Caldwell County Public Library Partners with Local Organizations to Host “The Reluctant Farmer,” Rev. Richard Joyner

LENOIR, NC (January 28, 2019) — As part of its Black History Month Celebration, the Caldwell County Public Library, the Caldwell County NAACP, and the N.C. Cooperative Extension – Caldwell County Center, are honored to host Rev. Richard Joyner, more commonly known as, “The Reluctant Farmer” on Wednesday, February 6th from 6-8pm at the Caldwell County Meeting Rooms, located in the lower level of the library building at 120 Hospital Ave., Lenoir, NC.

Rev. Joyner, Pastor and Executive Director of the Conetoe Family Life Center in Conetoe, NC, has spent the last decade working to bring his community back from the brink of death literally and figuratively. With a population under 500, this small community in Edgecombe County had 25% of its citizens living below the poverty line, and dying from health related illnesses in huge numbers.

What Rev. Joyner did for his community had received national recognition. Starting as a summer program for children has grown to encompass five different plots that together total 21 acres. Vidant Edgecombe Hospital, the Edgecombe County school system, and a number of area restaurants pay in advance to secure salad greens, peppers, broccoli, strawberries, and other crops. The center’s 150 bee hives generate $10 jars of honey, as well as an alternative income stream from local farmers renting the pollinators. Participants on the farm prepare beds, select seeds, tend crops, sell produce, and track digital data – all imparting valuable lessons in science, technology, economics, math, and nutrition. As a result, visits to the emergency room have decreased by 75 percent. Collectively, the 250-member congregation spends $4,000 less on medication per quarter than it did a decade ago. Graduation rates grew from 50 to 80 percent.

This presentation is part of the library’s month long Black History Month celebration that includes the exhibit, “Distant Echoes: Black Farmers in America” which is on display throughout February.      

This program is sponsored in part by the Caldwell County NAACP, the N.C. Cooperative Extension-Caldwell County Center, and the Friends of the Caldwell County Public Library.

Press Release courtesy of the Caldwell County Public Library