Meet NC Choices Staff

Sarah Blacklin, NC Choices Program Director

Sarah Blacklin is an NC Cooperative Extension educator and Program Director at NC Choices. Sarah has over 12 years of experience helping small farmers in NC maximize direct and wholesale marketing efforts to enhance profitability. She deals directly with businesses along the entire local and niche meat supply chain and she has established relationships with many of the now over 800 niche meat producers in NC including 15 commercial meat processors, 20+ Cooperative Extension agents, eight state and federal regulatory agents and various allied businesses. Sarah’s work of extending educational programming, networking opportunities and technical training to sustainable food businesses has gained attention on the local and national scale. Among other activities, Sarah serves on the board of the National Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network and the Southeast Sustainable Livestock Coalition.

Asher Wright, NC Choices Program Coordinator


Asher comes from a production background with over 10 years in the Sustainable Agriculture field. He got his start at Warren Wilson College working on the schools diversified crop and livestock farm. In 2013 Asher received his M.S. in Animal Science from Clemson where he researched forage finished beef and how different forage types, with or without corn supplementation, impacted animal performance, carcass characteristics, and meat quality. After graduating, Asher took the reigns of Rock House Farm, a pasture centered livestock farm in Morganton, NC specializing in heritage breed pork, wagyu beef, and seasonal lamb and poultry. Asher will oversee NC Choices Technical Assistance.
Please contact Asher if you are: 1) a pasture-based beef, pork, lamb or poultry producer with production questions or who is interested marketing products locally, 2) an extension agent interested in educational materials and programming related to marketing local meats, 3) an independent processor interested in doing inspected slaughter & further fabrication for local markets, or 4) a buyer looking for local pasture-based meat.

NC Choices Advisory Committee:

  • Amanda Carter, Operational Manager at Foothills Pilot Plant
  • Casey McKissick, Foothills Farm and Butchery and consultant
  • Chad Ray, Ray Family Farms
  • Debbie Hamrick, Director of Specialty Crops, Farm Bureau
  • Emily Lancaster Moose, Director of Communications and Outreach, Animal Welfare Approved
  • Jennifer Curtis, Firsthand Foods
  • Johnny Rogers, Amazing Grazing Program Coordinator, Rogers Cattle Company LLC.
  • Lee Menius, Wild Turkey Farms
  • Dr. Matt Poore, Extension Livestock Commodity Coordinator, Professor & Extension Ruminant Nutrition Specialist, Animal Science NCSU
  • Dr. Nancy Creamer, Director of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems
  • Dr. Noah Ranells, Marketing Extension Specialist at NC A&T University
  • Dr. Rebecca Dunning, Senior Research Scholar, NCSU University
  • Smithson Mills, consultant Smithson Mills, Inc.