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Farm City Day honors Volunteers, Farmer of the Year

Karen Saine and Wendy Henderson share a laugh as extension agent Steve Pettis describes their volunteer work for Farm City Day. Karen Saine and Wendy Henderson share a laugh as extension agent Steve Pettis describes their volunteer work for Farm City Day.

A third generation nurseryman and two sisters who have spent many years as volunteers behind the scenes were honored at Farm City Day Saturday.


Tree grower Ken Allison was honored as Farmer of the Year and Karen Saine and Wendy Henderson were named Volunteers of the Year as N.C. Agriculture Extension Service leaders opened the celebration of farming.
KenAllison1Ken Allison“He’s been a great mentor to me, especially in the nursery business,” extension agent Steve Pettis said of Allison. “Western North Carolina is one of the best places in the world to grow crops of any kind, trees especially. Trees grow really well here.
“Ken’s grandfather started the business back in the ’20s. Ken was just telling me the story of his grandfather selling trees to the Biltmore nursery back in the old days. Ken’s family has a long history of being in the nursery business.”
A member of the extension service’s advisory board, the farm-promoting AgHC and the Soil and Water Conservation Service board, Allison has been dedicated to trying to protect farmland threatened by urbanization.
Saine helped organize the festival for many years in her full-time job with the county Parks and Recreation Department, while Henderson joked that her sister drafted her to “do just one little thing.” Daughters of summer camp owners — the old Camp Windywood in Tuxedo — the Waggoner sisters have devoted their lives to working with young people.
“I do want to recognize all the volunteers, how much they help with Farm City Day,” Saine said.
“It is a labor of love,” added Henderson, a retired middle school teacher. “We are very appreciative of the volunteers as well as the (extension service) staff and Henderson County Parks and Rec.”