Farmers and many of those they do business with will gather at the State Fairgrounds Thursday for the annual Ag Development Forum. State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler will begin his third term in office by discussing the state of the industry. Ag Department spokesman Brian Long says the meeting will be about much more than just tending crops and animals. It's about the process of getting the goods to your home.
"Agribusiness counts for 72 billion dollars in economic impact in North Carolina and employs nearly 640-thousand people," says Long. "So it is our state's leading industry. And that's something else that we try to do with the forum because so many don't realize just how important it is."
Long says while things look good for agriculture, there are still challenges. Last year was rough for the state's poultry industry and for western apple crops. Officials hope 2013 will be a rebound year for both.