Got to Be NC fest shows off state's growing ag industry
Posted May 20, 2012
Updated May 21, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — The Got to Be NC festival at the state fairgrounds in Raleigh this weekend showed off North Carolina's top industry – agriculture.
State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said North Carolina is exporting more agricultural products than ever before. From 2007 to 2008, exports doubled from $1 billion to $2 billion.
Troxler recently saw the export increase firsthand on a trip to London.
"I walked into a grocery store, and there was a big banner that said 'North Carolina sweet potatoes,'" he said. "When you are that far away from home and people know about North Carolina sweet potatoes, that's very special."
On Sunday, Nathalie Morse picked up some local sweet potatoes at the festival.
"I think it's great, because the more we can locally produce things, it keeps the economy going," she said.
From peanuts to honey to tomato sauce, the Expo building at the fairgrounds was filled with more than 80 vendors selling locally made products.
Farmers say they're benefiting from the "buy local" trend.
"I like it," said farmer George Wooten. "The challenge that we have is that there are a lot of growers in North Carolina, so we all have to share that market."