Friends of Ag rally set for Tuesday


By Chris Berendt, Sampson Independent (NC)

March 10, 2019


This year’s annual Sampson County Friends of Agriculture rally will center on a subject that affects livelihoods in Sampson and other counties, one that has pit pork producers against neighbors who maintain the operations are a nuisance to their quality of life.


The rally will be held this Tuesday, March 12, at 6:30 p.m. at the Sampson County Agri-Exposition Center. The keynote speaker will be Andy Curliss, CEO of the N.C. Pork Council.


“He will discuss the hog trials that are going on in federal court in Raleigh,” said Ronnie Jackson, president of Sampson County Friends of Agriculture. “He also has done a lot of very involved research into organizations and individuals in this county who are actively funding attacks on animal agriculture.”


The topic of Curliss’ speech will be “Farmers Under Fire.”


It is expected to provide a look at how significant coordinated advocacy is threatening animal agriculture, including the industry in North Carolina.


“I will address the ongoing lawsuits in depth as well as provide information about other facets of the strategic attack that is underway in an effort to build awareness of what is occurring,” Curliss stated.


he statewide trade organization that advocates on behalf of the state’s farmers and business partners who produce $3 billion in pork products annually that feed families in North Carolina, across the nation, and around the world.


A native of Ohio and graduate of the University of Toledo, Curliss was a journalist for two decades. He served as state government editor and investigative reporter at the Raleigh News & Observer, and was named Journalist of the Year by the American Journalism Historians Association, was a Goldsmith Prize finalist and won the national Taylor Award for fairness in reporting.


During his years as a journalist, Curliss has had the opportunity to travel widely in Asia, participating in trade missions there and in South America.


Curliss’ past experiences as well as his current job make him very knowledgeable on the subject, Jackson noted.


Last year, the Sampson Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution supporting agriculture...