NC Strawberry Farms, Research, Consumer Info, Local Strawberries, and more!
The NC Strawberry Association is a non-profit working to promote strawberry production and marketing. Our mission is to be a voice for strawberry growers at the state and national level. The NCSA funds strawberry research by awarding at least $20,000 to research projects that help the strawberry industry and producers.
- Our Online Farm Locator helps connect consumers with pick-your-own strawberry growers in their area. Give it a try!
- The Southeast Strawberry Expo, our annual conference, is the leading source in the Southeast for strawberry information, especially for plasticulture production methods. The conference is held in November each year.
- The Strawberry Grower, our monthly newsletter, keeps our members updated on production and marketing news and ideas.
- Publications, including the Strawberry Plasticulture Manual, a handbook compiling essential information for growers and Strawberry Time, a coloring/activity booklet for children. These may be ordered from this website.
- NCSA promotions include Strawberry Days at state farmers’ markets, harvest-time media campaigns, promotional stickers, and recipe brochures. Promotions are held in cooperation with the NC Dept. of Agriculture. In 2005, the Association unveiled a new logo and slogan–Just Ripe for You–as part of a campaign to increase consumer awareness and purchase of locally grown strawberries.
Research Funding by NCSA
Each year, the NC Strawberry Association funds strawberry research. In recent years, the total amount of funding has been around $18,000 — $20,000, with most individual proposals in the $1,500-$4,500 range. In 2010, after growers voted to increase the rate of the NC Strawberry Assessment from $2/1000 plants to $3/1000 plants, the total the Association was able to devote to research funding increased to over $30,000. Projects supported by NCSA include breeding new varieties, research into methyl bromide alternatives, micropropagation for a clean plant supply, control of anthracnose and phytophthora, and more. In 2009, the board of directors committed to funding strawberry breeding research at $10,000/year for five years. Most grants go to researchers at NC State University, however the Association welcomes proposals from researchers from other states and institution. The Association does not pay indirect costs.
In December of each year, the board of directors of the Association develops a set of research priorities and sends out a call for proposals. Proposals are due in late December or early January. They are then reviewed by by the Association’s Research Committee, which makes a proposal for funding distribution before the full board at its February meeting.
Funds for research come primarily from the NC Strawberry Assessment. Additional funds come from an auction at the Southeast Strawberry Expo and donations from individual growers outside North Carolina.
For more information, please contact us.
NCSA Annual Awards
Since 1999, the North Carolina Strawberry Association has been presenting awards annually to growers and others who have made significant contributions to the strawberry industry in the state and the region. These awards have always included a “Grower of the Year” award. Awards are also made to suppliers to the industry, extension agents, university extension specialists/research, and others whose work has provided great benefit to the industry. If you are interested in nominating an individual, company, or other entity to a future award, contact any member of the NCSA Board of Directors or email NCSA.
* indicates Grower of the Year award
2014: John Vollmer, Vollmer Farms* (posthumous award, received by son Russ Vollmer)
Debby Wechsler, Former Executive Secretary – 17 Year of Service to NCSA
2013: Cal Lewis, Lewis Nursery & Farms*
2012: Patterson Farm*, Gil Milteer (VA Dept. of Ag and Consumer Services)
2011: Bob Rouse (U of MD, retired)
2010: Cal Schiemann (Va Tech), Barclay Poling (NCSU) both retiring
2009: Kenneth & Joan Rudd*, Plant Disease and Insect Clinic (NCSU), Rocco Schiavone (NCSU)
2008: James Cooley*
2007: Mitchell Wrenn*; Jim Ballington (NCSU)
2006: Tommy Shingleton*; Debbie Hamrick (NC Farm Bureau)
2005: Karma Lee*; Southern Container Corp. of Wilson
2004: John Vollmer*; Arvesta (Arysta LifeScience); Wick Wickliffe (Cooperative Extension)
2003: Bill Lewis*, Berry Hill Irrigation; Barclay Poling, Ken Sorensen, Frank Louws (all NCSU)
2002: Keith Hill*, Gra-Mac Irrigation; David Dycus (NCDA Agronomic Div.)
