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NC farmers promote serving up sweet-potato cocktails during holidays - Classic cocktails are often served with olives, limes or cherries, but from now through New Year’s Eve, some bartenders will be selling cocktails using N.C. sweet potatoes as one of the ingredients. "North Carolina already grows nearly half of the nation’s sweet potatoes,” said one official. “In order to expand markets for our growers, we have to look at value-added uses of sweet potatoes." More at our Farm News page>> Tractor and combine sales down in November - Is the rural and agricultural economy finally slowing down? According to the Association of Equipment Manufacturer's monthly "Flash Report," the sale of all tractors in the U.S. for November, 2014, were down 6% from last year. Combine sales were down 56% for the month. More at our Farm News page>> Maryland Buyer-Grower Expo hopes to connect farmers with buyers - The Maryland Department of Agriculture will host a wholesale local food trade show in January in Annapolis. The show is designed to connect Maryland growers, producers, and processors with buyers from grocery retailers, restaurants, schools, institutions, and other venues. In 2014, more than 400 registrants attended. More at our Farm News page>> Farm to Table Conference addresses labor issues, institutional markets - The annual Virginia Farm to Table Conference has become a meeting ground for farmers and other professionals to discuss numerous issues involving fresh, healthy, local foods. About 800 people attended the recent event in Virginia. More at our Farm News Page>>