Skip to Content

October 15, 2021

Join us this fall as we plan for our return to in-person events with limited capacity and the safety of our attendees, vendors, staff, and community at large fully in mind. We are closely monitoring the current situation and will make careful determinations on how we hold each event as it approaches. Please review our safety guidelines prior to registering.*

Join agriculture and agribusiness allies this fall, in person or virtually.

With a $91.7 billion annual contribution to our state’s economy in 2020, agribusiness and agriculture helps drive a major share of North Carolina’s economic success — representing one-sixth of our state’s overall income. It is a powerhouse industry that continues to be a major employer for the state, providing jobs to 1 in 6 North Carolinians, or 4.4 million people.

Ranked 9th in the U.S. for value of agricultural products sold, the agriculture industry is and will remain critical to North Carolina’s reputation as an economic leader in the Southeast. That said however, farmers and agricultural businesses across the state recognize that they must adapt to a changing workforce, evolving technology, and the latest state and federal regulations to continue thriving within their sector. The NC Chamber’s Ag Allies Conference addresses these issues to ensure the industry as a whole can keep its wheels in motion for the continued prosperity of the state.

Data derived from the North Carolina State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Learn how the NC Chamber is advocating for our state’s agriculture and agribusiness communities here.


* In alignment with the latest mandates, masks are required regardless of vaccination status in any indoor public space in Wake County. We will provide updates as we continue to receive guidance.


Friday, October 15
8:00 amRegistration and Continental Breakfast
8:30 amWelcome Remarks
  • Ray Starling, General Counsel and President of the Legal Institute, NC Chamber
8:45 amOpening Keynote: Consumer of the Future
9:45 amNetworking Break
10:00 amA Look Ahead: Food Processing in North Carolina
  • Chris Chung, Chief Executive Officer, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina
  • Dean Richard Linton, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina State University
  • Secretary Machelle Sanders, North Carolina Department of Commerce
  • Moderator: Ray Starling, General Counsel and President of the Legal Institute, NC Chamber
10:45 amThe Future of Food in Our Backyard

Oz Hackett, President & CFO, Open Book Extracts
Courtney Tellefsen, Owner, Produce Box
Bill Aimutis, Executive Director, The NC Food Innovation Lab
• Moderator: Ray Starling, General Counsel and President of the Legal Institute, NC Chamber

11:30 amLunch and Keynote: The Total Town Makeover – Examining the Failure & Success of Rural America
  • Andrew McCrea, Speaker, Radio and TV Broadcaster, Farmer, Author

Small town America stands at a crossroads. For the first time since its settlement, the number of deaths in rural America now outpaces births. Vast regions of the nation are literally dying.  Or are they?

Andrew McCrea will take you on a journey to places that are very much alive! They are small towns, cities, and rural areas that have performed a “makeover.” These are places that are succeeding by creating robust economies, vibrant communities and focusing on how to build a strong next generation of residents. What are the factors they have in common? What are the biggest challenges they face? What is the impact on our country of their success or failure?

12:45 pmLegislative Update
1:00 pmClosing Remarks and Event Conclusion