U.S. Agriculture Secretary hears concerns from ENC farmers

WAYNE COUNTY, NC (WITN) The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture was in the east Monday for a town hall meeting with farmers talking about how the new trade agreement could help eastern Carolina farmers.

2018 was a very difficult year for farming and agriculture here in eastern North Carolina— from the hurricane, to lawsuits on hog farmers, and the continued drop in the price of crops. On the heels of a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue paid a visit to Mt. Olive to discuss the future of the agriculture.

Henry Dail with Dail Farms says, "Unless something changes from where we're at now, it's looking bleak."

Perdue says if Congress passes the new trade agreement between the United States, Mexico, and Canada, it would benefit area farmers.

Perdue says, "Mexico and Canada have been great consumers of U.S. ag products and we enhanced the relationship we had with them through NAFTA and I think they can take comfort in that."

Farm owners like Dail are hopeful that the new trade agreement will help restore the price of crops.

Perdue maintains President Trump's administration is focused on the long term future of agriculture saying, "It's not just the tariffs, prices have been going down since 2013. Farmers known that and they've got to manage their farms in a way that something is profitable."

Dail simply hopes he has a future. "I don't know if I'll be farming next year. I would like to hope that I would but some things have to change."