From the tractor
by Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler
I want to mention a special event the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is planning for June 5-8, 2008. We plan to host the Got to Be NC Festival at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, featuring tractor pulls, displays of antique farm equipment, food, music and other entertainment.
The four-day event will showcase North Carolina’s agriculture heritage and our agriculture and agribusiness industry.
The Got to Be NC marketing campaign began as a grassroots effort to help consumers identify North Carolina products and commodities. Recent consumer trends have indicated many shoppers want to know where their food comes from and many prefer to buy locally grown products when available. The Got to Be NC effort is designed to tap into that trend and help consumers find North Carolina food products easily.
When we kicked off the initiative, we decorated the sides of our Food Distribution trucks with pictures of North Carolina commodities, with the trucks serving as rolling billboards for delicious locally grown products. We wanted to get people used to the Got to be NC logo and slogan. We’ve partnered with grocery stores and restaurants to further identify N.C. products for consumers, and from what I hear from producers, the results have been good.
We’ve also combined these efforts with some limited advertising to increase consumer recognition of this branding program.
I wanted to continue to build on the success. This summer, our Marketing Division partnered with Eastern North Carolina radio stations to host the Got to Be NC Homegrown Concert Series featuring Kellie Pickler, Jason Michael Carroll and Danielle Peck – all singers with North Carolina ties.
The concerts drew lots of attention, and the Got to Be NC message reached a greater audience.
And now with the Got to Be NC Festival, we plan to expand that message again.
You’ll hear more about the festival in future issues of the Ag Review. We’re also working on a Web site, where you’ll be able to get the latest information. Once the site is up, you’ll be able to access it from our department’s Web site, www.ncagr.com.
I know the festival is still a year away, but I’m so excited about this new opportunity to celebrate our state’s agricultural heritage, I can’t help talking about it.
While a lot more details still need to be ironed out, I can tell you that we intend to offer good, old-fashioned fun for the whole family.
I hope you’ll share my excitement and make plans to join me at the fairgrounds next June.