Despite my vote, incumbent North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler successfully defended his seat from opponent Ronnie Ansley this election; although it was a fairly close call at 52% to 48%.
It wasn’t that I was really excited about Ansley; this is his 4th election running for different positions, and he’s a lawyer when he’s not running for something. He had a booth up at the North Carolina State Fair this year, and I stopped to talk a bit. I didn't know what he looked like at that point, so I mistakenly assumed I was about to talk to Mister Ansley himself, but then I saw his picture on a flier and realized that the both was being manned by a volunteer. So I spoke to the volunteer who kept telling me the Ronnie had lots of great ideas, but had trouble explaining them to me, and he also knew very little about the raw milk debate. Oh well.
Troxler is a former farmer, so he’s got that going for him, and the State Farmer’s market is his oversight, and I’ve never seen a better one – so what’s my problem with him?
He lists “Helping agribusiness” as one of his job priorities. Who do you think needs more help; a young farmer trying to run a sustainable farm in this economy or Monsanto and Arthur Daniels Midland? He’s never talked about the environmental impact of CAFO operations in this state. In short - he seems to be a real friend to agribusiness.
So – the results are in, and Steve kept his job. ‘If you can’t beat ‘em; try to get to know them’ is going to be my mantra for Steve. I’m going to try to make it a priority of mine to get to know Mister Troxler and get his opinions on these issues that are important to me. After all, he does supposedly work for me.