Small Scale Farming Co-ops Can Create Jobs While Preventing Misery

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

Unless something is done to increase food production substantially, food availability per citizen worldwide will drop almost in half over the next 35 years.[1]  This is because the population of the world is increasing, while historic farm areas are having production reduced by changing climate.   

The increasing drought in the west and flooding in Texas point to an opportunity for North Carolina, which may not be factored into our economic development plans yet.

If we seize this opportunity, we can help prevent even more misery being piled on top of the one in nine world citizens who are currently malnourished and without adequa…

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Opened 1948

Locations Smithfield, NC

Primary Business Hog/pork products

Employees 100

2013 Sales Over $12 Million


Company Spotlight

Stevens Sausage plans to utilize the conversion to propane to become almost entirely independent of gasoline and diesel. In order to further develop business in N.C., Stevens Sausage is strategically cutting costs. To support this effort the company has focused on converting their fleet to run on propane. The fleet consists of 13 vehicles and their propane conversions are nearly complete.

Stevens Sausage began operating in Johnston County in 1948. What started as a family business has become a $12 million company delivering to more tha…

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Polluted Schools Damage Brains

Polluted Schools Damage Brains

by Francis P. Koster, Ed. D.

Since the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970, America has become much healthier.   According to the New England Journal of Medicine, our average lifespan increased almost three years between 1978 and 2001, and as much as 4.8 months of that can be attributed to cleaner air.[1] For people living in more polluted areas, like Pittsburgh and Buffalo, clean air increased life expectancy by 10 months.[2]  Every dollar spent on that effort returned more than thirty in savings in medical and other costs![3] 

Some would argue we should now turn our attention to other pressing national issues, like our education system.  Critics complain that schools are not doing t…

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Rebuilding America's Aging Downtowns Needs to Anticipate the Future

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

14 smaller “mom and pop” stores died each time Wal-Mart, Target, and Kmart opened a new store.[1]  Between 1962 and 2013 alone these giants established more than 8,000 stores.[2] Most of these “car accessible” big box stores were located on interstate exits; most of the walkable smaller shops were located in the older “downtown”.   Good-by downtown.

While this was going on, one out of every two United States manufacturing jobs vanished [3]  - either overseas, or due to automation, or both.  This was a double whammy, because each highly paid local worker circulated enough money throughout the local economy, to “trickle dow…

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