North Carolina's Ag Commissioner, Steve Troxler says that when the General Assembly convenes this week, the number one topic will be state budget shortfalls. Troxler says that we could see the elimination of entire programs or services across government, and that these changes are likely to be permanent.
NCDA & CS is expected to provide a variety of services and regulatory oversight, including free soil testing, free agronomic consulting, agricultural research, conducting food safety inspections of meat processing plants, food manufacturing plants and grocery stores, marketing North Carolina ag products, protecting NC crops and trees from plant pests and protecting livestock and poultry from potentially devastating animal diseases. Any or all of these services, plus many others could be affected by budget cuts, depending on the severity.
NCDA will be providing information to the legislature and the state budget office about the programs they operate, and regardless of what happens in the budget process, Troxler says that he knows that any significant cuts would bring about a fundamental change in what the department does.