Farmers and trout producers in Western North Carolina who applied for state assistance to help them recover from last year’s hurricanes can expect a visit from the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in the coming weeks.
Teams of department staff will be visiting farms from now until early September to verify losses so relief funds can be distributed. The focus will be on crop and aquaculture losses, and damage to structures and equipment.
Several NCDA&CS teams will be concentrating their efforts in 12 Western North Carolina counties because of the large number of relief applications submitted in those counties. Teams have already been working in Mitchell, McDowell, Burke, Avery and Watauga counties.
Following is a schedule of targeted verification areas:
July 18 week, Yancey County;
July 25 week, Buncombe County;
Aug. 1 week, Henderson County;
Aug. 8 week, Madison County;
Aug. 15 week, Haywood County;
Aug. 22 week, Jackson and Macon counties.
Other N.C. counties eligible for assistance will be visited by two-person teams over the next two months. Department personnel aim to finish all field visits by early September.
To help with the verification process, relief applicants should be prepared to provide the following: copies of receipts for repairs or purchase of equipment and structures; lists of lost or damaged equipment and structures; damage or repair estimates; pictures or other documents of damages to crops; and an identification list of crops, fish or shellfish lost, including a description by size, age, quantity, acreage, square-footage and percentage of loss.
Beginning July 18, applicants with questions about the verification process can call the department toll-free at 1-888-316-8451. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
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