Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden spent the day in North Carolina this week touring some farms. Harden, a Georgia farm girl herself, said she saw three operations that were indicative of Carolina agriculture:
“The first was a turkey grower working in the private sector, and not really happy. When he was 23 years old he tried to get credit and couldn’t. He ended up at USDA with a farm loan and started in the poultry business. He will make his last payment next month and is a real success story. He is someone who wanted to farm but didn’t have a farm and was looking for support.”
Harden’s second stop was a multi-generational farm:
“It was three generations, the grandfather, son and grandson. It is very diversified with corn, soybeans, and sweet potatoes. The family lives right on the farm. Its great to see that a multi-generational farm is still viable.”
Harden’s third stop was a small hobby farmer direct-to-consumer sales:
“This was a small minority farmer who retired from an in town job and inherited some land and now grows produce and has a stand. He had one of his best years there this year.
All three stories are a great example of how important agriculture is to the country.”
As far as what impressed Harden the most when touring the three eastern north Carolina farms:
“What motivated me to see was the passion and the connection to the land. All three different situations people really wanted to farm and be a part of agriculture and play a role in the local economy. I hope we can keep farmers on the land if they want to be there.
We saw some good crops and how farmers had managed with the weather this year and how they had to adjust and adapt. It is something that I will take back to Washington.”
Krysta Harden, Deputy Agriculture Secretary.