2024 State Meeting

2024 NCACAA State Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference

June 26-28, 2024

The 2024 North Carolina Association of County Agricultural Agents state meeting will be hosted by the Southeast District in Wrightsville Beach, NC.  The meeting will be June 26-28.  The Conference hotel will be the Lumina on Wrightsville Beach

The Southeast District is excited to host the 2024 meeting, and has put together what is sure to be an educational and fun meeting.  The State Board meeting will be held Wednesday, June 26 from 3:00-5:00pm.  The annual meeting will officially kick off that evening with a cookout and cornhole tournament at the New Hanover County Arboretum.  Thursday, June 27, will begin with the Communications Award breakfast at 8:00 am, followed by the business meeting at 10:00 am.  Lunch will feature a Keynote Speaker before agents attend Professional Improvement Sessions in the afternoon, followed by the Awards Banquet at 6:30 pm.  The meeting will conclude on Friday June 28, with a variety of Professional Development Tours.  The Southeast District looks forward to having you as our guest in Wrightsville Beach, NC. 

Lodging Information

Lumina on Wrightsville Beach

1706 N Lumina Avenue

Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480

(910) 256-2231 ext. 5 

Book With the Group Rate Link (Must manually change date to include Wednesday, if needed)

If calling to make reservation use code “CAA” to get group rate. 

Last Day to Book with group rate is Monday, May 27, 2024.

Early Bird Activities

Black River Three Sisters Kayak Tour


Time: Travel on your own to Bluff Baptist Church at 9:00 am (1433 Haw Bluff Rd, Ivanhoe).  Shuttle vans will take participants upstream for a downstream kayak tour back to your vehicle.

Length of Tour: 3 hours plus travel time

Max People: 15

Price: $100

Description: Shuttle vans will take you upstream for a downstream kayak tour of the ancient and famous bald cypress and Three Sisters Swamp will get you back to your vehicle.  Kayaks, paddles, and vests provided or you may bring your own. The trip is for intermediate kayak paddlers.  No beginners allowed.  Lunch will be provided.  Bring your own snacks, water, sunscreen, insect repellent, hat, or other personal needs.  There is no age limit but participants must be able to get in and paddle their own kayak. 

Eagle Island Boat Tour

Time: Pick your time & drive on your own, tours start every hour, reserve tickets at the website below.

Length of tour: 1 hour 

Price: Adult $18, Child age 4-12 $7, Child age 0-3 free

Description: Enjoy a relaxing ride along the Cape Fear River on a comfortable catamaran.  Cash bar and snacks available onboard.  

views of the Battleship, learn about rice plantations, view shipwrecks, and flora.

Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center


Reservation Link

Time:  Guided Tours from 12 pm - 4 pm, travel on your own.  

Length of Tour: 1 hour 

Max People: 15/Tour

Price:  $7.00 General Admission (Ages 13 - 61)

$6.00 Seniors (Ages 62 and up) & Military 

$5.00  Children (Ages 3-12) 

$0 Babies and Toddlers (Ages 0-2) (Babies are free but tickets are still required to reserve their spot!)

Description: This tour will examine an active sea turtle hospital with the goal of aiding turtle recovery so they can be released back to the ocean.  Visitors can tour the Turtle Sick Bay, exhibits, observation area and a gift shop.  Tours last approximately one hour.  No pets allowed.  

Professional Development Sessions

Session A: Turtle Watch

Marshall Warren, Horticulture Agent, Johnston County

Tim Britton, Field Crops Agent, Johnston County

Rod Gurganus, County Extension Director, Beaufort County

Session B: Sound Watch

Joanna Radford, County Extension Director, Surry County

Professional Improvement Tours (ALL TOURS ARE AT CAPACITY)

Tour 1 – UNCW – Center for Marine Science and Oyster Nursery 

UNCW Marine Sciences Center conducts off shore oceanic atmospheric research as well as oyster production research. Agents will meet with UNCW Marine Science staff to learn about the work being done.

