Agriculture is North Carolina's largest industry, and it is vital that our agriculture and agri-business continues to grow and prosper.
My most important responsibility is to maintain a safe and abundant food supply to feed North Carolina and the nation.
1. Make sure North Carolina farmers are profitable and able to stay in business.
2. Make sure our food is safe through the Department’s Food and Safety Program
3. Grow agriculture from contributing $92.7 billion to North Carolina’s economy every year to $100 billion
I have worked closely with the legislature on budget and policy issues affecting the Department of Agriculture since I became Commissioner and I will continue to do so. I also have a legislative liaison working every day with the legislature to achieve this goal.
A passion for agriculture.
A commitment to service.
A vision for our future.
A voice for ALL of us.
I grew up on a dirt road in Johnston County on my grandparents’ farm—where we raised hogs, cows, and chickens, and grew corn, cotton, tobacco, and soybeans. It is from that experience that I learned early on the value of hard work and the importance of the family farm in putting food on our tables and clothes on our backs.
I believe climate change is, indeed, real, and it is the most fundamental problem that will be faced by any of us in this lifetime. It is a dereliction of duty on the current Commissioner’s behalf to not admit that this is the root cause of so many of the problems our farming community faces—often resulting in dire circumstances, including the inability to produce crops and the eventual loss of the farm through bankruptcy, leading to the highest number of farmer suicides we’ve ever seen.
I want to make North Carolina a place where everyone can be proud to call home. With the input of diverse voices and a commitment to both equity and inclusion, my office can address the biggest issues North Carolinians are facing and ensure a prosperous future for everyone. I’m ready to lead on climate change, support our family farmers, advocate for hemp and cannabis legalization, address relevant social and environmental justice issues, and meaningfully engage in the immigration and farmworker debate. I will bridge the growing urban-rural divide by investing in rural broadband access and prioritizing rural health, while making sure no child goes hungry.
I’m offering North Carolina the chance to look forward: a chance to modernize our state’s biggest and most important industry. Over 95% of our farms are family owned and family run, but they need someone in this office who is truly there to support them—who will stand up and speak out.
Incumbent Steve Troxler was elected in 2004. It’s been 16 years, and in that time, he has become complacent. He’s been bought and paid for by special interests and international corporations who are denigrating both our environment and the image of small farmers—who are, perhaps rather unfairly, being lumped together with a few bad actors down East—in a way that will forever cripple the ability to seek common ground and mutual understanding with both the consumers and lawmakers who overwhelmingly live in our urban cores.
Rural North Carolina is being left behind. The truth is, it’s been that way for a while, but now North Carolinians have a fighter who wants to be their champion. I am that fighter who faces the reality of where we are and who has the capacity to implement bold solutions to get us to where we need to go.
The world is changing, and it’s time for North Carolina to change with it. The issues of today require us to address them with absolute urgency.
We’re building a movement for a new North Carolina. One that recognizes our strengths, gives a nod to our past, commits to being better for the benefit of our collective population, and inspires innovation. You can join our fight.
Thus far, my campaign has been endorsed by Senators Sam Searcy, Wiley Nickel, Jeff Jackson, Paul Lowe, Mike Woodard, and Fmr. Sen. Doug Berger, along with State Representatives Marcia Morey, Pricey Harrison, Wesley Harris, John Ager, Joe Sam Queen, Raymond Smith, Jean Farmer-Butterfield, Gale Adcock, Cecil Brockman, Scott Brewer, Evelyn Terry, Derwin Montgomery, Christy Clark, Susan Fisher, and Zack Hawkins. I have strong working relationships with many of our other Members, and I am confident that we will all be able to work together to best serve the people of North Carolina while prioritizing addressing the needs of our agricultural and agribusiness communities, tackling climate change, and bridging the growing urban-rural divide by addressing both broadband expansion and rural health needs.