WENDELL -- From sweet potatoes to turkey, your Thanksgiving feast is likely thanks to the labor of a North Carolina farmer.
“We rank number two in the country in the production of turkeys,” says NC Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler. “Over 31 million were produced here in North Carolina in 2015.”
Additionally, one out of every two sweet potatoes produced in the US comes from North Carolina. So there is a 50 percent chance your Thanksgiving meal will include them.
The state's agriculture industry contributes $84 billion to the state's economy, and after a few tough years is back to a hearty harvest.
“We've had a good year this year,” says Will Edwards with Lake Wendell Farming Company. “There's been some struggles in years past with hurricanes and weather ups and downs. But we've had a productive year.”
There are more than 52,000 farms in North Carolina, but farmers say it is a constant struggle to still be able to be a leader in the nation in crop production.
“In our area, one of our struggles is urbanization,” says Edwards. “We have many new people moving to our area everyday Many subdivisions being built, single houses. We lose several farms every year and some years there are more land loss than others. So it’s a growing struggle to be able to produce more on less acres of land.”