Brian Long

Brian grew up on the outskirts of Kernersville, N.C., and spent many a summer day picking green beans, tomatoes, corn and other vegetables from his family's large garden. As a teenager, he kept a small flock of chickens and sold eggs to his neighbors. Brian has more than 25 years of experience in communications, working in both the private and public sectors. He joined the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as director of public affairs in November 2003. He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill and a master's degree in public affairs from UNC-Greensboro.

Today's Topic

Today’s Topic: Industrial hemp being planted under NC’s pilot program

By on June 27, 2017

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.” North Carolina’s goal of having an industrial hemp crop this year is being achieved. More than 60 farmers have had permits approved

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Today’s Topic: 2017 Census of Agriculture is coming

By on June 20, 2017

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.” The USDA will begin collecting data for the 2017 Census of Agriculture later this year, and there are some changes this time

News Roundup

News Roundup: June 10-16

By on June 16, 2017

Each week we round up the latest N.C. agricultural headlines from news outlets across the state and country, as well as excerpts from the stories. “Six quick facts about N.C. A&T’s agriculture college,” Greensboro News & Record: (Video) N.C. A&T

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Today’s Topic: NC horse owners should have animals vaccinated against EEE

By on June 13, 2017

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.” Note: This week, State Veterinarian Doug Meckes fills in for Commissioner Troxler. Summer is here, which means it’s mosquito season in North

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Today’s Topic: Four NC greenhouses among top 100 in US

By on June 6, 2017

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.” North Carolina is well-represented in Greenhouse Grower magazine’s rankings of the top 100 growers in America. Four North Carolina greenhouse and nursery

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Today’s Topic: Hurricane season is here

By on May 30, 2017

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.” Hurricane season begins June 1, and Commissioner Troxler says it’s time for farmers to get ready for it. Researchers at N.C. State

NC Board of Agriculture approves new agronomic tests

By on May 25, 2017

The N.C. Board of Agriculture on May 24 approved changes to the suite of tests offered by the NCDA&CS Agronomic Services Division. Here’s a summary of the changes: Added arsenic, selenium and chromium to the list of heavy metals the

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Today’s Topic: Emerging root-knot nematode threatens sweet potatoes

By on May 23, 2017

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.” Sweet potato growers should be aware of an emerging root-knot nematode that has been identified in fields in Eastern North Carolina. The

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Today’s Topic: Celebrate agriculture at Got to Be NC Festival May 19-21

By on May 16, 2017

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.” The Got to Be NC Festival makes its annual appearance at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh May 19-21. Admission and parking are free.

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Today’s Topic: NC wins federal grant to protect farms, forests, military training

By on May 9, 2017

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.” The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has secured $9.2 million in federal funding to protect farm and forest lands from