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In the 2020 election, North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler received more votes than any other candidate on the ballot.

John Hart, Associate Editor

February 15, 2024

2 Min Read
North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler
North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, left, is welcomed by North Carolina Farm Bureau President Shawn Harding at the North Carolina Farm Bureau annual convention in Greensboro Dec. 4 North Carolina Farm Bureau

North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler is that rare politician that no one disparages. The integrity and decency that he brings to his office is so desperately needed in these divisive and polarized times. 

Troxler has earned the respect and admiration of North Carolina’s farming community because of his commitment to strengthening the state’s largest and most important industry. But Troxler also has gained the respect of North Carolinians far removed from agriculture.  

On December 4, at the North Carolina Farm Bureau annual convention in Greensboro, Troxler announced that he would run for a sixth term to be agriculture commissioner. “I believe that my public service is a calling to help people. With all the challenges the state and the ag community have faced, you can see that I’ve had ample opportunity to serve,” Troxler said at the convention. 

Troxler’s decision to run for reelection is indeed welcome news. His leadership, integrity and commitment to agriculture is unquestioned. And the results of the 2020 election, where Troxler received more votes than any other candidate on ballot, prove that. 

Troxler, a Republican, was elected to his fifth term as North Carolina agriculture commissioner with 2,901,849 votes on Nov. 3, 2020. That’s more than Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, who received 2,834,790 votes; more than President Donald Trump who received 2,758,773; and more than Republican Sen. Thom Tillis who received 2,665,598 votes.

“If I knew exactly how I did it, I’d be a dangerous man,” Troxler said with a laugh when I interviewed him on his Browns Summit farm shortly after his decisive election victory. Troxler was also the top vote getter in the 2016 general election in North Carolina. 

Troxler did credit his strong numbers to the people who work in the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service (NCADACS) and to the fact the department does come in contact with most citizens of North Carolina, particularly through the Department of Consumer Services, which handles scanners, weights and measures, gasolines pumps and other services. 

“We (NCDACS) have a lot of contact with the public. But it still comes down to having a built-in base that is the largest industry in North Carolina. I think that’s the real answer. And their willingness to work, that is what made the difference,” Troxler told me. 

My guess is that if Steve Troxler had decided to run for governor of North Carolina instead, he would have gotten elected governor. But I know Steve Troxler’s commitment is to agriculture and the farmers of North Carolina. That is his calling. He would have been an excellent governor. Beyond doubt, he will continue to be an excellent commissioner of agriculture. Don’t be surprised if he is once again the largest vote getter in North Carolina on Election Day 2024.

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About the Author(s)

John Hart

Associate Editor, Southeast Farm Press

John Hart is associate editor of Southeast Farm Press, responsible for coverage in the Carolinas and Virginia. He is based in Raleigh, N.C.

Prior to joining Southeast Farm Press, John was director of news services for the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington, D.C. He also has experience as an energy journalist. For nine years, John was the owner, editor and publisher of The Rice World, a monthly publication serving the U.S. rice industry.  John also worked in public relations for the USA Rice Council in Houston, Texas and the Cotton Board in Memphis, Tenn. He also has experience as a farm and general assignments reporter for the Monroe, La. News-Star.

John is a native of Lake Charles, La. and is a  graduate of the LSU School of Journalism in Baton Rouge.  At LSU, he served on the staff of The Daily Reveille.

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