NC Ag Commissioner Recruiting College Students into Farming

Average Age of North Carolina Farmer Continues to Creep Higher

North Carolina’s Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler is concerned about the advancing average age of the state’s farmers:

“The age of farmers in North Carolina has been rising, right now it’s 57.3 years of age, and it’s still creeping up. The only way to turn this around is we’ve got to get people interested in agriculture once again, and we’ve got to recruit these people.”

Troxler is so concerned that he’s taken his message to colleges and universities around the state in the form of a speaker series. Thus far,

Troxler has been impressed with the response from students:

“I’ve really been impressed with the knowledge and the passion these students have for agriculture.”

For those that are interested in getting into farming, there’s help from USDA according to Troxler:

“It’s a group known as the National Young Farmers Coalition, is pushing for policy changes to make it easier for new farmers to get in. Of course, there are some programs in the farm bill to help young farmers.”

To hear more of Ag Commissioner Troxler’s comments on recruiting young farmers, visit our website, SFNToday dot com.

SC Lake Levels Dangerously Low

Officials worry that lakes along the South Carolina-Georgia state line are in for a long, hot summer. Officials say the lakes already are at a low level before summer's heat arrives.

South Carolina state climatologist Hope Mizzell says the counties around the lakes are in a severe drought and stream flow is less than 25 percent of normal. Officials expect a warmer than usual summer. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is looking for public comment through May 12 on its water management plan for the lakes.

Retail Spending Rose in March

The Commerce Department reports a rise in retail spending in March, up 0.8 percent last month. Wells Fargo Economist Tim Quinlan says that far exceeded expectations of just a 0.3 percent increase:

“We got a much better than expected report here, on the head line we’ve got a month-over-month gain of .8 of a percent, that compares pretty favorably to a .3 of a percent gain that had been expected.”

Lettuce Recall Affects East Coast States

Dole Food is recalling 756 cases of bagged salad, because they could be contaminated with salmonella. The bags of ‘Seven Lettuces’ salads were distributed in 15 states including North Carolina and Virginia. Marty Ordman and spokesperson for Dole says a random test came back positive for Salmonella. He added that if you think you have one of the salads you can return it to the store for a full refund.

“Our salads are very safe, and we take every precaution for food safety, and I think, as a consumer, you can feel confident eating Dole salad.”

National Cattlemen's Satified with Effort by EPA on Antibiotic Guidance

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced plans to publish its Final Guidance 209 in the Federal Register last week (week of April 9). The guidance on the use of antibiotics in livestock and poultry production was first proposed in June 2010. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Executive Director of Legislative Affairs Kristina Butts says organizations on all sides of the debate had a voice in the process – and FDA has made changes to Guidance 209 since that time



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