Local farmers help other farmers impacted by Florence

Farmers are a part of a tight-knit community, so when Ryan Clark, Robert Knight, and Wesley Bowen heard about the tremendous losses farmers in the east sustained after Hurricane Florence, they didn’t hesitate to help.

“Doing this is not a one-person job, it's multiple people,” Knight said.

All three are members of the Stokes Rockingham Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers.

The group dedicated most of this week helping farmers in the east.

Members connected with a cooperative extension agent who helped identify the needs of farmers in the affected region.

From there, the group organized resources to load three trucks and trailers with hay, feed, and farming supplies to send to the emergency farm distribution site in Pink Hill, N.C.

“We're not a trucking company and this and that, we just saw the need and we went after it and whatever it took to get there, that's what we did,” Knight said.

“Just to help them make it through until they can get started on rebuilding,” Bowen said.

Farmers have lost homes and other necessities to flooding, including facilities and equipment. Crops and livestock were also affected significantly.

The economic impact is predicted to be felt across the agricultural industry.

“North Carolina’s the number one producer of sweet potatoes in the country. Sweet potatoes are probably two weeks away from being harvested right now, so they're going to have a lot of loss in sweet potatoes,” Clark said.

In the meantime, the good news is that hard hit communities still have people they can count on.

“If the role was reversed, they would be here doing the same thing that we did for them,” Clark said.

The Stokes County and Rockingham County farm bureaus each donated $5,000 to help purchase materials. Other donations came from individuals.

Between the $10,000 and donations from people, the Stokes Rockingham Farm Bureau Yong Farmers and Ranchers had about $13,000 -$14,000 to put toward this cause.

The group plans to use left over money to buy food for people in rural communities affected by Hurricane Florence.