Departure Time: 8:30 am

Tour Length: 4 Hours

Tour Capacity: 24 people 

Tour 2 – Small Fruit Production & Research

The Horticulture Crops Research Farm is NCSU's unique blueberry research facility where all aspects of blueberry research are conducted. Agents will learn about the work being done at the station by NCSU faculty, compare blueberry varieties for flavor, texture, appearance, see the mechanical blueberry harvesters and watch the packing and cleaning machines used to mimic commercial grading.  The second stop will be at Lewis Farms, the largest commercial high tunnel blackberry and raspberry producer in eastern North Carolina. Agents will learn about the production practices used to grow these fruits under high tunnel greenhouses.

Departure Time: 8:30 am

Tour Length: 3.5 Hours

Tour Capacity: 30 people 

Tour 3 – Coastal Transplants  

Coastal Transplants Company is a unique commercial greenhouse grower of sea oats, which are grown for preventing dune erosion. Agents will meet with the owner of the farm and learn about how sea oats are grown and do an on-site visit of where sea oats have been planted for dune erosion prevention. Due to construction on the Isabel Holmes Bridge in downtown Wilmington the drive time to Brunswick County for this tour is estimated to be 45 minutes to 1 hour each way.

Departure Time: 8:00 am

Tour Length: 5 Hours

Tour Capacity: 30 people 

Tour 4 – Poultry & Wilmington Compost

Commercial poultry production is one of the largest sectors of agriculture in North Carolina. At this stop Agents will see the inside of a large commercial poultry operation. Tyvek suits and biosecurity attire will be required before entry into the poultry house. This stop will depend on possible restrictions with high-pathogenic avian flu. An alternative stop at an Arabian Horse Farm will be the backup stop.  Agents will also visit Wilmington Compost Company, a privately owned composting venture focused on recycling food and yard waste.  Co-owner Riley Alber will share about how Wilmington Compost works with local restaurants and landowners to recycle organic matter.

Departure Time: 8:00 am

Tour Length: 4 Hours

Tour Capacity: 30 people 

Spouse & Life Members Information

Thursday, June 27 ~ Morning Tours 

Option 1 - Oak Island Lighthouse Tour

Participants will tour the lighthouse and then have lunch at Fishy Fish Cafe in Southport.

Time: 8:30 am - 3:15 pm

Tour Capacity: 20 people

Tour Cost: Free

Option 2 - Eagle Island Cruise in Wilmington

This "Even Hour Cruise" heads north along the Historic Downtown and Eagles Island, where you'll see the past come alive.  Capture unique views of the Battleship, learn about rice plantations, and view shipwrecks, flora, and fauna on this 50-minute adventure.

Time: 9:10 - 11:40 am

Tour Cost: $18

Thursday, June 27 ~ Afternoon Tours 

Option 1 - Bellamy Mansion Museum of History & Design Arts Guided Tour

The Bellamy Mansion, built between 1859 and 1861, is a mixture of Neoclassical architectural styles, including Greek Revival and Italianate, and is located at 503 Market Street in the heart of downtown Wilmington, North Carolina. It is one of North Carolina’s finest examples of historic antebellum architecture. Participants will tour the mansion and museum.

Time: 1:15 - 4:30 pm

Tour Cost: $20

Option 2 - Eagle Island Cruise in Wilmington

This "Odd Hour Cruise" heads south under the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge to the State Ports and learn the history of a WWII Wilmington shipyard along with current facts while watching tug boats, container ships, and pleasure boats. Bring your camera along; there are photo ops in every direction!

Time: 2:10 - 4:40 pm

Tour Cost: $18

Youth Activities (Youth under 9 must be accompanied by an adult)

Wednesday, June 26

3:00 pm Scavenger Hunt

Thursday, June 27

8:00 - 8:45 am Breakfast

9:00 - 11:30 am Stanback Coastal Education Center (309 W Salisbury St. Wrightsville Beach)

12:00 - 1:30 pm Lunch at a park/playground

2:00 - 4:00 pm Flip N Fly (830 Inspiration Drive, Wilmington) *Waiver must be filled out ahead of time

4:30 pm Return to hotel 

5:30 pm until Pool Party w/ Pizza & Ice Cream

Friday, June 28

7:00 am Breakfast on Your Own

8:00 am Tours with Parents

Cornhole Tournament 

Tournament will be held after dinner at New Hanover County Arboretum (6206 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC)