AYDEN, N.C. (WNCT) — Tuesday was National Agriculture Day. In Eastern North Carolina, people were showing their appreciation and highlighting the importance this industry has on our communities.

Farming and agriculture are number one in Pitt County, which in turn, provides economic growth and prosperity in our community.

“Ayden is here and 100-something years later because of agriculture,” Ayden Mayor Steve Tripp said. “The Ayden growth was due to the economy of farmers, so our town was centered around farming and agriculture.”

Ayden officials are making sure they continue to grow on agriculture and farming by bringing the Eastern North Carolina Food Commercialization Center to the town.

“We are very blessed with very fertile land here, so that’s what’s a good component of the food and commercialization center. It’s our vast land that can produce these products that we can take to the food commercialization center, package it, get it out to the consumer,” Tripp added.

At Hope Farms and Learning Center outside Greenville, where agriculture is going 100 years strong in the family, they make sure the younger generations know the importance of what they do and how agriculture works.

“Children think some of the food they eat comes from the grocery store or they don’t realize that the hamburger meat that they buy at the grocery store actually comes from a cow,” said Lisa Briley, the director of Hope Farms and Learning Center. “It’s very important for kids to understand where their food comes from because it doesn’t magically appear in the grocery store.”

When speaking with Greenville ENC Alliance, they say the agriculture industry is key to economic growth in our part of the state. According to a state economic report, the agriculture industry accounts for about 17% of all jobs here.

Click here for more information on Agriculture Day.