Insights from Commissioner Troxler’s recent tour of food manufacturing facilities in N.C.

NC Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler and other ag leaders recently toured some North Carolina food manufacturing facilities in the state. He discusses his insights from tours of D’Vine Foods, Mt. Olive Pickle Company, Smithfield Foods and Blue Mountain Flavors.

  • I recently toured four Eastern North Carolina food manufacturing facilities to learn more about the processing involved. We saw small, medium and large operations and it was very interesting to see them.
  • Stops on the tour included:
    • D’Vine Foods in Elizabethtown. Ron Taylor gave us the tour there.
    • Olive Pickle Company in Mt. Olive. Dr. Fletcher Arritt, VP of Technical Services provided the tour here.
    • Smithfield Foods processing facility in Kinston, where we were joined by Angie Maier with the N.C. Pork Council.
    • Blue Mountain Flavors in Kinston where Dr. Jon Baugher gave the tour of his family’s business.
  • Tour participants included:
    • Bill Aimutis, director of the N.C. Food Innovation Center;
    • Celeste Brogden, with N.C. State University,
    • Dan Gerlach, president of the Golden LEAF Foundation;
    • Richard Linton, dean of N.C. State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences;
    • Larry Wooten, president of the N.C. Farm Bureau;
    • Zane Hedgecock, my chief of staff;
    • And Dr. Sandy Stewart, assistant commissioner with our department.
  • Food manufacturing offers exciting possibilities as these agribusiness add value to raw commodities. I believe we are in a great position to attract and develop more food manufacturing operations to the state.