Wake County Soil & Water Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Jenna Wadsworth files to run for N.C. Commissioner of Agriculture

Jenna Wadsworth

Wake County Soil & Water Board of Supervisors Vice Chair  Jenna Wadsworth files to run for N.C. Commissioner of Agriculture
December 19
13:12 2019

RALEIGH – Nine years after making history as the youngest woman ever elected to political office in North Carolina, Wake County Soil and Water Conservation District Vice Chair Jenna Wadsworth has filed to run statewide for North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture. As a supervisor, Wadsworth supported farmland preservation work—especially with mounting development pressures—and co-authored the county’s agribusiness and economic development plan which helped producers get their products to market. Wadsworth says she is running for this new office with “a forward-thinking vision for our future.”

Wadsworth grew up on a dirt road on her family farm in Johnston County where they raised hogs, cows, and chickens and they grew corn, cotton, tobacco, and soybeans. She is a graduate of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham and N.C. State University.   

“Farmers are facing an increasing number of farm bankruptcies and rising suicide rates, storms are getting worse and more frequent, there is increased unpredictability on the federal level when it comes to commodity pricing and tariffs, and, as always, there is a low profit margin which makes a drought or poor crop yield all the more dangerous to ensure long term success. We are an industry standing on the precipice of the future. The issues of today require us to address them with an absolute sense of urgency and an innovative vision for our future. It is imperative that we elect a Commissioner who does not equivocate on climate change. We have to look to new markets and opportunities for our farmers such as hemp, cannabis, and plant based products.” Wadsworth said. 

In addition to the issues above, Wadsworth is committed to bridging the growing urban-rural divide in our state. She will champion rural communities by prioritizing universal broadband access that allows all North Carolinians to be competitive in the global marketplace and she will advocate for reinvestment in rural health. 

A coalition of over 50 current and former elected officials representing areas from across North Carolina have endorsed Wadsworth in her race. Notable endorsers include the last Democratic Commissioner of Agriculture Britt Cobb, along with former Court of Appeals Judge Linda Stephens, the entire Forsyth County Democratic General Assembly delegation, Reps. Zack Hawkins, Joe Sam Queen, Susan Fisher, Cecil Brockman, Pricey Harrison, Christy Clark, Wesley Harris, Raymond Smith, Marcia Morey, Jean Farmer-Butterfield, and John Ager, as well as N.C. Senators Jeff Jackson, Mike Woodard, and Wiley Nickel, and Chair of the Wake County Commission Greg Ford, along with others. The North Carolina AFL-CIO has also endorsed Wadsworth. 

Earlier this year, Wadsworth announced her intention to run while in Greenville to an enthusiastic crowd of supporters. Since then, she has traveled the state meeting farmers, members of the agribusiness community, and everyday voters in their communities. Earlier this week, Wadsworth addressed a crowd of 1,200 at the N.C. Farm Bureau convention in Greensboro. 

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