Does Anyone in Currituck Raise Livestock?
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Currituck did produce quite a bit of livestock at one time. In the very early days, nearly everyone had a backyard flock of chickens or a few hogs or cattle. At one time, Currituck was home to the first multi-story chicken house in North Carolina and back in the 1980’s and early 1990’s Currituck County had several commercial hog and cattle operations. Records for 1989 indicate that the income for hogs going to slaughter was over two million dollars and beef cattle sold to slaughter was recorded to be $59,000. As years passed, many farmers got out of the livestock business because larger companies were getting the contracts and it was getting harder for small farmers to sell their animals and make a profit.
Today, we’re seeing somewhat of a revival of the small farming trends of our earliest days. Many residents have begun raising chickens and a few small livestock animals for their family’s use. Currituck County still has a few farms raising beef cattle and a few hogs but nothing in comparison to the early days.
Youth in Currituck County today are encouraged to learn about the agriculture industry and opportunities available for entrepreneurship by participating in the 4-H Livestock Project.
This is a short term project where youth raise, show and sell livestock for the market. Youth receive their animals by March and train them to participate in the Albemarle Area 4-H Livestock Show and Sale that is held in Elizabeth City, NC on the last Tuesday and Wednesday in April each year.
Youth that participate in this project learn responsibility, decision making, nurturing, communication, animal husbandry, and record keeping all while having a great deal of fun. Many of these youth that participate in the project put their earnings from the sale of their animals in the bank and use that to further their education.
Of course, a project such as this requires a great deal of community support. Individuals and businesses are needed to bid on project animals during the live auction held on Wednesday night of the show. This year’s sale will be held on Wednesday April 26th starting at 6:45 p.m. at the Pasquotank County Livestock Arena on ProGrow Rd in Elizabeth City NC 27909. Anyone is welcome to come and observe, bid, or buy an animal. Individuals and businesses can also support this project by contributing directly to participants in the form of an “add on” to the final bid price. For more information regarding the Albemarle Area Livestock Show and Sale or details about how you can help, please contact Stephanie Minton at 232-2262.
So the answer…yes, people do still raise livestock in Currituck County!