We Are Agriculture is a year-long series that will highlight the hard-work done by employees across the Department of Agriculture. Jade Wang, Assistant Director of the NCDA&CS office in China, is one of those employees. Stay tuned each Wednesday here on the blog or any of our social media accounts and join us in honoring those who continue to drive our state’s agriculture industry forward each day!
North Carolina agriculture not only feeds consumers in our state but across the world, including China. Jade Wang, Assistant Director of the NCDA&CS office in China, bridges the gap between our farmers and Chinese consumers.
Growing up in a rural part of China, Jade was surrounded by agriculture. “Even though I did not grow up farming, I am no stranger to the agriculture industry,” she said. “I have a lot of fond memories of being surrounded by agriculture as a child. In fact, one of my youngest memories is following my grandfather around and helping him pick up fresh eggs from the chickens.”
Upon graduating college with a degree in Journalism, Jade worked with Panasonic in Japan before joining the department in May of 2017. “Although I enjoyed working with Panasonic, I always had a desire to learn more about Western countries and work with them in a way that would prove impactful,” Jade said. This desire led Jade to a job with the NCDA&CS.
“In 2017, my current boss, Daniel Ding, approached me with this position and I knew it was the perfect fit,” Jade said. One of her first projects was to start the social media accounts for the Chinese audience to educate them about North Carolina agriculture and where their imported food comes from. “Five years ago, most of the Chinese population only knew of North Carolina because of Michael Jordan,” Jade said, “so that gave me a huge opportunity to educate them on the state, the farmers, the commodities and the department.”
The import market in China is big business, especially when it comes to North Carolina pork, tobacco, soybeans and sweet potatoes. In fact, throughout her time at the department, Jade has seen the international market skyrocket, growing 22% over the last three years! “Chinese consumers have a strong desire to know where their food is coming from, not only the area or the farm but the story behind it,” she said. “It is my priority to open a window for them to see North Carolina, the agriculture and the farmers in a way that not only educates them but allows them to feel connected to the food, the state and the people.”
On a daily basis, Jade is responsible for managing the NCDA&CS social media accounts in China, Weeble and WeChat, as well as assisting the Director, Daniel Ding, in establishing contacts, developing relationships and maintaining partnerships with people and corporations that help promote N.C. agriculture in the Chinese market and increase exports.
In 2021, her social media accounts grew by 30,000 followers and reached nearly 7 million people through the sharing of many N.C. news stories and farm features. “We interact a lot with our followers and this past year we expanded their education of North Carolina agriculture through the content we shared on social media,” Jade said. “This is my favorite part of the job not only because I get to be the bridge between our consumers and N.C. agriculture but also because I have the opportunity to build those relationships, get to know the individuals and watch their faces light up as they learn more about the food that they love and those who work hard every day to produce it.”
When she is not working for the department and educating consumers about the importance of our state’s agriculture industry, Jade can be found either cooking or traveling. “I love to travel and learn all about other parts of our world,” she said. “Each place that I travel to, I bring home spices from that region of the world and cook with them when I get home.”
Jade enjoys cooking for herself, her friends, her family and even her colleagues. “I pack a box lunch almost every day to work and love sharing my creations with the people in my life,” she said, “especially when it incorporates ingredients from other parts of the country and beyond.” She has even tried her hand at creating N.C. barbeque and can’t wait to share it with her colleagues on her next trip to the U.S. Join us in thanking Jade for all her hard work expanding the knowledge and importance of our state’s agriculture industry across the globe!