Rhyne Cureton, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, B.S., Agricultural Education, December 2018
“NC Growing Together made me a better student. It really gave me the opportunity to understand agriculture on a big scale.”
Rhyne Cureton’s interest in agriculture developed from a life-long love of animals. “I knew I wanted to work with animals somehow, and always appreciated animals in their natural environment,” he says. He studied Animal Science at N.C. A&T, which, he says “helped me see animal agriculture integrated into the larger whole of agriculture.” He decided to take a gap year in his studies to experience different outdoor animal production systems, working on various pasture-based livestock farms around the country.
At the end of his gap year, he became an NC Growing Together Local Food Supply Chain Apprentice at Foster-Caviness, a produce distributor in Greensboro. “My mission is to see how I can fit into different parts of the local food system. I never thought that I’d work at a huge produce distributor, and it was really cool to get into the supply chain side of local food,” he says.
When he returned to N.C. A&T to complete his studies, his perspective had changed. “In classes, I knew what they were talking about. NC Growing Together made me a better student. It really gave me the opportunity to understand agriculture on a big scale.”
Through NC Growing Together he became involved in NC Choices, which was a perfect fit for his interests. He volunteered at NC Choices’ 2017 Carolina Meat Conference and 2018 Marketing Local Meat Seminar. “I’ve gotten a lot out of volunteering. In the long run, I’d like to have my own farm. In the meantime, I get to soak up all this knowledge, connections, and networks to raise meat on pasture.”