From the tractor
by Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler
You will notice something different about the Agricultural Review this month – color! We are updating the newspaper, starting with this issue. Going forward, photos in the newspaper will be in color and we will be adding color to the masthead.
In terms of content, you can expect the same type of agricultural information, program updates, event listings and ads. Plus, this monthly column where I weigh in on relevant agricultural issues, upcoming events and other items of interest.
The Agricultural Review was first published by the N.C. Department of Agriculture in 1926. In the 89 years since, the paper has seen the department add “and Consumer Services” to its name, but the core missions of this publication to provide agricultural information and be a venue for buying and selling agricultural products has remained largely the same. It is a legacy I am pleased to carry on.
The Agricultural Review is an important publication for many farmers and residents because it gives them a place to advertise their farm equipment, seeds, livestock, land and other items for free. The reach of the publication creates a much bigger marketplace for people in rural areas of the state, which helps with sales.
And while I know there are other places where you can list items for sale, the Agricultural Review is strictly focused on agricultural products or ag-related items and it is a publication that people have grown up with and trust.
The classifieds are definitely part of the reason the newspaper has such a loyal following – people love reading them. I understand their interest, too, because I have bought items from the newspaper before.
I hope you enjoy the changes.
I want to also mention the annual Ag Development Forum that I will be hosting Feb. 5 at the Holshouser Building at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. This event is held there in conjunction with the Southern Farm Show Feb. 4-6. I invite you to join us for this annual event.
We are still working out the details of the agenda, but we will have speakers on the program who will discuss issues of current interest. In the past, we have had economists from N.C. State University to talk about what they forecast for the coming year. As a businessman, I can tell you I always find them to be very informative.
I will give my annual State of Agriculture address as well. I plan to outline some of my priorities for 2015. Without question, this is an exciting time to be in agriculture. I see great opportunities ahead, but the last thing we need to do is be too comfortable with where things are. We have to keep looking ahead and anticipating roadblocks and needs that may be on the horizon instead of waiting and having to react to a sudden emergency.
I can tell you I have a number of short-term and long-term projects on my radar with regard to the department.
The forum is free to attend, we’d just ask that you register so we know how many people to plan for. You will soon be able to register online at the NCDA&CS website, www.ncagr.gov.
I hope 2015 is a great year for production, and maybe this will be the year agriculture and agribusiness break $100 billion in economic impact.