Ag. Department Commissioner Steve Troxler’s “From the Tractor” (June Edition)

    by North Carolina’s Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler from his June column “From the Tractor” for the department’s monthly newsletter the Agricultural Review:

    Our 2024 Got to Be NC Festival wrapped up with a solid turnout despite the threat of rain each day. Farmers know we can’t control the weather, and that you just have to work with it. So, work with it we did, although we did catch a break with several large periods of time each day that were rain free.

    People who attended seemed to have a great time and we got a lot of positive feedback on our social media platforms.

    There were lots of indoors activities as part of the festival, including the Food Lion Local Goodness Marketplace with around 75 N.C. food and beverage companies. The Agri-Plaza, N.C. Forest Service displays, and independent vendors in the Jim Graham Building also offered festival-goers many fun activities.

    We kicked off the festival with a brief press event announcing updated economic impact numbers for agriculture and agribusiness. The full story is at the top of the page, but I was very pleased that the industry posted a second straight year of strong growth, rising to $111.1 billion, which is 15.6% of North Carolina’s total income.

    We remain focused on growing agriculture, securing the natural resources we need to be able to produce food and fiber, and investing in research and value-added infrastructure to increase opportunities for farmers and agribusiness owners.

    We also hosted a Young Farmer of the Day each day of the festival and I really enjoyed meeting and talking with them. You can read more about each of the young farmers on page 3. It is exciting to see young people who have a strong passion for agriculture and carrying on their family’s farming traditions. Special thanks to AgCarolina, Farm Credit, and AgSouth Farm Credit for sponsoring this recognition program.

    During the festival each year, we also hold a special reception for the Junior Livestock Scholarship recipients.

    Funds for these scholarships come from the State Fair Sale of Champions and go into a fund for scholarships for any student who participates in the youth livestock shows. A total of 32 students received scholarships this year.