The N.C. Ag Development Forum is one of the most anticipated events at the Southern Farm Show each year – and the keynote speaker's presentation at the event is one of the most anticipated highlights.
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service, which organizes the forum, has now announced that N.C. State University's Nick Piggott, a well-known agricultural economist in the state will be the keynote speaker this year.
Among other things, Piggott is known for his production of the N.C. State Grain Marketing Homepage at the university's Cooperative Extension Internet site. This grain resource provides up-to-the-moment market prices, demand and supply estimates and outlook reports.
Other resources available on the site include agriculture budgets, historical price and basis data and research papers on a variety of topics.
The forum is hosted by N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. Many say his annual presentation, the State of Agriculture address, sets the tone for farmers' expectations about the new growing season each year.
"Winter is a time when farmers plan for the year, and we want to load them up with plenty of information they can use to make decisions," Troxler says. "This forum is designed not just for farmers, but also for agribusinesses and others with an interest in the continued success of North Carolina agriculture."
There will also be a presentation on "Local Food from Field to Market," featuring a number of top speakers; Eddie Moore, co-owner of Moore Brothers Beef; Bill Graban of Prime Lumber; Courtney Tellefsen of "The Produce Box"; Sally Eason, CEO of Sunburst Trout Co.; and Dick McKellogg, vice president of Lowe's Food.
There will also be an FFA Presentation led by Jason Davis, State FFA Coordinator.
Commissioner Troxler will present the prestigious "Exporter of the Year Award."
The forum will take place from 9:30-12:30 p.m., Jan. 31, in the Holshouser Building at the N.C. State Fairgrounds. Admission to the forum is free and lunch will be provided. Registration is requested by Jan 25. To register, go to www.ncagr.gov/agforum. If you have questions contact Chrissy Waggett at 919-707-3008.