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ASABE Student Chapter Opens Annual Sweetpotato Fundraiser Sale

Autumn is a kaleidoscope of yellow, orange and reddish hues and the sound of harvesters on the outskirts of town. The season is a celebration of hard work and high yields. For the NC State University ASABE student chapter, it marks the beginning of their annual sweetpotato fundraiser sale.

ASABE club president Shelby Orton and secretary Lindsay Dodson shared details about this year’s sale and how supporters can purchase or donate a box to others in need.

What is the ASABE sweetpotato sale? 

The ASABE sweetpotato sale is an annual fundraiser where we sell North Carolina sweetpotatoes to raise money for ASABE events. Our mission as the ASABE student chapter is to foster enriching connections between BAE and BAET students and opportunities in related fields. Our events include bi-weekly meetings with local industry leaders, a departmental career fair, industry tours, social events, and service projects. North Carolina produces the most sweetpotatoes of any state in the USA. Several faculty, students, and alumni of the BAE department have worked closely with sweetpotatoes, so utilizing this agricultural product for a fundraiser is a natural fit. 

Where do the sweetpotatoes come from? 
ASABE students tour Vick Family Famrs
ASABE student members toured Vick Family Farms on October 21, 2022.

This year, our sweetpotatoes came from Vick Family Farms. Since 1975, their farm has evolved from a small family farm to a leader in agriculture throughout the world. Today, their farming operations extend over 8,000 acres throughout several Eastern North Carolina counties where tobacco, sweetpotatoes, cotton, soy beans, wheat, and corn are grown. You may recognize their brands Carolina Gold, Pure Gold, Grande Gold, Carolina Steamables, or Natural Gold. As Vick Family Farms has expanded and grown, they have always prioritized attention to detail and quality of their products. 

The Vick family has supported the ASABE sweetpotato sale for many years, and invited students to tour their farm on October 21st. On our visit, we heard from Linwood Vick about the processes, opportunities, and challenges of their sweetpotato business. Visiting the storage and packing facilities emphasized the importance of technology in agricultural enterprises. In 2015, the farm built a new packing facility that has allowed them to meet consumer demands from across the world. Linwood offered an inspiring glimpse into the past expansion and future goals of the farm and gave our students a valuable learning experience. 

Not only did Vick Family Farms so graciously provide sweetpotatoes for our sale, they also gave us a greater perspective on the dedication and commitment their family and employees have for the farm. Vick Family Farms is certified as a Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) farm by both Global GAP and USDA GAP. ASABE is extremely appreciative of Vick Family Farms’ support of the student club and contributions to agriculture.

Where does the sale take place? 

The sweetpotato sale is open now! Ten pound boxes of sweetpotatoes are available for sale at this link. There is also an option to donate ten pound boxes of sweetpotatoes to a local food bank.

Opportunities to pick up your sweetpotatoes are available November 15-17 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm and November 19th from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at Weaver Labs. See these directions for pick-up at Weaver Labs. 

How will the NC State ASABE student chapter use sale proceeds?

The proceeds from the ASABE Sweetpotato fundraiser will be used for expenses related to sending members to the Southeast Regional ASABE Rally at the University of Florida this upcoming spring. The money also allows us to fund travel to different company tours for our students to see real-world applications of concepts we learn in class. Additionally, some of the funding will help purchase supplies for local volunteer efforts.