Wrapping up 2021 and looking forward to 2022.

by | Dec 28, 2021

Summary: Highlights from 2021 and a reminder about the upcoming Southern Farm Show Feb. 2-4, 2022.

Today’s Topic
  • It doesn’t seem possible that it is Dec. 28 – the week of 2021. This has been both a quick year and a long year, especially as we have continued to navigate the second year of this pandemic.
  • I think it went by quickly because we remained very busy in agriculture. Especially as we worked to distribute record amounts of USDA food through our Food Distribution program and distribute a variety of CARES ACT grants to meat and seafood processors, farmers markets and dairy producers.
  • Those federal monies had specific uses and carried deadlines for distribution, but I am proud of my staff for working hard to see that we got these grants out the door in a timely manner.
  • In the long run, we are going to see increased capacity for meat and seafood processors, which benefits consumers, too.
  • Another huge milestone was the completion of the Agricultural Sciences Center – a facility that now bears my name.
  • We have moved into the building, but some work continues to finetune all the complicated scientific instruments that are used.
  • We do plan to have a proper open house in the spring and officially introduce the Center then. Stay tuned for more details on this in the future.
  • I have ticked off a few accomplishments that happened in 2021. Another big one was holding the Mountain State Fair and the N.C. State Fair this year after a year’s break.
  • We were incredibly pleased that so many people came out to support these events and they exceeded our expectations.
  • Another accomplishment that I would note for 2021 is the economic impact of agriculture and agribusiness increasing to $95.9 billion.
  • I am so proud to see the determination of farmers and the industry in the face of great adversity. Through all of our collective efforts, we are closing in on being a $100 billion industry in this state and I look forward to the day when we reach that mark.
  • I know we won’t stop there. We’ll adjust the goal and continue to push hard to get to the next milestone. I know we have all the pieces for success here – committed farmers, a great foundation of agricultural research, an engaged legislature that supports the industry, innovative biotechnology companies, and a support network and advocates for the industry.
  • It is possible that when economist Mike Walden releases his latest numbers, we could top $100 billion.
  • The end of the year is often when we look back and assess what we have accomplished and look ahead to the coming year and think about our goals ahead.
  • It’s a great time for reflection and that is something I will be doing as I work on my annual State of Agriculture speech that will be part of the 17th Annual Agricultural Development Forum held during the Southern Farm Show at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.
  • The farm show dates are Feb. 2-4 at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Mark your calendars for Feb. 3 at 9:30 a.m. for the Ag Development Forum. I hope to see you there.