2004 Tar Heel Bus Tour Itinerary

Monday, May 10

7:30 a.m.

Depart Friday Center Parking Area

8:50 – 9:45 a.m.

Mitchell’s Tobacco Farm-Bunn, NC

We’ll tour a flue-cured tobacco farm in order to understand the role tobacco farming plays in the state economy and the lives of farmers. The state ranks No. 1 in the production of tobacco and in spite of recent legislative changes and lawsuits, it remains an integral part of the lives of North Carolina residents.

9:50– 10:50 a.m.

Vollmer Farm-Bunn, NC

We’ll tour a former tobacco farm that has diversified, growing strawberries, pumpkins and other vegetables. John and Betty Vollmer will explain why they decided to end tobacco production and how these changes have affected their farm.

Noon – 1 p.m.

Lunch at Holt Lake Barbecue – Smithfield, NC

We’ll enjoy a traditional Eastern North Carolina Southern-style lunch at this popular restaurant.

2:45 – 4:45 p.m.

Neuse River Water Quality Study—New Bern, NC

Faculty members from the Institute of Marine Sciences, a research unit of Carolina, will give us an overview of monitoring rivers and estuaries. Then we’ll board an IMS boat to view how water quality is measured and assessed. This program will highlight the complexity and richness of North Carolina’s waterways and also explain how the recent hurricanes have impacted water quality in the state.

5 p.m.

Overnight – New Bern

Tuesday, May 11


7:30 a.m.


10-11:30 a.m.

Tri-County Health Clinic, Dunn NC

We’ll meet with members of the Community Advisory Committee, the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and the women they’ve helped to learn how their program, HOPE Works, encourages healthy eating habits, stress reduction and career counseling in the community. This program is an example of Carolina’s Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR), in which community members are involved in every step of the research process. We’ll learn more about this grassroots collaboration and the group’s efforts to change lifestyles while working to promote healthy living.

1-3 p.m.

Diversity in NC Populations, Siler City, NC

Siler City’s population is indicative of changes throughout North Carolina. Over the past decade the Latin American population has grown more than 400 percent. Our hosts will discuss their efforts to assist the Latino population in gaining access to services and making the transition to America in terms of economic and social considerations.

5 p.m.

Overnight – Winston-Salem, NC


Wednesday, May 12


7:30 a.m.



Bernhardt Furniture, Lenoir, NC

Manufacturing plants in North Carolina lead the nation in production of household furniture and fixtures. The industry is the second largest employer in the state’s factory sector. We will have a behind-the-scenes look at the manufacturing of furniture by Bernhardt. The company produces both residential and contract furniture. We will tour one of the office furniture plants.

1 – 3 p.m.

Grandfather Mountain

We will explore the mountain’s unique ecology and biodiversity. Hugh Morton will greet us at the Visitor’s Center and share his award winning photography with us. Morton is also known for social and political activism in the state. He ran for governor in the 1970s, he championed the effort to save the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and led the campaign to clean up air pollution in the 1990s. After our visit with Morton, we’ll take in the view from the top of Grandfather Mountain on the Mile High Swinging Bridge, the highest footbridge in America.

5 p.m.

Overnight—Blowing Rock

Thursday, May 13


7 a.m.


8 a.m.

Depart for Mt. Holly

10:15 –11:45 a.m.

American & Efird Textile Mill – Mt. Holly, NC

The state of North Carolina has a long and rich tradition in textile manufacturing. As this industry faces the ever-present challenges associated with global economic development and technological advances, some historic industry leaders are weathering the storm. A&E is one of those companies. Since 1891, A&E has produced yarn and thread, and today, it remains one of the leaders in the industry. This stop, which will include a plant tour, will explore the challenges of the textile industry as well as the processes that create the product.

12:30-2:30 p.m.

Pillowtex, Kannapolis, NC

In July 2003, Pillowtex Corporation closed its doors, laying off more than 4,800 textile workers in North Carolina, the majority in Kannapolis. We will talk with the Kannapolis city manager and former Pillowtex employees to hear how the community is coping with the loss. We’ll also hear about potential new development in the city, and depending on the new owners, we may also take a tour of the mill. Bus tour participant Jonathan Morgan will tell us how Carolina is lending a hand in the economic recovery efforts.

3:15-4:30 p.m.

NASCAR, Huntersville, NC
A 1996 study estimated that motor sports generated a $392 million impact on the state's economy. Now that figure tops $1.5 billion. Currently, more than 10,000 North Carolina jobs are tied to motor sports. Today, we’ll hear from Trisha Fuller, known around the industry as "the tour lady" and visit Joe Gibbs Race Shop to get a behind-the-scenes look at the industry’s cultural, economic and political impact on the state.

Overnight –Charlotte, NC

Friday, May 14


7:30 a.m.


10:15 – 12:15 p.m.

Peck Elementary School, Greensboro, NC

We’ll spend the morning at Peck Elementary to hear how the faculty and staff are using the Carolina Covenant to encourage students to work hard and stay in school. Herb Davis and Ann Trollinger will also explain the origin of the covenant and how Carolina plans to track these students over the next eight to 10 years. After our panel discussion, the fifth graders will give us a brief tour of the school, and then we’ll sit down to lunch.

2 – 3:30 p.m.

North Carolina State Government, Raleigh, NC

Now that we’ve seen much of the state, we’ll take some time to talk over our impressions and important issues facing North Carolina. Kevin FitzGerald, Special Assistant to the Chancellor, will moderate our discussion that will include the Governor’s Senior Assistant, a North Carolina Senator who has chaired Carolina’s Trustees, and a longtime state government reporter.

4:15 p.m.

Arrive Friday Center Parking Area