CONGRESSMAN MARK MEADOWS WITH FLAVOR FIRST GROWER KIRBY JOHNSON FRIDAY IN RAIN-SOAKED CORN FIELD (Hendersonville Times-News photo)
MEADOWSMET WITH FARMERS IN MILLS RIVER ON FRIDAY
With at least 54 inches of total rainfall so far this year in Hendersonville, and considerable more in other parts of Henderson County, taking its toll on local agriculture, Congressman Mark Meadows left Washington Friday to come to Henderson County and inspect the damage.
It was a surprisingly rain-free day Friday when Western North Carolina Congressman Mark Williams made a special trip to Henderson County to tour some farms and fields in the Mills River area and witness the heavy rain and water damage done to dozens of farms and to hundreds of acres of local crops.
After touring some farms on Friday, Congressman Meadows met with a group of farmers and farm leaders in the picnic shed at Mills River Park…and he said the tour had given him the opportunity to see the damage first hand.
So far this year, Hendersonville has measured about 54 inches of total rainfall with July this year receiving almost three times the normal amount of rain. Farms and fields in other parts of Henderson County have also suffered extensive damage. Farmer Theron Maybin from the Green River and Rock Creek area told us the rainfall there had been even heavier:
One of those on the farm inspection tour on Friday was Henderson County Commissioner Tommy Thompson…he told us the damage to local crops this summer is obvious, but it’s not clear if any type of disaster relief might be available to assist local farmers this year.:
The tour of farms and inspection of the water damage Friday was put together Friday by the county’s Agri-Business Department…and the department’s director, Mark Williams, described for us what they’d seen…he said in many cases, the damage is devastating.
The county’s Agri-Business director pointed out the farmers, in some cases, are losing everything as a result of this summer’s rain and water damage..and he said the visit on Friday by Congressman Meadows and hi quick response set politics aside and meant a great deal to the local farmers who’ve been hurt.
Local farmers who participated in Friday’s tour included Flavor First, North River Farms, the county’s sod farms, Randy Edmubson and others. Edneyville farmer Kenny Barnwell told us how the water had damaged his peaces…and said there would be some impact too on the county’s multi-million dollar apple crop.
After seeing the damage and meeting with the farmers on Friday, Congressman Meadows planned to spend the weekend at home in Western North Carolina. When he returns to Washington, Meadows told us and the farmers on Friday there are some critical issues to be dealt with. He said he’ll be back in Western North Carolina to hold a series of seven town hall meetings during August:
It was not clear Friday if there would be any type of disaster relief available for local farmers who have suffered major damage from this year’s heavy rains, but Congressman Meadows indicated he’d been looking at every possibility.