Local News

Cobb Named N.C. Agriculture Commissioner

Posted December 8, 2003 3:13 a.m. EST

— Gov. Mike Easley named Britt Cobb as North Carolina's new Commissioner of Agriculture Monday. He will fill the unexpired term that ends in January 2005.

"Britt has done a tremendous job during some difficult and highly challenging times," said Easley, who appointed Cobb as interim commissioner in June of this year.

"He got the State Fair back on the right track, re-energized the department and is helping to steer a clear, sound course for agriculture in North Carolina. I have heard from many in the farming community and in other lines of work about just how impressed they are in the work Britt has done," Easley added. "I could not be more pleased with what Britt Cobb has accomplished in these six short months, and have great confidence in what he can do in the future."

"As commissioner, Britt will have the independence and flexibility to manage the Department as he sees fit and can decide to seek election to the office," Easley concluded.

Cobb, 54, will fill the unexpired 4-year term that was left vacant after former Agriculture Commissioner Meg Scott Phipps resigned June 6. The commissioner oversees the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which has 1,300 employees and has responsibilities for food safety, animal health, weights and measures, pest control, soil testing, farm product marketing and more.

A 31-year department employee, Cobb began his career with the agency as a food distribution representative. He served as the director of agriculture for North Carolina's European Office from 1976 through 1979. Cobb worked in the department's marketing division from 1979 until being appointed interim commissioner.

Cobb is a past president of the N.C. World Trade Association and serves on its board of directors. Cobb is a member of the N.C. District Export Council, World Trade Center of North Carolina Board of Directors, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture/Food Marketing Institute Trade Show Advisory Committee, Commonwealth Business Park Board of Directors, Rotary Club of Raleigh, and the University of North Carolina Educational Foundation. He is also a past chair of the Southeast United States Trade Association Marketing Committee.

Cobb was born in Rocky Mount and raised on a tobacco farm in Elm City. He currently owns a farm in Wilson County, which has a tobacco allotment. Britt graduated in 1971 with a bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He and his wife, Ann, live in Raleigh.