Lee County’s Cooperative Extension will kick off Ag Week 2023 on April 22 with the opening of the Sanford Farmers Market behind the Chatham Street Buggy Building.

The farmers market will be open from 8:30 a.m. to noon, and will be the first in a series of events throughout the week designed to highlight the role of agriculture in Lee County’s economy and culture.

“There are a lot of exciting things going on that folks may not be aware of,” said Bill Stone, director of the Lee County Cooperative Extension. “We tried to develop our programming this year in response to a lot of the calls and feedback we’ve been getting.”

One of the highlights for Stone is a panel discussion about land use and “how landowners can develop a plan to ensure their land use goals are achieved and preserved in the future.” That event is set for 7 to 8:30 p.m. on April 26 at the McSwain Center, 2420 Tramway Road. It is open to the first 100 attendees, with pre-registration encouraged.

Other events include a raised bed gardening workshop, tours of Gross Farms, Big Bloomers and Dalrymple Farms, a canning workshop,  an ag trivia night at Hugger Mugger Brewing, a backyard chicken q-and-a, and much more. The week will end with the farmers market on April 29. The full list of events can be found here. Some events are ticketed, while pre-registration is required or encouraged for others.

“We’re all about education,” Stone said. “Any time we can connect folks with the importance of agriculture and help them understand why it’s so important, it’s one of the best things we can do.”