Archived Outdoors

Drought disaster funding available for farmers

Family farms across the region are eligible for emergency loan assistance from the Farm Service Agency due to damage or losses from drought occurring this fall. 

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack declared a natural disaster in the state of Tennessee on Nov. 6 and in North Carolina on Nov. 20.

Swain, Cherokee and Graham counties are eligible for assistance as contiguous counties to the Tennessee drought for losses occurring Oct. 31. Meanwhile, 17 N.C. counties are eligible for drought losses occurring Nov. 14. Primary disaster counties are Jackson, Macon, Swain, Transylvania, Henderson, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Cleveland, Gaston, Polk and Rutherford counties. Contiguous counties that are also eligible for assistance are Haywood, Buncombe, Burke, McDowell, Mecklenburg and Lincoln counties.

The deadline to apply for assistance related to the Tennessee drought is July 8, 2024, and the deadline to apply under the N.C. drought is July 22, 2024. For more information, contact the local FSA office.

Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


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.