Stokes County Small Farms & Horticulture
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Hey, I am Bryan Hartman, the Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent for N.C. Cooperative Extension of Stokes County. I have grown up in Stokes County my whole life on my family’s farm in Walnut Cove. My love of Agriculture started at an early age where at 3 years old I was already helping bottle feed calves. I was a very active 4-H’er in Stokes County where I focused on Animal Science, Horticulture, and Leadership. While I enjoyed participating at the County level through presentations and project books, I had sought opportunities to be challenged in leadership capacities. My main dream was to be a State 4-H officer, and that dream became a reality when I was named State Secretary-Treasurer. 4-H opened many opportunities for me to pursue other leadership positions, like serving as co-captain of my high school swim team at South Stokes High School. Another highlight was severing on our school’s chapter of FFA (Future Farmers of America) as a member of the officer team all four years of high school, I was thrilled to be elected as President my senior year.
I wanted to continue the family legacy of attending North Carolina State University, the same as my father, two uncles, and my aunt. I was accepted into the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences where I studied Agriculture Science with minors in Horticulture and Animal Science. While at State, I was involved and served as an officer in the Animal Science Club, Agriculture, Extension, and Education Club, and Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers program.
I had the privilege of joining the Cooperative Extension team in April 2018 in my beloved Stokes County. It was good to be home where I could serve as an active citizen in the community that gave so much to me growing up. My extension work focuses on commercial vegetable and fruit production, high tunnel crop production, harvesting and handling fresh produce, and beekeeping. A couple of my community partners that I work closely with are the Stokes County Beekeepers Association and the Master Gardener℠ volunteers of Stokes County.
The best part of my job is the hands-on training I get to offer to our community. A favorite training of mine that I offer each year is my hands-on pruning demonstration classes for blueberries, blackberries, and grapes. I really enjoy these workshops because we go to a local farm where I can provide technical assistance to the stakeholders on the proper pruning techniques. A bonus for our pruning participants is that we have been able to provide pruners for them to take home for later use. In addition to workshops and demonstrations, I help maintain the Community Garden at the Cooperative Extension office which serves as a teaching tool for our community.
Outside of my Extension role, I proudly serve as an active member of the Walnut Cove Lions Club, where my grandfather served as a member too. Also, I still continue to help on the family farm, sharing my knowledge of soil science and horticulture. If you have any questions please reach out, I’d be happy to assist.