Western NC AgTech Leaders in the Netherlands

In March of 2024 Go Global NC took 25 Global Leaders from Western NC to the Netherlands.

We spent a week traveling across the small and mighty country, visiting with leaders and experts in AgTech and water management. We learned about the Dutch approach to growing the talent pipeline through innovation and saw how policy implementation can support solutions for current and future challenges in agriculture and water management.

North Carolina’s AgTech Is a $92 Billion Industry
North Carolina’s AgTech industry is robust. Comprised of more than 195 companies and contributing more than $92.9 billion each year, the AgTech industry in North Carolina is particularly ripe for expansion.

The Netherlands Presents Economic Opportunity for NC
We selected the Netherlands for our Global Leaders program because this country represents opportunity for North Carolina. There are pathways to expand economic development opportunities through foreign direct investment (FDI) and exports. A particular area of interest for both our state and the Netherlands to strengthen AgTech is the effective use of technology and policy in flood management.

International Best Practices: Seeing is Believing
While in the Netherlands, our Western NC AgTech delegation saw best practices in action and developed relationships and networks both with our host country and among Western NC participants from government, academia, and private industry. Our very busy itinerary included visits to manufacturing companies, innovation hubs, and institutes of higher education. Our days included presentations by government officials and informal dialogue with professionals. Along the way we gained insights from group debriefings to analyze our experiences and their relevance for North Carolina.

The delegation’s work continues. Here are their goals for the Netherlands program and beyond:

  • Strengthen connections in the AgTech, agribusiness, and bio sciences industries and expand current and future collaborations with the Netherlands
  • Analyze the economic climate and evaluate the driving factors that allow AgTech companies to thrive in the Netherlands
  • Consider the Netherlands’ value to North Carolina businesses, both as an entry point to European markets and as a growing investor in the U.S.
  • Engage with leaders in flood management policies and practices and explore opportunities for adaptation in North Carolina
  • Assess economic connection between the Netherlands and North Carolina and formulate recommendations to support foreign direct investment to our state
  • Develop recommendations to grow the AgTech industry in Western NC, including potential incentives and strategic partnerships and pathways to strengthening the talent pipeline

Learning from Other Countries
We Can and Should Learn from Other Countries. Go Global NC connects North Carolina and the world. All our work breaking down boundaries and building diverse partnerships is based on the premise that can look beyond our own state and country to find best practices to strengthen North Carolina. Our Global Leaders see international best practices at work and gain a deeper understanding of the conditions that contribute to international success.

45-Years in Global Leadership and Training
For 45 years Go Global NC has taken educators; and business, government, and community leaders abroad for intensive global short-term immersion programs. Each North Carolinian who joins us steps out of their comfort zone and sees for themselves how new and different approaches are used to address challenges that we share.

How Are Global Leaders Programs Funded?
Go Global NC must raise funding for all of its programs. Each Global Leaders program is funded by a unique combination of donors and organizations. Our Global Leaders Netherlands program in March of 2024 provides an example of how funding works. We were able to take 25 NC leaders in the field of agriculture on an intensive study program abroad with generous financial support from many groups. A BIG thank you goes to our sponsors: Farm Bureau North Carolina; AgCarolina Farm Credit; AgSouth Farm Credit; NC Electric Cooperatives; NC Department of Agriculture; and the Dogwood Health Trust.