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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Nickels for Know-How

by Thomas L. Norris Jr., 2006Cover of a brochure for Nickels for Know-How produced for the 2011 referendum vote on the program. Image from North Carolina State University.

Nickels for Know-How was the title of a program created following World War II to support scientific research to improve crop production and farming methods. Established by legislative action in 1951, it permitted farmers to cooperate in encouraging agricultural research and the dissemination of research findings. For this purpose farmers and other growers of agricultural commodities voted an assessment on themselves not to exceed five cents per ton on commercial feed and fertilizer.

In North Carolina the Farm Bureau Federation, the State Grange, and the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation held the referendum that approved the Nickels for Know-How program in the state. Collected levies are paid to the state commissioner of agriculture, who remits them to the Agricultural Foundation to be disbursed for the foundation's purposes. In 1991 the law was amended to create the Tobacco Research Commission and to provide for a levy of 10 cents per 100 pounds of tobacco marketed to support tobacco research. By the early 2000s, the program yielded $650,000 annually for its work.

Additional Resources:

Scott, William Kerr. "'NICKLES [sic] FOR KNOW-HOW' A Transcribed Radio Broadcast Made For State-Wide Use, Raleigh, September 1, 1951."  Public addresses, letters, and papers of William Kerr Scott: Governor of North Carolina, 1949-1953. Raleigh, N.C.: Council of State, State of North Carolina. 1957. p.241-245.   (accessed August 23, 2012).

"Nickels for Know-How Facts." College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. North Carolina State University.  (accessed August 23, 2012).

"Nickels for Know-How referendum passes by huge margin" In The Field (blog). N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. December 14th, 2011.  (accessed August 23, 2012).

Image Credits:

"Nickels for Know-How: Keeping a good thing going!" College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. North Carolina State University. (accessed August 23, 2012).