Increase the Number of NC Farmers
North Carolina Agriculture’s biggest problem is the decreasing number of farmers. Our farmers are aging, and their children are increasingly choosing new professions. We need to use youth education and industry support to make farming a desirable profession. We also need to work closely with farmers so we can support them and ensure farming can be profitable so that we can continue to put food on the table for the state.
We are blessed to have such great agricultural learning institutions right here in NC. We need leaders to bring farmers, researchers, and government leaders together to make our agricultural industry a leader in innovation across all of the south. We should be collaborating with our research institutions to develop new tech and policy for emerging markets, such as hemp and marijuana.
Diversity in Agriculture
Agriculture is the largest industry in North Carolina, yet there is a disproportionately smaller percentage of farmers of color. NCDA&CS needs to create more programs and financial incentives devoted to increasing the number of POC farmers in our state. For economic and social equity, we must increase inclusion in the agricultural industry.
North Carolina Agriculture has an abundance of beautiful and rich farms, we need to find creative ways to better connect our in-state residents and out-of-state visitors to these experiences. We can start by increasing exposure to Agribusiness with a targeted approach to educating consumers across North Carolina of the resources of food and fiber around them through an improved system of digital apps and physical signs connecting people to world-class agricultural destinations.
Protecting our Raleigh State Farmers Market
We are making a grave mistake by jeopardizing our State Farmers Market in Raleigh. The current commissioner is threatening the market’s operations by approving a development plan that has no rendering for current wholesalers. The wholesale line in Raleigh brings in over 100 million annually and is the prime platform for farmers to bring goods into market, distributors to efficiently move goods onto I-40 for schools, hotels, restaurants, roadside stands, Military, Grocery Stores, Schools, & Charities like Meals on Wheels, NC Food Bank, Interfaith food shuttle & others. This is happening right now as phase one has already been funded to move the first wave of wholesalers without a lease agreement. This is unacceptable. If elected I will ensure we protect this vital part of North Carolina’s economy.