In This Issue
Legislative Session Adjourns
Dr. Steven Wells named interim state veterinarian
Pork and Pasta Skillet Supper
Farmland Screening at NCSU
Industry Calendar
The Food Effect

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Vol. 14      Issue  9
August 25, 2014

Legislative Session Adjourns

Collective exhale heard throughout the state


NC Flag After 163 legislative days, the two-year session of the NC General Assembly finally came to a close last week. During that time, the legislature created 540 new laws.


Below are some highlights from the 57 days that lawmakers spent in Raleigh during 2014. For a full recap of the two-year session, make sure to check out the upcoming issue of the NC Pork Report magazine.


Tax Changes

As you may remember from the 2013 legislative session, although there were extensive changes to NC's tax code, farmers were able to retain all of the agricultural tax exemptions with one condition - to qualify, a farmer had to earn at least $10,000 in gross farming income to get the exemptions. This year, a slight modification was made so that if a farmer has an annual gross income for the preceding income tax year of $10,000 or more, or a farmer who has an average annual gross income for the three preceding tax years of $10,000 or more, that farmer qualifies for the exemptions. 


Because of this change, even if you have an agricultural exemption certificate for many years, you have to reapply one more time to keep your exemption certificate. YOU MUST REAPPLY FOR YOUR NEW EXEMPTION CERTIFICATE NUMBER BY OCTOBER 1, 2014!


See FAQs on the NC Department of Revenue website here.

2014 State Budget - $21.1 billion spending plan

  • NC State University received $350,000 for a plant science initiative and $250,000 for a food processing initiative.
  • The Farmland Preservation Trust Fund got $2.6 million - $1 million of which is earmarked for working with the U.S Department of Defense in securing land around NC's military installations and flyways.
  • The Agricultural Water Resource Assistance Program (AgWRAP) received $1.5 million.
  • Also included in the budget was new rules related to unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones. Under the provision, drone operators are prohibited from conducting surveillance of private property without the consent of the landowner, easement holder, or lessee.

The 2014 NC Farm Act (HB 366)

  • Gives the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) discretion over responding to environmental complaints made against agricultural operations if the complaint is frivolous or was filed in bad faith. HB 366 also directs DENR to develop a formal system for receiving, investigating and responding to environmental complaints.
  • Tougher penalties for trespassing at an agricultural facility. The offense will now be a Class A1 misdemeanor. The only other facilities protected by this most stringent trespassing law are electrical generation facilities, public water systems, and natural gas facilities. This was a top priority for the NC Pork Council to strengthen biosecurity on our farms.
  • Creates a requirement for a person operating an all-terrain vehicle on someone else's property to have the written consent of the property owner. It also removes the landowner's liability when giving written consent to someone wishing to operate an all-terrain vehicle on his or her property by requiring no more duty of care than he or she would owe a trespasser. In other words, just because you give someone written consent to ride a four-wheeler on your property, it does not mean you are liable if they are injured because you did not disclose something like a downed tree or newly constructed fence.
  • Makes changes to the Horse Industry Promotion Act by allowing an assessment on livestock feed labeled or marketed for equine use (formerly, it was just feed labeled specifically for equine use). Though this change is not expected to have a direct impact on the majority of pork producers, if any hog farmer purchases retail livestock feed for hogs that is also marketed for equine use, you could be paying that assessment. But, anyone who pays the assessment can request a refund from the NC Horse Council.

Dr. Steven Wells named interim state veterinarian


Dr. David Marshall, retiring on August 29th.

RALEIGH - Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler has appointed Dr. Steven Wells of Surry County to serve as interim state veterinarian, effective Sept.1. Wells will step in for Dr. David Marshall, who is retiring Aug. 29 after 26 years of service to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, including 14 as state veterinarian.


"Dr. Marshall's service to the citizens of North Carolina - and our state's multibillion-dollar livestock industry - cannot be underestimated," Troxler said. "Animal agriculture accounts for 63 percent of total farm gate receipts in our state, and Dr. Marshall and his staff have been crucial to protecting this industry from potentially devastating foreign animal diseases. We wish him well in his retirement."


Troxler's choice for interim state veterinarian is quite familiar with the NCDA&CS. Wells retired from the department in 2008 after a 23-year career in the Meat and Poultry Inspection Division, including eight as director.


"Dr. Wells has graciously agreed to interrupt his active retirement to assist us with this transition," Troxler said. "His past experience in state government and strong food-animal veterinary background make him an excellent choice for this interim role."


Wells will serve until a permanent selection is made.

The state veterinarian is the chief animal health official in North Carolina and is responsible for designing and administering programs that monitor and protect the state's livestock, poultry, and equine industries as well as other species of interest. 

Pork and Pasta Skillet Supper

Recipe from



5 minutes prep, 15 minutes cook



1 pound ground pork

1 medium onion, chopped

1 14 1/2-oz can pasta-ready tomatoes

1 8-oz can tomato sauce

1 small yellow squash, OR zucchini, sliced into half moons

1 1/2 cups penne pasta, hot cooked, OR other small pasta shape


Cooking Directions:

Heat nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and onion; cook and stir until evenly browned. Stir in tomatoes and tomato sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in squash and pasta. Cook for 2-5 minutes or until heated through.


Serves 4  


Serve with a tossed green salad and French bread for a quick school night dinner.

Farmland Screening at NCSU


If you've not had a chance to see the documentary Farmland, NCSU's College of Ag and Life Sciences (CALS) is holding a screening September 5.  NC farmer Bo Stone will introduce the film following comments from CALS Dean Rich Linton and two current CALS students. 


You must register here to attend.  

Industry Calendar 


Continuing Education Information


If you have questions about how many hours you need, you can visit the DWQ website at:


August 28 - TBA

Adult PQA Plus and TQA - Call (910) 296-2143

Duplin County Extension Center


October 21 - 22

Animal Waste Class - Call Amanda Hatcher or Wanda Hargrove at (910) 296-2143; $35 for manual; $25 for exam

Duplin County

10 am - 4 pm on both days


To schedule individual or group Adult PQA Plus, TQA or Youth PQA certification classes, contact Jan Archer. 


Other Events


August 26 - 27

NCPC Board of Directors Planning Session

August 26

The Commissioner's Food Safety Forum

Expo Center, NC State Fairgrounds

9am - 12:30pm

September 6

Ag Day/CALS Tailgate Event as NC State takes on Old Dominion in Carter Finley Stadium

Time TBA

September 19

Pork Chop Open (Members Only - PAC Event)
River Landing
October 3 - 4
NCPC Whole Hog Barbecue Championship in conjunction with IBMA's Bluegrass Festival - Downtown Raleigh 
October 16 - 26
NC State Fair
NC State Fairgrounds, Raleigh
Take a moment to view the 2014 Summer issue of the Pork Report online. You may view past issues of our magazine by clicking here.
The North Carolina Pork Council. We bring a lot to the table.