From the Tractor
by Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler
I have talked before about how everyone has an interest in agriculture whether they farm or not, and how important it is for those of us involved in agriculture to help educate the non-farming public about the role agriculture plays in putting food on the table.
One of the new ways we are trying to get this message out is through a departmental blog and a Facebook page on the Internet.
For those of you who are like me and don’t spend a lot of time on a computer, a blog is just an ongoing collection of short newsy articles posted to a site on the Internet. A Facebook page allows you to post information about yourself or, in our case, the department. People can sign up to be fans of the department and receive updates about what we are doing.
Some people create blogs on specific themes, hobbies or interests; of course, ours will focus on the work of the department, promotional efforts for agricultural commodities and other ag-related items of interest.
Once a month, we will post a profile of an employee, focusing on their education and expertise in a variety of jobs we have in the department. We will also feature a specific departmental job each month. For example, in March we featured a video and brief article explaining what we do when we inspect gas pumps across the state. You will also be able to find recipes and regular updates on events at our farmers markets, amoong a variety of other interesting news items.
People who follow our blog will hopefully have a better understanding of our department, a better understanding of our role in promoting and protecting agriculture, and a better idea about the scope of agriculture in this state.
We also want to use the blog posts and Facebook to encourage young people to learn more about where their food comes from, and perhaps even seek a career in agriculture. As the latest Census of Agriculture pointed out, our farmers are getting older, not younger. For agriculture to be successful in the future, we need to get young people involved in this industry.
The Internet is where young people exchange ideas and share information. To connect to them, we need to be where they are.
You can get to our blog and Facebook page at www.ncagr.gov, by clicking on the “In the Field Blog” link in the left-hand column. I hope you will find the topics to be of interest, and I hope you learn more about the department.
Rest assured that even though we are adding these new features, we will still continue to distribute news as we always have through news releases, the Web site and the Agricultural Review.