NC Farm School

NC Farm School: An educational value for new and transitioning farmers

Paul McKenzie, Agricultural Extension Agent for Vance and Warren Counties tells WIZS News: “We are pleased to announce the launch of the Eastern Piedmont NC Farm School for new and transitioning farmers in Franklin, Nash, Wake, and Warren Counties as well as surrounding areas!  The program was developed to provide a resource to the numerous people visiting the local Cooperative Extension offices seeking help to grow crops, raise livestock, sell to local markets, handle employees, learn regulations, follow restrictions and generate revenues.

“The NC Farm School is not like any other program offered in the state!  Nowhere else can you learn from specialists and current farmers about budgeting skills, marketing expertise, and record keeping.  Participants even get to visit local farms in supporting counties to see how these farms operate.  It is the best combination to teach business and production while helping to ensure the success of students who attend.”

Kelly Connor, a graduate of NC Farm School in the Southern Piedmont, told McKenzie, “It would have taken my brothers and I at least 20 years to get the information and education we have received in the short time attending NC Farm School.  This program is worth more than double the price.”

If you are interested in attending the Eastern Piedmont NC Farm School, or want to hear more testimonies from farmers who attended the NC Farm Schools, visit the NC Farm School website at, or your local Cooperative Extension Office for more information on how to apply.  An interest meeting will be held on January 5, 2016 at the Franklin County Cooperative Extension Office (103 S. Bickett Blvd, Louisburg NC) at 6:30PM.

(Information for this article received from:)

Paul McKenzie
Agricultural Extension Agent, Vance/Warren Counties
NC Cooperative Extension
305 Young St., Henderson, NC  27536

158 Rafters Ln., Warrenton, NC 27589
252.438.8188 (Vance)  252.257.3640 (Warren)

252.213.6095 (cell)       @pgmckenzie

This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

VGCC graduates 13 cadets in school’s 101st BLET Class

Thirteen cadets graduated on Dec. 15, 2015, from the Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) program at Vance-Granville Community College, in a ceremony held in the Civic Center on Main Campus. After passing the state certification exam, all are authorized to work in any law enforcement agency in North Carolina.

Graduates of VGCC’s 101st BLET class included Thomas Henry Turner III and Jason Tyler Wright, both of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office; Elliott DeVar Carver of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office; Patrick Ryan Fuqua, Brandon Jay Link and Tiquan Devard Terry, all of the Henderson Police Department; Jason Scott Penshorn and William Keegan Ruark, both of the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation; Travis Ty Womack of the Oxford Police Department; Michael Wayne Martin of the Person County Sheriff’s Office; Tony Joseph Tart of the Vance County Sheriff’s Office; Wilbert Anthony Marrow of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office; and Jamison Patrick Vuolo.

The ceremony began with a presentation of colors by students from the ROTC program at Northern Vance High School, and the singing of the national anthem by NVHS student Jaylen Webb.

In welcoming remarks, Dr. Angela Ballentine, VGCC’s vice president of academic and student affairs, thanked the many leaders from local and state law enforcement agencies in attendance for partnering with the college. “Your support for the BLET program is invaluable,” Ballentine told the law enforcement representatives. “You sponsor our cadets, hire our graduates, provide many of our instructors, and give us feedback and advice. This successful partnership between VGCC and our community improves the safety and quality of life of our region.” She congratulated the graduates on completing the rigorous, 644-hour training program and encouraged them to continue their education.

Speaking on behalf of the class, Cadet Brandon Link praised their instructors, who taught them lessons that would shape their future careers. He called on his classmates to serve and protect “with honesty and pride.”

Graduates selected Sgt. Richard Creech of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, one of their instructors, to serve as their guest speaker. “Remember in your career to always treat people with respect,” Creech reminded the cadets. “Wearing this badge makes us no better than anyone else, but we are held to a higher standard.”

