Monday, Union County Extension Director Richard Melton hosted Representative Larry Kissell (NC-08) for a discussion with members of the Union County Cooperative Extension about agricultural production in Union County, concerns over dwindling resources and the 2012 Farm Bill.
Part of the discussion focused on the fact that Union County is the third largest agricultural producing county in North Carolina, yet has no central water supply source. Farmers expressed their concerns about potential future strains on the land as a result of population growth. Also discussed was the importance of the ASPIRE Program that partners with NC State in an effort to increase rural student's scores on standardized tests.
"Agricultural is a vital part of the economy of the 8th District and North Carolina," said Kissell. "It is imperative that we maintain a safety net for agricultural producers. It is impossible to overstate the importance of agriculture to our state, our economic future and our way of life. Programs such as ASPIRE are important to help students in the rural parts of our state have continued academic success."
Melton thanked Congressman Kissell for his dedication to education and the agricultural community.
"The Congressman provided the group with insight on some legislation concerning the Farm Bill and we appreciate his efforts to keep our interest in mind," said Melton. "We also discussed some of the educational programs we offer and we enjoyed hearing about the Congressman's experience as an educator."