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Industry leaders launch new initiative to support North Carolina agriculture

A new strategic initiative has been announced to support and bolster North Carolina’s $103 billion agriculture industry called NC Ag Leads.

The group includes a partnership between the Golden LEAF Foundation, the NC Chamber Foundation, the NC Farm Bureau and Google.

The NC Ag Leads initiative aims to enable stakeholders to identify, educate, and strategize for the impacts of external factors on the future of North Carolina’s agriculture industry. This includes positioning the state’s capital markets, educational systems, farmer community, and the processing and marketing aspects of the industry in order to leverage future opportunities.

Leading the initiative is a steering committee that includes Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler, NC Farm Bureau President Shawn Harding, NC Chamber President and CEO Gary Salamido, and Golden LEAF board members Lawrence Davenport, Laurence Lilley, and Don Flow, and Golden LEAF President and CEO Scott T. Hamilton.

“I never cease to be amazed by the state’s agriculture and agribusiness industry and its collective contributions to the state and the world. I believe it has an even brighter future ahead as we work together to increase production to meet the global demand for food,” N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said in the announcement. “NC Ag Leads is about coming together, discussing and establishing priorities, identifying things we can control, and building on our deep agricultural foundation to move the industry forward.”

NC Chamber General Counsel and President of the NC Chamber Legal Institute Ray Starling and Associate State Legislative Director at NC Farm Bureau Laura Kilian will lead the NC Ag Leads strategic planning process.

“With its $103 billion annual contribution to our state’s economy, agribusiness and agriculture drive a major share of North Carolina’s economic success and status as a top state to do business,” Salamido said in the announcement. “NC Ag Leads will ensure that North Carolina’s number one industry is positioned for continued competitiveness.”

Phase one of the NC Ag Leads initiative, dedicated to researching opportunities, barriers, and alignment in North Carolina’s agriculture industry, is in progress and will conclude by June 2024.

Pending approval by the Steering Committee, phase two will involve solving and implementing the initiatives identified in phase one, running July 2024 to January 2025.

At the end of Ag Leads’ strategic planning process, the North Carolina agricultural community will be presented with a set of priorities that are both “aspirational and attainable.”

If implemented, these priorities have the potential to enhance productivity, economic vitality, and community cohesion within the industry, “charting a prosperous future for North Carolina agriculture.

Source : nsjonline