Andrea Ferguson, the program coordinator, and instructor Glen Boyd presented awards to the top students in the class in three categories. Womack won the “Top Gun” Award for having the highest accuracy score in weapons firing. Ruark earned the Physical Training Award for scoring highest in the various fitness tests the cadets undergo. Wright took home the Academic Achievement Award for having the top grade average in the written tests each cadet must pass.

After all graduates received their certificates, the group recited the “law enforcement code of ethics” published by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

For more information on the BLET program, contact Ferguson at

Mayor/Council Sworn In

The Henderson City Council met Monday night at 6:00 o’clock, and installation ceremonies were held for the mayor, the newly elected council members as well as the re-elected incumbents.

Eddie Ellington was sworn in and is now the Mayor of The City of Henderson.  Ellington told WIZS News, “I have a huge feeling of pride as well as gratitude knowing that a boy like me who grew up on Burwell Avenue could one day be the mayor of his hometown.  It’s time now to move ahead, get to work and see that Henderson lives up to the potential we all know exists.”

Ellington defeated Jim Kearney and Juanita Somerville in October as he earned 50.20 percent of the vote.Marion Brodie Williams Sworn In 121415

As a result of running for mayor, Kearney gave up his ward 1 ward seat on the council.  Marion Brodie Williams defeated Clarence Dale in a November runoff, earning almost 56 percent of the votes cast in the runoff. Williams was sworn in Monday night.  She told WIZS News, “It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that I am accepting this position to represent ward 1.  It’s an honor to take the seat that Mr. Kearney had, and I hope to fulfill that with dedication and a lot of enthusiasm.  It feels very good to know that the citizens elected me and to stand here right now.  It’s all come together for me, and I thank all the citizens of ward 1 for voting for me.  I really do.”

Melissa Elliott Sworn In 121415Melissa Elliott was sworn in to represent ward 3 at large.  She defeated incumbent Brenda Peace, also earning just about 56 percent of those who voted in the November runoff.  Elliott told WIZS News, “I feel grateful to God and completely overwhelmed with joy, and I want to serve the citizens of Henderson to the best of my ability.” In response to a question about the next few years, Elliott said, “Initiatives, initiatives, initiatives.”

Also as a part of the meeting, outgoing Mayor James D. “Pete” O’Geary learned that a conference room at City Hall will now bear his name.  In addition, O’Geary was awarded “The Order of the Long Leaf Pine.”  In attendance representing The State of North Carolina and Governor Pat McCrory was Senator Angela R. Bryant, who represents Vance, Warren, Halifax, Nash and Wilson Counties.  Mayor O’Geary expressed extreme gratitude for the award and to the City and to the council at several points during the meeting.  O’Geary’s combined service to Henderson spanned 20 years, 12 as a councilman and eight as Mayor.Pete OGeary Long Leaf Pine 121415

As a part of an outgoing ceremony for Councilman Kearney, he received a key to the City of Henderson from City Manager Frank Frazier.   Kearney said, “It has been my distinct pleasure to serve the citizens of Henderson, particularly those of ward 1 for the last four-plus years.  To my colleagues, it has been my pleasure to work with you.  We have had some lively exchanges, and we have had some that were quite congenial (where) everyone was in agreement.  All in all, we served the citizens with professionalism.”  Kearney urged incoming council members and the mayor to “rule with your head, but lead with your heart.”Jim Kearney Key to City 121415

Outgoing councilwoman Brenda Peace could not attend the meeting because of a prior duty with her church, where she and others were volunteering in the neighborhoods around the church.  Mayor O’Geary read a letter that Peace submitted.  Peace said in the letter, “Ms. Elliott, please feel the hearty handshake and warm embrace that I would have shared with you as we exchanged seats.  Once again, I congratulate you in your victory.”  Peace praised the incumbents and newly elected members and expressed much gratitude.  She said to the citizens, “I say thank you for the confidence you have had in me (for the past eight years.)  The experience has enhanced me and broadened my horizons.”

Also sworn in were re-elected incumbents George Daye and Mike Rainey.