This article originally appeared on Nash Community College News.  Read the original version here.


Nash Community College’s Small Business Center was among the recipients of the 2019 North Carolina Community College System Small Business Center Network Innovation Award for its Programs and Seminars. The Center was recognized during a ceremony held at the NC Small Business Center Network professional development conference on November 7, 2019.

The annual statewide awards honor small business centers and center directors for Innovation, Service/Collaboration and Programs/Seminars; Business Success Story (Most Impact and Overcoming Challenges) as well as State Director’s Award and Rookie of the Year.

Nash, Edgecombe and Wilson Community College Small Business Centers received the Innovation Award for their collaboration with the N.E.W. Business of Agriculture: Regional Opportunities for Growth Summit held in November 2018 at Wilson Community College.

“The event was the first of its kind for farmers and individuals working in agribusiness in our tri-county region. Attendees learned from industry experts about the future of agriculture in Eastern NC, the growing business of industrial hemp, and diversification opportunities in agritourism,” NCC Small Business Center director Theresa Peaden said.

Special thanks to Laura Lauffer, NC State University Center for Environmental Farming Systems; Ron Townley, Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments; and Hannah Quigley, Food System Program Fellow, Self-Help Credit Union for their support of the N.E.W. Business of Agriculture Summit.

“Over 200 attendees participated throughout the day at one of several seminars,” Peaden said. “Our own, Chef Frank Bookhardt served sweet potato baklava from the NCC Mobile Culinary Lab along with local small business owner Tommy Southerland providing Cackalacky Coffee. NCC Culinary and Brewing, Distillation and Fermentation programs were among the exhibitors participating. All around, it was a collaborative effort utilizing many local resources to make a difference for farming businesses in Eastern NC.”