( Photo and logo courtesy North Carolina SweetPotato Commission; graphic by Amelia Freidline )

The North Carolina SweetPotato Commission has named Michelle Grainger its new executive director.

Grainger is known to the North Carolina agriculture industry, coming from the North Carolina State University Executive Farm Management Program, where she was managing director, focusing on recruitment, fundraising, marketing and curriculum management.

She was also managing director at the Center for Innovation Management Studies at the university.

“I am excited to join one of the state’s oldest and largest commodity groups and very much look forward to helping our members and their operations grow while providing value to our consumers and the state’s top industry,” Grainger said in a news release.

One of her passions is advocacy for agriculture, which she leverages for her approach to marketing, promotion and communications, according to the release. At NCSU, she used social media, field days, commodity association meetings and farm visits to promote agriculture.

“The strong partnerships the (North Carolina SweetPotato Commission) has built over the years across our state and country – much less internationally, can be attributed to the incredible leadership and vision of the pioneers of this industry which has been carried through to today,” Grainger said in the release.

In December, Grainger delivered a TEDx Talk, sharing the importance of agriculture and farmers, with a message that without them, the U.S. would not have the national security it provides.

“Michelle has extensive experience working with and for farmers,” Brent Leggett, commission board president, said in the release. “We could not be more excited to add Michelle to our executive team as we continue to expand to meet the needs of our members and consumers alike.”

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