It has been an honor to serve as your Commissioner of Agriculture for three terms. On my very first day, I promised to work with the employees of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to make the Department the best in the nation. Now, ten years later, I can tell you that we’re doing just that. I have spent my entire career in agriculture and agribusiness, helping to make it our State’s number one industry. My work has included the operation on my family farm in Browns Summit, numerous agricultural leadership roles and now as Commissioner of Agriculture.
I understand this industry inside and out, and have the vision and leadership ability to continue to move us forward. Let me tell you a little about what we’ve accomplished in the Department of Agriculture during the last few years. Here are some of the highlights:
When I took office in 2005, agriculture and agribusiness were a $59 billion industry. Today agriculture and agribusiness contribute 80 billion dollars each year to our economy.
Since 2005, the value of North Carolina agricultural exports has nearly doubled.
Since 2005, the North Carolina Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund has conserved more than 10,000 acres of working farms and forests
July, 2015 marked the 10th anniversary of the “Got To Be NC” marketing program, which now supports 3,000 members with marketing assistance and trade show opportunities that connect them with buyers. The “Got To Be NC” program was honored with the 2015 Marketing Excellence Award from North American Agricultural Marketing officials.
The Meat and Poultry Inspection Division of the Department has helped farmers take more control of their product by becoming registered meat handlers.
Since I took office in 2005, the Department of Agriculture’s budget has been flat, yet we’ve built the top Department of Agriculture in the country. We’ve been able to do this thanks to my leadership and my farmer’s attitude of needing to get a dollar’s worth of benefit from a dime’s worth of investment.
I have demonstrated my ability to deliver responsible, conservative, efficient government.
I once again ask for your support and your vote in the 2016 election.
Commissioner of Agriculture