2001/2002: Ervin Lineberger*; Coor Farm Supply; Milton Parker (Cooperative Extension)
2000: D. L Tuttle*; Charlie O’Dell (VA Tech); Gordon Miner (NCSU)
1999: Ira Cline*; Reddick Fumigants
Activities of the North Carolina Strawberry Association
The North Carolina Strawberry Association (NCSA) is a non-profit association working to promote strawberry production and marketing in many ways:
Funding of strawberry research. For most of the last few years, NCSA has awarded a total of approximately $20,000/year to strawberry research projects at North Carolina State University. In 2010, when the NC Strawberry Assessment increased from $2/1000 plants to $3/1000 plants, the support of research increased to over $30,000. Projects supported by NCSA include breeding new varieties, research into methyl bromide alternatives, micropropagation for a clean plant supply, control of anthracnose and phytophthora, and more. In 2009, the Association’s Board of Directors made a commitment to provide at least $10,000/year to breeding research for five years.
The Southeast Strawberry Expo, our annual conference, is the leading source in the Southeast for strawberry information, especially for plasticulture production methods. The conference is held in November each year. See the “Events” section of this website for the date and location of our next Strawberry Expo.
The Strawberry Grower, our monthly newsletter, keeps our members updated on production and marketing news and ideas.
Publications, including the Strawberry Plasticulture Notebook, a handbook compiling essential information for growers and Strawberry Time, a coloring/activity booklet for children. These may be ordered from this website. The Strawberry Farm Directory, a directory of pick-your-own and retail strawberry farms in the state, is published in cooperation with the NC Department of Agriculture and is available on line (click here).
Promotions, including Strawberry Days at state farmers’ markets, harvest-time media campaigns, promotional stickers, and recipe brochures. Promotions are held in cooperation with the NC Dept. of Agriculture. In 2005, the Association unveiled a new logo and slogan–Just Ripe for You–as part of a campaign to increase consumer awareness and purchase of locally grown strawberries.
Farm-to-School-Lunch Program. Working closely with the NC Department of Agriculture, the NCSA coordinates direct sales by NC strawberry growers to NC school systems.
A voice for strawberry growers at the state and national level. The NC Strawberry Association speaks out for strawberry growers on issues of common concern. In 2003, for example, the association was instrumental in stopping a NC Department of Transportation rule that would have prevented Pick-Your-Own strawberry growers from erecting temporary signs along state highways.
Publications of the North Carolina Strawberry Association
The following publications are currently available from the North Carolina Strawberry Association. Please print the membership/order form from this website, fill it out, and mail with your check to the address on the form. You do not have to be a member to order these publications.
Strawberry Plasticulture Notebook. A brand new 160+ page manual is fully updated with the latest information on growing strawberries in the platiculture system. Compiled by Dr. Barclay Poling and filled with stunning full color photographs, this guide has all the information you need – from getting started, to costs and returns, production cycle information, strawberry varieties, IPM, freez protection, and much more. $75 members, $125 non-members, plus $6 shipping & $5 handling.
The Strawberry Grower subscription. Sent to all members, either by U.S. mail or by email (pdf file). Members, researchers, libraries, and non-profit organizations may subscribe to receive a printed copy of the NCSA monthly newsletter for a $50 annual subscription fee. Voting privileges are only for members of the association.
Strawberry Time This 16-page coloring/activity book for children explains how strawberries are raised in our area and includes recipes and activities pages. Designed for preschoolers through 4th grade, it is a good resource for farms which offer school tours, and for teachers, home schoolers, etc.. (See the “Educators” section of this website to view this publication.). The booklets are printed every spring, with quantities based on orders received in advance of publication (usually with a mid-March deadline). If you want a large quantity, please try to order in February/March; smaller quantities are generally available year-round. Visit the “Membership” section of this website for a current order form for growers; educators and consumers with small orders may use the form in their sections of the website.
Temporada de fresa is a Spanish language version of the Strawberry Time booklet. Good for health department, community organizations, farms which serve Hispanic populations, etc. Quantities are limited; contact NCSA.
North Carolina Strawberry Recipes This 3-panel brochure gives recipes and instructions for picking, storing, freezing, and measuring strawberries. It is updated annually with new recipes and a new look. Single copies are available by request, and larger quantities can be requested for distribution at health fairs, festivals, etc. Growers may purchase bulk quantities for on-farm distribution. New recipes are included each year.
“I Picked Strawberries” – Oval Stickers, 1,000/roll – Not technically a publication, but they are printed. We offer 2 additional designs: “I Love Local” and “Local is Best” – both are Round stickers, 1,000/roll.