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: It’s time to test soils for cool-season grasses

By on September 5, 2017

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.” It’s the right time of year to obtain soil tests for cool-season grasses, such as fescue and ryegrass. The NCDA&CS Agronomic Services Division’s

Today's Topic

Today’s Topic: Equine infectious anemia found in NC mule

By on August 29, 2017

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.” The first documented case of equine infectious anemia in North Carolina since 2005 was confirmed recently in a 14-year-old female mule from

NC Board of Agriculture approves rules for Animal Shelter Fund

By on August 25, 2017

The N.C. Board of Agriculture on Aug. 23 adopted permanent rules for the Animal Shelter Support Fund. The rules define eligible expenses and establish application guidelines for the fund. Temporary rules have been in place since November 2016. The General

Today's Topic

Today’s Topic: The NC Food Processing Innovation Center

By on August 22, 2017

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.” Over the past three years, North Carolina has been working to boost food manufacturing in the state. The goal is to create jobs and

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Today’s Topic: USDA forecasts huge increase in NC cotton production; yields of many crops higher than last year

By on August 15, 2017

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.” The USDA’s August crop report for North Carolina indicates yields are looking good across the board. The cotton yield is forecast at 967 pounds

Today's Topic

Today’s Topic: Commissioner’s Food Safety Forum is Aug. 15

By on August 8, 2017

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.” The 13th annual Commissioner’s Food Safety Forum is coming up Aug. 15 at the State Fairgrounds. The forum will take place from 9

News Roundup

News Roundup: July 29-Aug. 4

By on August 4, 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. “Her goal is to connect farmers, food businesses to people with money to lend,” The

Today's Topic

Today’s Topic: Farmers markets hitting peak season

By on August 1, 2017

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.” National Farmers Market Week is Aug. 6-12, but there are plenty of reasons to celebrate the state’s farmers markets year-round. The NCDA&CS

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Today’s Topic: It’s almost time to sign up for NC State Fair competitions

By on July 25, 2017

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.” If you’re interested in entering a competition at the 2017 N.C. State Fair, it’s almost time to start signing up. Online registration for

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Today’s Topic: 28 receive NC State Fair youth livestock scholarships for 2017-18 school year

By on July 18, 2017

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.” It won’t be long before young folks are starting a new year of college. And 28 North Carolina students will be getting