At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.

FSA help available to Swain County

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency is accepting applications for the Emergency Conservation Program  to address damages from flooding in early February in Swain County. ECP signup will continue through Monday, May 11.

The approved ECP practices under this authorization include 1) debris removal from farmland; 2) grading, shaping, releveling, or similar measures; and 3) restoring permanent fences. ECP assists producers with the recovery cost to restore the farmland to pre-disaster conditions. Approved ECP applicants may receive up to 75 percent of the cost of approved restoration activity. Limited resource, socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers and ranchers may receive up to 90 percent cost-share. A 25 percent advance payment will be allowed for repair or replacement of fencing.

Producers with damage from such events must apply for assistance prior to beginning reconstructive work. For more information on ECP, contact the Bryson City USDA Service Center at 828.488.2684, extension 2, or visit www.farmers.gov/recover.

Go to top