Friday, June 27, 2008

A slow, hot Friday...

The budget folks apparently took the day off. A much needed breather from what I hear. I was going to cover a drought working committee today as well that got cancelled.

So, instead I went to the farmer's market! Here's the script below if you're interested. I'm probalby on car insurance Monday. The next round of hearings gets underway. Political Connections tonight and Sunday on News 14 Carolina looks back at a busy week.

RALEIGH -- As food prices continue to rise, North Carolina farmers are hoping you'll decide to buy local.

In many cases, prices at farmers markets are cheaper than the grocery store.

On a sizzling Friday afternoon, customers swarmed to the state farmer's market.

"Particularly with the tomato scare that was recently in the news you know you can come out here and get fresh vegetables and feel good about what you're getting," Shopper Glenda Small said.

Small says she feels better about the price as well. She says it's only gone up about ten percent since last year.

"I think they are better than the grocery stores, some things, the corn seems to be about the same as grocery stores," Small said. "Tomatoes in the grocery store are a little higher."

NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler added, "In most instances our food products are going to be cheaper out here than the grocery store. Even if they're not people need to understand that by buying these fresh products here or across the state are keeping farmers in business."

Staying in business has proven tough. Fertilizer costs have doubled since last year and fuel prices are still rising. That has led to higher prices for food. It didn't help when more than a million acres of corn were devoured by the Mississippi river in the midwest. However, that has created a high demand for North Varolina corn.

That's a bit of a double edged sword. iI's creating problems at the same time for other North Carolina farmers.

"We have the huge pork and poultry industry in North Carolina that depend on corn, soybeans, and wheat as a food source and its driven their feed costs through the roof," Troxler added.

As long as oil prices remain high, tToxler says food costs will do the same, but he hopes it will convince people to buy more local food.

Most grocery stores do sell North Carolina grown products. The locally grown food will have stickers that say "Got to be NC".

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