Walter Smith (D), running for North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture
1. Why are you running for office?
As a teenager growing up on a farm I wanted to be Commissioner of Agriculture and follow in the footsteps of our greatest agriculture commissioner Jim Graham. I feel like I have a lot to offer the agricultural industry and to our rural communities. I am running to make North Carolina a better place to live, work, and play.
2. Why should people vote for you? I am the best qualified candidate.
I grew up on a farm, received a BS in Agricultural Engineering, taught Vocational Agriculture, worked for the US Dept. of Agriculture for over 30 years administering federal farm programs and working directly with the farmers of North Carolina. I know federal farm policy and will help our federal elected official’s legislators as they begin work on the next farm bill. We will implement new ideas to help save our family farms and to find the next generation of farmers. I have pledged to feed the hungry in North Carolina and to help them to produce their own food. I will enforce animal welfare laws to protect our animals, something that has been a problem with the current Commissioner of Agriculture. I will take the politics out of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. My decisions will be made based on common sense and what will benefit all of North Carolina and not based on partisan politics and pressure from special interest groups.
3. What’s your favorite thing about the area you want to represent?
I will represent the entire state. My favorite thing about this state is its great diversity.
4. What is the biggest problem your area is facing, how will you fix it?
Trying to save our family farms. We will have to attack the problems from many fronts because there is no one reason for the loss of our farms. In a nutshell we must make farms profitable and find younger farmers to replace the aging population of our existing farmers.
5. Describe Donald Trump in max 3 words?
No impulse control
6. Describe Hillary Clinton in max 3 words?
7. What do you do for a living? Why do you do it?
I spent over 30 years with the US Dept. of Agriculture. I enjoyed working with some of the best people in the world, the farmers. I looked forward to going to work every day and getting the chance to help farmers be successful.
8. You’re going to be marooned on a tropical island for a week, you can only bring 1 thing – what is it?
That’s easy. I would bring my wife. She passed away about two years ago and I would love to have one more week alone with her on a tropical island.
9. What do you think of Colin Kaepernick?
I admire him for standing up for what he believes in, but I think he should express his beliefs in a manner other than to disrespect our flag and country. The ones he is disrespecting are the very ones who fought and died to allow him to have the freedom to express himself in any manner he chooses.
10. Would you vote to fund light rail expansion in your area?
Well, to have a rail expansion you first have to have rails. Yadkin County is one of the few counties in the state that does not have a rail system.
11. Will you respect the outcome of the election?
I always respect the will of the people and they are the ones who decide the outcome of all elections.
12. Favorite TV Show?
Andy Griffith. (I am showing my age aren’t I.)