N.C. Farm Act of 2016 aimed at strengthening industry

RALEIGH — Governor Pat McCrory was joined by Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, state legislators and agriculture leaders from throughout North Carolina on Tuesday as he signed the Farm Act of 2016.

“This is a great day for agriculture and our entire economy,” said Governor McCrory. “This Farm Act will support North Carolina agriculture and farmers in our state and build on our accomplishments to make the industry even larger.”

Among the many provisions, the Farm Act of 2016 will help the state respond to agricultural emergencies. The bill also gives North Carolina school districts the ability to prioritize purchasing food grown and raised in North Carolina. In addition, regulations are streamlined for construction, installation, repair, replacement or alteration of farm structures.

During the ceremony at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, Governor McCrory highlighted the agriculture industry as one of the largest in the state. Agriculture contributes more than $84 billion a year to North Carolina’s economy and supports more than 646,000 jobs throughout the state.

To strengthen and grow the industry, Governor McCrory created the Food Manufacturing Task Force and championed the Connect NC bond. Overwhelmingly approved by voters in March, the bond included $179 million for agricultural research and testing.