Bladen County municipalities stand with agriculture industry

By: Chrysta Carroll - Bladen Journal

ELIZABETHTOWN — At least one Bladen County municipality is taking a stand with the agriculture industry.

“This is important,” Elizabethtown Town Councilman Howell Clark said Monday night at the Board’s monthly meeting. “Agriculture sent a lot of us to school and put clothes on our backs and shoes on our feet for a lot of years … Now the agriculture industry is under attack … it is important for us to remember in this town, this country, and this state that agriculture is important.”

The resolution adopted by the Council, in part, addresses agriculture and agribusiness as the “number one industry in North Carolina contributing $85 billion to our state’s economy”, farmers for providing “the food, fuel and fiber for our state and our country”, farming for supporting “other community businesses and the local economy” as reasons for the support.

The resolution also addresses the outlook of the agriculture industry, stating “it is estimated that we are going to need to increase food production by at least 70 percent by 2050” and “we are losing farmland at an alarming rate.”

The Council resolved to support and encourage policies that enhance the viability of farmers, advocate for healthy agricultural economy, and work with leaders and decision makers to generate informed judgments regarding the agriculture industry.

“I’m pleased to endorse this, and I hope people will talk to lawmakers and other folks that can help us sustain agriculture in our community,” Howell stated.

Elizabethtown Mayor Sylvia Campell agreed, saying, “We’re happy to send forth that resolution of support.”

Each local government in Bladen County was asked to adopt a resolution of support for the industry. Bladen County has adopted a similar resolution, as has Bladenboro. White Lake is scheduled to meet Tuesday night.

Having been approved, the document will be forwarded to North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.

The move comes the same week a Bladen County farm owner is scheduled to be the focus of a federal court case. HD3 Farms, owned by White Lake resident Dean Hilton, is the third plaintiff in a series of lawsuits being brought against North Carolina farms by neighbors claiming they violate nuisance laws. Citing stench and noise, the first two suits went the plaintiffs’ way.

Gag orders have been imposed on both sides of the current lawsuit, which began Monday in federal court in Raleigh.

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing ccarroll@bladenjournal.com.

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Chrysta Carroll

Bladen Journal