Today has not only been a long and tiring day but a very rewarding one. I have traveled from Raleigh, starting at Finches, to Lexington to begin my 100 hours of campaigning. Along the way, I met with a lot of people and heard their stories. I heard about their concerns about agriculture and about North Carolina in general.
I met with students at North Carolina Central in Durham where we discussed the importance of agriculture in the education process. When I was a teacher, I learned about the need for a strong foundation in education, and worked to establish exactly that in my students. North Carolina needs an agriculture commissioner that is going to put a strong focus on education in future agriculture jobs. The students and I also discussed the need for an energy policy that benefits North Carolina. I heard the students' concerns and their excitement on the possibilities that this new policy will create.
While stopping in Burlington, I spoke with fellow North Carolinians that understood how important an energy policy that focused on North Carolina-made biofuels was. This is in the wake of many gas stations not having gas during an economic crisis. While at lunch, I listened to concerns about natural gas, something I committed to finding more out about.
Today, we stopped in both the local office of senatorial-hopeful Kay Hagan and presidential-hopeful Barack Obama. I talked with their volunteers and staff and we discussed the importance of turning this state blue.
I met supporters that I hadn't spoken to before in different areas around the state. My first 24 hours have been extremely rewarding. I am excited to see such an energized North Carolina about the election. This is something I have not seen in my time.
Coming from a small town, I am reminded of the Southern hospitality that North Carolina has to offer. Everyone I met has been open and receptive. They have been excited to see an agriculture commissioner that leaves the offices of Raleigh to visit the people -- an agriculture commissioner that rolls his sleeves up and walks the fields of North Carolina.