NCDA Announces Three Key Staff Appointments

On Wednesday, NC Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler announced the appointment of three key staff members to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; Tina Hlabse of Raleigh has been named general counsel of the department. She previously worked at the Department of Justice.

Vernon Cox, also of Raleigh has been named director of the Plant Industry Division, he succeeds Gene Cross who retired last fall. His career in state government includes 15 years with the Division of Soil and Water Conservation, and Alan Wade of Erwin has been named director of the Meat and Poultry Inspection Division. He succeeds Donald Delozier who retired at the end of April. Wade’s 25 year career with the department includes 17 years overseeing the Meat and Poultry Inspection Division’s compliance and evaluation section.

New FFA Endowment Will Send Students to Washington

A new endowment that has been established with the National FFA Foundation will allow thousands of future FFA members to attend the organization’s largest leadership development conference – free of charge.

Once active, the Glenn and Maggie Stith Leadership Development Fund Endowment could provide about $1,500 each for 110 eligible FFA members from throughout the country to attend the annual Washington Leadership Conference each year. The scholarship will be awarded to the National FFA Organization to cover the cost of each recipient to attend the conference and provide a stipend to cover travel, meals, lodging and other conference-related expenses.

Monsanto Determines Accidental GMO to be Clean

The company that developed a genetically modified test strain of wheat that emerged to the surprise of an Oregon farmer says it has tested the parent wheat stock and found it clean. Representatives for Monsanto Co. say the emergence of the GMO wheat was an isolated occurrence and most likely resulted from an accident or deliberate mixing of seed.

Stabenow on Possible Smithfield Foods, Shuanghui International Merger

Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow says American consumers have long been able to trust the food they buy in the supermarket – as the U.S. produces the safest, most affordable food in the world due to the high standard to which U.S. producers are held. Stabenow says she is concerned about Shuanghui (Shawn-way) International’s possible purchase of Smithfield Foods because of the implications it could have on food safety for American consumers. She says the agencies responsible for approving this possible merger must take China’s and Shuanghui’s troubling track record on food safety into account and do everything they can to ensure America’s national security and family health isn’t jeopardized. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.