Farmers speak out about Gov. Haley's veto plan for farm aid bill - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Farmers speak out about Gov. Haley's veto plan for farm aid bill

GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - During the October floods, some farmers in our area lost everything. Now they feel like they're losing even more as Governor Nikki Haley announces plans to veto a bill that would have given millions of dollars in aid.

Millgrove Farms out of Georgetown County was one of those that lost 100% of its crops to the devastating flooding in October. However, now they're finally getting some of their produce back.

Ben Williams was at the Surfside Farmers Market Tuesday selling his freshly picked Siberian Kale and other goods.

But over the past few months, he says he's struggled, spending a lot of time just waiting on his 14 acres to dry out.

Meanwhile, he's been scraping by and using what money he and his wife could come up with to get their farm back up and running.

"What runs through your mind is how am I going to pay the electric bill and how and I going to pay the house payment," Williams said. "We gleaned a lot of things and cut back things we didn't need, down to the bare essentials...The fields stayed wet all the way up until February, so we were never able to get back and replant like I thought I was."

Williams said he had insurance on his crops, but that money mainly covered seed costs, not operating costs.

He said he was disappointed to hear about Governor Nikki Haley's decision to veto the bill that could help him.

"We don't want a bailout, but if I had had a little help...because like I said, I used every penny I had to survive from October until now," Williams said.

The legislation would put up to $100,000 in grants in the hands of farmers to spend on seeds and fertilizer, among other things.

"This is not being against the farmers," Gov. Haley said. "This is trying to stay fair to everybody who has suffered through that 1000 year flood."

Haley said in an interview with WIS that she believes farmers have seen more support through the flooding disaster than small business owners and homeowners alike.

However, farmers, like Williams, say it just hasn't been enough to get his farm back to full operation. He believes that could be years.

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