Agriculture has always been North Carolina's largest industry, as well as a way of life for many of the state's people. It contributes $70.8 billion annually to the state's economy and employs almost 16 percent of the workforce.
Modern agriculture, a fast-moving and challenging industry, has changed dramatically in recent years - as it must to accommodate new technology and growing populations.Changes bring exciting and lucrative opportunities, particularly in the application of biotechnology to agriculture. With strong research and education, rich agricultural tradition and progressive farmers, North Carolina is at the forefront of agricultural biotechnology.
The North Carolina Arboretum is represented on the AgBiotech Steering Committee of the NC Biotechnology Center by Executive Director, George Briggs. As a part of The North Carolina Arboretum, the BCI is forming productive partnerships, collaborations and programs in research, economic development, medical care, product development and commercialization, conservation, marketing and public outreach to bring international attention to the region’s unparalleled plant biodiversity, exceptional reputation for health and wellness and cultural distinctiveness.
Agricultural biotechnology is increasingly involved in the foods we eat, the clothes we wear and other products we use everyday. It has the potential to produce more food and fiber and other commodities at lower cost and with less environmental impact. It can improve existing products, find new uses for existing products or diminished sectors, and yield entirely new products.
North Carolina is well positioned to shape science, biotechnology, agricultural resources, smart participants, and policies into an internally strong agricultural biotechnology sector. Thoughtful, forward-thinking North Carolinians have the responsibility to ensure this outcome.
Growing North Carolina's AgBiotech Landscape: A Strategic Project of Statewide Partners Context and Imperative: Version 5.0 10.12.2008