NC farm families fighting back against unfair attacks

By: By Ed Emory - Contributing columnist

North Carolina’s family farmers are under attack, and we’re fighting back.

On Thursday, Oct.1, hundreds of hog farmers and supporters from Sampson and Duplin counties and across North Carolina will travel to Raleigh to deliver a petition with more than 11,000 signatures to Gov. Pat McCrory.

Our message: Stand up and support local farmers who are committed to protecting our environment, supporting our economy and feeding our people.

“As a resident of North Carolina, I support our local pork farmers,” the petition reads. “I appreciate the many contributions local pork farmers make to the well-being of our communities by providing economic stability and jobs in rural parts of the state. We trust local pork farmers to protect the environment and care for their animals, and we are proud to call them our neighbors.”

The petition is a response to unfair attacks being spread by the Waterkeeper Alliance in New York City. The Waterkeeper has one clear goal: to put North Carolina hog farms out of business. They’ve plastered billboards along our highways, filed lawsuits that have driven hard-working family farmers into bankruptcy, and attacked farmers for harming our environment.

The propoganda promoted in these attacks is simply not true.

That’s why we founded NC Farm Families ( earlier this year. Our goal is to stand up for hog farmers and tell people the real facts about the North Carolina pork industry:

Hog Farms Are Family Farms: More than 80 percent of North Carolina hog farms are owned and operated by families.

46,000 Jobs: The pork industry employs more than 46,000 people in North Carolina. Employees earn an average wage of $40,000 per year.

Environmentally Responsible: The North Carolina pork industry is highly regulated. State officials inspect each hog farm every year to ensure compliance with a host of regulations.

$11 Billion: The pork industry contributes $11 billion a year to North Carolina’s economy.

Agriculture is important to our state’s economy, and protecting our environment is important to our family farmers. Hog farmers are responsible stewards of our environment who must comply with dozens of detailed regulations. We do our jobs the right way, the responsible way, and the environmentally sustainable way.

Join us for our rally on Capitol Square in Raleigh on Thursday at 12pm. We will call on Governor McCrory and all North Carolina elected officials to stand up and help protect family farmers from activist groups like the Waterkeeper Alliance.

Ed Emory is president of NC Farm Families.

By Ed Emory

Contributing columnist

Ed Emory Emory

Ed Emory is president of NC Farm Families.