Thanksgiving is tomorrow and like many of you, I will be enjoying the day with family and friends around a home-cooked meal. This holiday season I am thankful for farmers and what they provide to our state.
As you sit down to your meal, there’s a good chance what you are eating was grown by a farmer right here in North Carolina. Our state was built on agriculture and it remains our top industry with more than 50,000 farms of all shapes and sizes. Agriculture and agribusiness generate $78 billion for our economy and employ 640,000 people. It is something we can all be thankful about.
Nationally, North Carolina ranks first in sweet potatoes, second in hogs and pigs and third in turkeys. We also rank second in Christmas trees and poinsettias. Our state is home to more than 80 different commodities. Since there really isn’t much our farmers can’t grow, it’s very easy to make it a North Carolina Thanksgiving.
I am thankful for the safe, abundant food supply our farmers provide. I encourage you to support farmers this holiday season and look for ways to buy local. You can help by looking for the green and yellow Got to Be NC label where you shop. This label means that this product was grown, raised, caught or made in North Carolina. Candles, honey, wood products and gift baskets full of N.C. products make great gifts during the holiday season as well. The NCDA&CS online General Store is a great place to start if you are looking for ideas on where to shop local.
As you enjoy this holiday season, I hope you take some time to be thankful for our agricultural community and support our local farms and businesses.