Jimmy Thomas, Person County soybean and hog producer, is in the second of a two-year term as the president of the North Carolina Soybean Producers Association. On Friday, the soybean producers held their annual meeting in conjunction with the Southern Farm Show, and Thomas shared his thoughts on farming and the direction of the NCSP:
Thomas: I think 2012 is going to be an exiting year, a lot of us have come out of the hurricane, and made some really tough decisions, and maybe tightened our belt a little bit, to get back on track from the plans that we’d put together, but I think it’s a very important year to have a marketing plan put together and be prepared for what might come around. But, hopefully this will be a year for a good growing season and make a good crop in North Carolina.
SFN: And what do you see for the Soybean Producers Association this year?
Thomas: I’m really excited about the Soybean Producers Association, this is my second year as president, so I’ve got to learn a little bit about the ropes. And my challenge is president is really to work on educating our legislators, that’s my top priority. Ii think as producers we’ve done a great job in North Carolina of working and educating ourselves, and now we just need to continue to work and educate other people as to how important we are to our society.
SFN: And that also dove-tails with your involvement with the North Carolina Animal Coalition.
Thomas: Yeah, that was exciting to me when we got the opportunity to put this project together, the soybean producers association put about $50,000, what we budgeted for this project, my family also raises pork, so I just think this is a great opportunity for our associations to come together and work…about five associations working together on this project, and the Farm Bureau, and I think it’s an opportunity for us to come together and pool our resources, and leverage our money and educate people. You know, we need to educate the general public to realize that we are important, we have so many people that are speaking negatively about agriculture, and it's time we need to speak positivity for agriculture.
SFN: Alright, is there anything that you’d like to add?
Thomas: I’m just excited, I never dreamed that a small farm boy from Person County, North Carolina would have the opportunity to serve in this role, and I really appreciate that my peers selected me to take on this responsibility, and I hope that I can provide the leadership that we need to grow North Carolina on into the future.
Jimmy Thomas, NCSP President