Red Wolf

NCFB continues to engage our Congressional Delegation and the US Department of Interior (DOI) leadership to terminate the Red Wolf Recovery Program in eastern North Carolina. The USFWS manages the program and has recommended pulling back the wild population to only federal lands in Dare County, as well as maintain the captive breeding program. With the latest scientific research questioning the uniqueness of the animal, and therefore even whether it is eligible for protection under the Endangered Species Act, we will work with our state wildlife agency, the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC), who also opposes the program, to bring it to an end. We are encouraged with our initial communications with the newly appointed DOI staff that the program has failed on many levels, and at best is an overreach of the ESA.


Likewise, NCFB has engaged the same DOI and WRC officials on the elk reintroduction into western North Carolina, and the subsequent property damage and threat to the public on private land and other areas off Park Service land. Like the red wolf, the elk were intended to only inhabit federal lands, but have since moved off to find forage sources that are more plentiful on farms and other private property.

Regulation of Animal Operations

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is in the process of revising its rules for animal operations. NCFB has successfully worked with DEQ and other farm advocacy groups to maintain the existing regulatory programs and prevent additional regulations. The Division of Soil and Water Conservation (DSWC) has also recently revised its rule for Technical Specialists that write Nutrient Management Plans for animal operations. These rules were outdated and needed a comprehensive overhaul. NCFB worked with DSWC to help develop rules that meet the needs of farmers in the state. Environmental interest groups are constantly pushing for increased regulations, and NCFB serves on permit and regulatory stakeholder groups to protect the interests of North Carolina farm owners.

Aquaculture Permitting

DEQ issued new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits for trout and hybrid striped bass growers in North Carolina this year. The draft version of the NPDES Permit would have greatly increased monitoring requirements and costs for farm owners in the state. NCFB, along with the NC Aquaculture Association and other groups, met with the Division of Water Resources (DWR) and successfully worked to maintain the existing monitoring requirements, saving time and money for farmers. In the meantime, NCFB will help assist farm owners with permit compliance and best management practices (BMP) implementation. NCFB will continue to provide support for the aquaculture industry with environmental mandates.

Veterinary Feed Directive

The Food and Drug Administration requires a veterinarian to prescribe antibiotics used in feed and water for food producing animals. NCFB provides producers with information and has assisted with implementation issues as they have arisen during this first year of the VFD.

Improving Pasture Management Program

NCFB works with several partners on a program designed to provide resources to producers that sustained pasture damage due to the recent drought in western North Carolina and the 2016 flooding in eastern North Carolina. The program's objective is to restore pastures where needed, and to improve pastures to be more drought resilient and productive.

Dairy Advantage

NCFB provides support to the Dairy Advantage program as a way to stabilize and grow the state's dairy industry. Dairy Advantage works with the dairy industry and producers to provide support, education, tours and workshops.

Dairy MPP Exit

Farm Bureau and most dairy farmers are pleased by the Aug. 31 announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that dairy farmers are now allowed to exit the Margin Protection Program for dairy producers. Dairy farmers need access to effective risk management tools. Farm Bureau and our grassroots members look forward to working with USDA and Congress to enhance the dairy safety net. Approximately 24,000 dairy farms, representing 80 percent of the U.S. milk supply, are currently enrolled in the program, which has performed poorly in providing a viable safety net to dairy farmers.

EEE Claims Animal

A 16-year-old paint horse in Cabarrus County has died after contracting Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis. EEE is a mosquito-borne disease that is preventable in equine by vaccination. This is the first confirmed case of EEE in North Carolina this year. EEE causes inflammation or swelling of the brain and spinal cord and is usually fatal. Symptoms include impaired vision, aimless wandering, head pressing, circling, inability to swallow, irregular staggering gait, paralysis, convulsions and death. Once a horse has been bitten by an infected mosquito, it may take three to 10 days for signs of the disease to appear. "If your horses exhibit any symptoms of EEE, contact your veterinarian immediately," said State Veterinarian Doug Meckes. "And if your horses aren't vaccinated, talk to your veterinarian about vaccinating them as soon as possible against EEE and West Nile virus."