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Henderson County farmers split $5.9M in state funds to help cover 2018 flooding losses

Henderson County farmers received $5.9 million in state funding relief for crops lost to heavy rainfall and flooding in 2018.

Local growers received the lion’s share of funding that farmers from Henderson, Transylvania, Buncombe, Haywood and Rutherford counties were eligible for in November from the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Agricultural Disaster Program.

Henderson County Cooperative Extension Director Terry Kelley said about $10 million was available, $8.55 million of which was distributed, and $5.9 million came to Henderson County.

196 farmers submitted applications in the five-county area, including 106 from Henderson County. Kelley said every Henderson County farmer who applied received funding, which was not the case in other counties. Henderson County has the largest agricultural area of the five counties, so it wasn’t a big surprise it received the bulk of the funding. But the Cooperative Extension Service office did everything they could to publicize the program through newspaper, radio, TV, email and social media.

Kelly credited N.C. Sen. Chuck Edwards and N.C. Rep. Chuck McGrady for pushing the funding through after the five western counties were not included in the first relief bill in 2018.