandchildren, do it for your children,â€ he said. â€œThese are important things for us to not lose from our lives.â€
The evening wasnâ€™t simply focused on farmers. Reich and other speakers also talked about the importance of educating the general public about the importance of agriculture.
â€œA lot of people think their food comes from a grocery store,â€ said Starr. â€œAnd thereâ€™s an awful lot more to it than that.â€
When one percent of the population feeds the other 99 percent, itâ€™s not something that should be taken for granted, said Reich.
This sentiment was echoed throughout the evening.
â€œFarm City Week is a time for us to remember where our food comes from and how lucky we are to get the food we have,â€ said Josh Beam, an area agriculture agent.
by Sarah Grano