Plans are Underway for the 2021 Breakfast with the Commissioner Event

The Tobacco Farm Life Museum is proceeding with plans for the 16th annual Breakfast with the Commissioner benefit. The program is held in cooperation with Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler. Event proceeds support the Museum’s mission to preserve and present the history and heritage of the rural farming community though collection care, research, and public tours.

The 2021 Excellence in Ag award, sponsored by Southern Bank, will be presented to Dr. Blake Brown. Blake Brown is the Hugh C. Kiger Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at North Carolina State University. He has spent much of his career as a policy analyst working on farm policy, particularly tobacco policy. A major focus was working with policy makers on the $9.6 billion federal tobacco buyout. From 2008-2014 Brown directed efforts at NCSU to help farmers add or expand value-added enterprises. From 2014-2018 he directed the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Commission Agricultural Leadership Development Program.

Dr. Brown served as a Senior Economist on the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office of the President of the United States for the 2018/2019 academic year. While there he provided economic analyses for the Executive Branch on agricultural issues focused largely on international trade and labor policy. In 2020 he became an outside director on the AgCarolina Farm Credit Board of Directors.

Blake also directs the Executive Farm Management Program, an executive education program on business management for large farms across the southeastern United States. He continues to provide policy analysis and farm management expertise to farmers, farm organizations, agribusinesses and government officials. He holds a PhD in Economics and a BS in Animal Science. Blake was raised on a small farm in the North Carolina mountains where he continues to raise cattle with his wife, son and daughter-in-law.

The Innovative Young Farmer of the Year award is also presented annually at the Breakfast with the Commissioner and is sponsored by Farm Credit Associations of North Carolina. Applications are now available and can be found on the Museum’s website at

Details on the program and event location will be determined as we get closer to the event in February.

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