Honoring agriculture, veterans


By Sen. Brent Jackson - Contributing columnist



I hope you are having a great week so far. The past couple of weeks have been busy at the General Assembly. The Senate is working hard on the budget, and we are now hearing reports from the subcommittees. Last Friday, the Senate had to get all of our public bills and resolutions turned into bill drafting.

National Agriculture Day

Yesterday, President Trump recognized March 21 as National Agriculture Day. If you would like to see the press release from the White House, please visit https://tinyurl.com/mwsn6ww. I commend President Trump on this proclamation. It is another action by President Trump that reflects his commitment to agriculture, and recognizes the importance of agriculture to our nation, world, and future.

Confirmations

Last Thursday, March 16, the Senate unanimously confirmed James Trogdon to serve as the Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Erik Hooks to serve as the Secretary of the Department of Public Safety. These are both very important roles to our state because they act in connecting our citizens with their jobs and families. Our infrastructure is something very important to the legislature, and I look forward to working with both Secretary Trogdon and Secretary Hooks to improve North Carolina.

Question of the Week

Last week, I asked you to let me know what your favorite crop grown in North Carolina was. As you might imagine, I received all different kinds of answers ranging from fruits and vegetables, to organic foods and tobacco. Thank you to all of those who responded, I truly appreciate your input.

This week, I would like to get your opinion on a bill that just passed its third reading in the Senate and is now heading to the House, Senate Bill 64. Senate Bill 64 would establish the month of November as Veterans’ History Awareness Month. The goal is for the State Board of Education to develop programs in collaboration with active military installations, veterans, and veteran service organizations that provide students an opportunity to receive a better understanding of the meaning and importance of the contributions of Veterans. Do you support Senate Bill 64 and the month of November becoming Veterans’ Awareness Month?

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can assist you in any way possible.

Blue, Brew and ‘Que Festival

The Blue, Brew and ‘Que Festival will be at the end of this month at the Duplin County Events Center, and will feature some big names in bluegrass. The two day festival will be, 5-9 p.m. on March 31 and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on April 1. There will be twenty cookers who will participate in the event, with the winner proceeding to compete in the state championship in Raleigh at the end of September. The barbecue cook-off is sanctioned by the North Carolina Pork Council and is part of the Whole Hog Barbecue Series. Barbecue sandwiches, craft beers, and local wines will be sold at the event. Applications are available for the barbecue cook-off, volunteers, and vendors at the Duplin County Events Center. Tickets are available to order in advance at the price of $8 for Friday and $20 for Saturday, but prices will increase on the day of the festival. To find more information about the Blue, Brew, and ‘Que Festival, visit www.duplinbluegrassfest.com or call the Events Center at 910-275-0009.

Johnston Jaguar Dance Team Tryouts

The Johnston Jaguar Dance Team’s 2017-18 spring tryouts will be held next Monday, March 27 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in the Paul A. Johnston Auditorium. To be able eligible to try out for the team, you must be a current student at Johnston Community College. Exceptions will be made for incoming freshman and transfer students, whose tryouts will be later this year in August. Prior to trying out for the dance team, you must have proof of a completed athletic physical. The physical forms can be picked up at the dance team coaches’ office in STEAM 132. The tryouts will be closed to the public. If you have any questions, or would like further information on the Johnston Jaguars Dance Team or their tryouts, please call 919-464-2378.

Veterans Addition Coming to Sampson History Museum

A fundraising campaign is underway to build a new addition to the Sampson County History Museum to serve as a tribute to Sampson County’s veterans. The Sampson County Veterans Office is working with the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion to create the new addition. In the addition, the museum will display a large variety of artifacts that have been donated directly by the people of Sampson County. A few of these items are Civil War battle flags, colonial cannon balls, 19th century swords and rifles, field gear from World War I and II, and uniforms from the war in Vietnam. Also, the museum will offer climate controlled exhibit galleries, interactive exhibits, and storage space for artifacts. The Sampson County History Museum is accepting donations as part of a fundraiser to help with the cost of this new addition, if you are interested in making a donation, contact the museum at 910-590-0007.

District Spotlight

Anne Smith of Four Oaks has recently been awarded by the Girl Scouts of North Carolina Coastal Pines the USA Appreciation Pin at their 10th Annual Meeting in Greenville, North Carolina. The Appreciation Pin is awarded to an adult volunteer who has provided outstanding service to the Girl Scout program. Smith has performed beyond expectations as a volunteer of the Girl Scouts, and shown support of the council’s mission and contributed to the Girl Scouts national movement. Smith volunteers at the Johnston County day camp, and spreads the love of outdoors to all of the girls who attend the camp. Smith became a Girl Scout in 1978, and has been apart of the program ever since. I would like to congratulate Anne Smith on her great accomplishment of being awarded the Girl Scouts of USA Appreciation Pin. Thank you for all that you do for the Girl Scouts and playing such a positive role in their young lives.

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By Sen. Brent Jackson

Contributing columnist

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