National Ag Week got underway Sunday, with Thursday being National Ag Day. North Carolina’s Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler explains what Ag Day is all about:
“National Ag Day focuses on raising awareness on the abundance of agriculture in North Carolina. There’s something else we forget; because we have this abundant agriculture, people can go do other things. Excess agriculture has allowed people to leave the farm and go do other things.”
It’s also a time, according to Troxler, remember that this country’s economic foundation is in agriculture:
“Look at here in North Carolina, it’s the number one industry in the state of North Carolina, it’s $70 billion a year, it’s a huge economic sector in North Carolina and nationally, and we can’t take that for granted.”
And to observe national ag Day and National Ag Week, Troxler had these suggestions:
“Visit a local farmers market, eat at a restaurant that uses North Carolina foods, or even better yet, visit a local agri-tourism farm where you can learn about raising crops and animals.”
For more information on locating either a farmers’ market or an Agritourism farm near you go to ncagr.gov.
Environmental Stewards Awards Presented
The National Pork Board honored four farm families with the 2011 Pork Industry Environmental Stewards Award during the annual National Pork Industry Forum last week in Denver. The 2011 award recipients include John M. Langdon Farms – Benson, North Carolina. The award recognizes producers who demonstrate a firm commitment to safeguarding the environment and their local communities.
McDonald’s Announcement Discussed at Pork Forum
At National Pork Forum last week in Denver, pork producers discussed several issues of importance to the pork industry, including the recent announcement by McDonald’s that it wants to transition its pork supply away from farmers who use conventional sow gestation stalls.
National Pork Board CEO Chris Novak says that, in discussing that decision with McDonald’s, they emphasized that pork producers are committed to providing the best care to each and every individual animal….
“And that’s a message we’ll continue to take to McDonald’s and to every other food company and we’ll hope that the decision that they make in the future are based on sound science and on what’s truly best for the animal as opposed simply making decisions that may be based only on consumer perception and/or on threats and intimidation.”
Novak says, while he doesn’t expect McDonald’s to reverse its decision, he hopes they take a closer look at the welfare advantages and disadvantages of various production systems….
“At this juncture we would expect them to move forward as they have made a public announcement to the extent that the details have to be worked out. I think that McDonald’s needs to understand the percent of production today that’s coming from the various types of swine production farms.”
National Pork Board CEO Chris Novak.