In the early nineteenth century, North Carolina lagged behind the rest of the country in agricultural production and standard of living. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, both grass roots and governmental movements arose to improve farming practices by educating farmers about new farming methods, cleanliness, and other important topics. These materials reflect this movement.
North Carolina State University was founded in 1887 as a land grant college, and was originally called the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. Farmers' organizations hoped that the research and education offered would improve North Carolina agriculture and rural communities. The research and outreach programs of the college aided North Carolina farming immensely. The North Carolina Collection has numerous documents from NCSU, such as commencement programs and catalogs, as well as a few general histories.
In 1853, the North Carolina State Agricultural Society, the sponsor of the State Fair, envisioned the Fair to be both entertaining and educational for families all over North Carolina. The State Fair has been a favorite fall activity since. Here is some information about this popular pastime.
Most of the North Carolina Collection's items about farmers' markets and farm produce are from the 21st century.