Wayne County Agriculture Heritage - By Marty Tschetter, Local History Librarian

The Wayne County Cooperative Extension and the Wayne County Public Library are partnering to create an engaging public history project documenting our agriculture heritage. The project will be ongoing with a developing archive in the Local History Collection at the public library on Ash Street. In September at the county fair there will be more information at the CooperativeExtension booth in the Exhibits Building. Oral history interviews will be an important element of the project, recording the public memory of farm work, work-ethic, and life experiences. Each interview will be typed into a transcript, include photographs, and placed on file in the archive. The oral histories will also be used in the public programs that start in October. Events will be held in both Goldsboro and the new library in Mount Olive, along with exhibits on display at the public library branches. Over subsequent years, different agriculture themes will be explored through the recorded interviews that include youth programs, the role of the grange, home demonstration clubs, livestock, dairy, poultry, agribusiness, Cooperative Extension agents, the fair, gristmills, textile mills, and the cultural landscape.

Today agriculture and agribusiness is the largest industry in the county valued at $763 million. Farmland represents 48% of the county’s total land and with the addition of forestry increases to 71%. Browsing through microfilm copies of Goldsboro newspapers dating to the 1850s, the pages are full of advertisements for farm implements and articles on crop production. Historically Wayne is an important agrarian community that will be fun researching across the county.

Do you have family photographs that captured farm life and agribusinesses in Wayne County?

For more information or if interested helping volunteer, please contact the local history librarian at marty.tschetter@waynegov.com or 919-735-1824, ext. 5117.

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