North Carolina is keeping Guilford County farmer Steve Troxler as the state's agriculture commissioner. Unofficial results show Troxler on Tuesday beat Democrat Walter Smith, a Yadkin County poultry grower and retired USDA Farm Service Agency official. The agriculture commissioner is the primary spokesman for the state's $70 billion agribusiness industry. The agency he oversees also regulates food, drugs, medical devices, motor fuels, amusement rides, and pesticide licenses. Troxler has held the job since 2005. Troxler has concentrated on food safety since becoming agriculture commissioner, but his sprawling agency got a higher profile and bigger budget after fellow Republicans took control of the Legislature in 2011. Troxler's agency also took in the state forestry service and milk quality and bedding inspections.
In the latest Crop Progress Report for North Carolina for the week ended Sunday, November 4th, most of the state received below normal temperatures for the week. Average temperatures ranged from 39 degrees to 54 degrees, and there were just shy of five days suitable for field work, compared to 5.7 days the previous week. Statewide soil moisture levels were rated at 2% very short, 19% short, 66% adequate and 13% surplus. Farmers have been busy planting small grains and harvesting field crops. Both of these field activities will continue throughout this week. Tropical Depression Sandy brought 5 to 6 inches of rain that caused fields to be too wet in much of the county, reports Al Wood, with Pasquotank County Extension. Cabbage was harvested as well as some soybeans toward the end of the week. Still a lot of soybeans that need to be harvested and wheat to be planted. And Brian Parrish of Harnett County Extension reports Sweet Potato harvest is complete. Cotton harvest is well under way and soybean harvest has started. Peanut harvest should finish up this week. Cover crop and wheat planting still underway across Harnett County.
Colorado residents have voted in favor of legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. Governor John Hickenlooper was against it, and says the measure's approval creates a host of problems, since the federal government still outlaws the drug.
It should come as no surprise that presidential campaign spending reached record levels this year. The campaigns for President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney spent a combined total of more than $2 billion on advertising, according to data from the Federal Election Commission. In fact, since the election that pitted George W. Bush against Al Gore, spending per voter has more than doubled, from $18 in 2000 to an estimated $42 this year. Obama and Romney spent more than $30 per second this campaign election cycle. Maybe more amazing is that more than one million TV ads aired this election year, 39 percent more than 2008
It's the latest thing in fast food firing. If's a Taco Cannon–like those cannons at stadiums and arenas that fire T-shirts and other goodies into the crowd. Only this gatling gun-style contraption shoots Tacos into the hungry audience. Pat Mandrella shoots the contraption–he says the belly fillers travel a long way. The Tacos will be soaring through the air this weekend at a music festival in Austin, Texas.
And yesterday was the first day of voting in FSA county board elections. All across the country, eligible voters will receive a ballot in the mail, and those ballots can either be hand carried into your local Farm Service Agency Office, or mailed back. Each ballot must be postmarked no later than December 3rd, 2012.