Got to Be NC members represent the farmers and agribusinesses that produce our state’s agricultural products. Membership in the program not only allows us to bring our members’ goods to market and into the hands of consumers, it benefits North Carolina’s agriculture industry as a whole.

Through members-only events, trade shows, marketing initiatives and more, we support members of all sizes, from wholesale producers and processors to individual specialty food entrepreneurs.  The Got to Be NC program is a business development program.  It is designed to assist companies that are in business to grow and expand market share.  The program is not for the hobbyist.

Apply for Membership

Got to Be NC membership is made by application to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, and may only be claimed by qualified and approved producers or processors of North Carolina agricultural and food products.

Apply online for membership today!  You can view our membership criteria by downloading it here. Prospective members looking to download a paper application form can do so here.  Please note, paper applications take longer to process.

Current members should verify and update their member profile today – it’s as easy as following steps 1, 2, 3! Search the name of your business to confirm whether or not your company has been imported to our Find Local directory. If you are listed, simply follow step 2 to the form to update your existing profile.

For current members not listed: You are still a member! Because of the age and volume of the old member database, we launched the new site with a sampling of the total membership data that had been researched and vetted. The fastest and most efficient way for us to capture updated information on our members for the new Find Local directory is to have you fill out the new online application. This application feeds our new member profile center. The application is more in depth, but takes just 10 minutes to fill out. This will provide NCDA staff with the robust details and information needed to serve you better.

For information about membership, contact John Hammond, Assistant Director Marketing Communications. Please note, in order to maintain the integrity of the data on the site, prospective applicants should fully complete all sections since each application is vetted and researched before being uploaded. An application with all the pertinent information provided, will speed the process.

Member Opportunities

Explore grant initiatives and opportunities available from Got to Be NC and our partners.

Pinehurst Barbecue Festival

The third annual Pinehurst Barbecue Festival, presented by US. Foods, Pinehurst Resort and Our State magazine is a “Celebration of Taste and Tradition” featuring award-winning Pitmasters from across North Carolina in one of the most picturesque settings in the state.

The three-day event staged over Labor Day weekend in and around the historic Village of Pinehurst offers a unique culinary sampling experience of various barbecue meats, traditional sides, along with live music and BBQ-themed vendors.

Got to Be NC is a proud sponsor of the Pinehurst Barbeque Festival. We have a dedicated sponsor activation area on Sunday, Sept. 3 and have covered the cost for up to 30 of our Got to Be NC members to have a 10’x10′ space located in the Village of Pinehurst. That’s right – there is no cost to you for this space and 100 percent of your product sales are yours to keep!

Sauces and rubs are permitted, but no alcohol vendors are being accepted. Small food samples are allowed, but no meats are permitted to be sold.

Space is limited so be sure to reserve your spot as soon as possible.

To learn more about the festival click here. To register for your free vendor space on Sunday, Sept. 3, contact Dave Droschak at or call 919-630-6656 with any additional questions. Special hotel rates are listed on the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival website.

Learn More

Business of Farming in North Carolina: Beginning April 6, 2023 Johnston Community College SBC Online Training

A program designed to empower new and existing farmers.

Join this live instructor-led 4 week series designed for new and beginning farmers who want to explore their options in farming, ranching and agriculture. In this program we’ll help you cultivate a strategic plan to validate your goals and engage with a community of entrepreneurs just like you.

April 6, 2023, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Week 1: Site Analysis & Exploring Your PotentialExplore how you can learn your farms potential through analysis of all land and equipment so you can explore and move your business to its full potential. You will learn to think strategically in making decisions that will enhance your capacity.

April 13, 2023, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Week 2: Legal Structures and Business Framework
Kick start or expand your farm business by finding which business structure works best for your goals. Learn the fundamentals of the business operations and how they work. Learn to think outside of the box on which business entity might be best for you.

April 20, 2023, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Week 3 of 4: Financial Planning for Your Business
You will learn how to understand your business financials so that you can make smart and strategic decisions that will make you profitable. You will explore all areas of business finance so that you are confident in your decision making as you move your business into a profitable venture.

April 27, 2023, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Week 4 of 4: Understanding Your Market and Customers
Learn how to find your niche, business concept and opportunity. Explore how you can fine tune your value proposition and begin to explore which customers are best for your business. Learn how to find the right customer for you –and keep them.

Learn More