FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, OCT. 8, 2007
Brian Long, director
(919) 733-4216, ext. 242
NCDA&CS communicator wins national award
RALEIGH –James Knight, media marketing manager at the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, was recently honored with the prestigious National Association of State Departments of Agriculture award.
The award recognizes outstanding government employees whose work has benefited the state and its agricultural community. Knight was honored at NASDA’s annual meeting in Seattle in September.
Visitors to the State Fair in Raleigh may recognize Knight’s voice from numerous radio announcements and in his role as announcer for many agricultural events. Knight has used his talents for public speaking, photography and writing to promote and improve North Carolina agriculture nationally and internationally.
“We all value the tireless effort Jim has put into promoting North Carolina agriculture,” Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said. “Jim’s dedication and enthusiasm have been extremely valuable to our state. He is an exceptionally creative communicator who takes highly innovative approaches to major challenges in agriculture, and we are grateful for his service.”
Knight coordinates public relations, communications and advertising for the Goodness Grows in North Carolina and Got to Be NC Agriculture programs. He also serves as media director for numerous fairs and festivals, such as the N.C. Mountain State Fair, which he helped to establish.
When disasters have damaged North Carolina farms, Knight devoted extra time to rescue and recovery operations, traveling across the state and working overtime to bring relief to North Carolina farmers. Following the devastation of Hurricane Floyd in 1999, Knight worked with then-Agriculture Commissioner Jim Graham and Gov. Jim Hunt to coordinate disaster-relief services for farmers.
Knight worked with the National Guard and agribusiness leaders across the state to locate and install emergency generators for livestock farmers unable to provide food, water or air circulation to their animals or tobacco curing barns. When drought scorched the hayfields of North Carolina in the early ‘90s, Knight helped organize and operate Operation Haylift bringing in hay from the eastern United States by truck and train.
Knight has also volunteered with several charitable organizations such as the MANNA Food Bank of Western North Carolina and the Special Olympics of North Carolina, where he has worked as announcer, organizer and chaperone.
Knight began his 25-year career with the NCDA&CS in 1982 as a public information officer, quickly rising up in the ranks of public affairs and media marketing.
During his career with the department, he has played an active role in organizations such as the Communication Officers of State Departments of Agriculture, Southern United States Trade Association and NASDA, working to support national and international marketing efforts to promote North Carolina agricultural products around the world.