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President Trump Visits WNC Farm To Tout COVID Agriculture Program Shortly After Renomination

Cory Vaillancourt
President Donald Trump speaks Monday at Flavor First Growers & Packers in Mills River

(9:00 p.m. Monday) - Shortly after being renominated for a second term, President Donald Trump visited Western North Carolina Monday afternoon to tout an agricultural program created to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The President visited Flavor First Growers & Packers in Mills River.  The company partners with Baptists On Mission to produce Farmers To Families Food Boxes, which are distributed to families in need.  The program was created in April, just weeks after the Coronavirus pandemic took hold in the U.S.

Joining the President at the event was his daughter and White House advisor Ivanka Trump, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.  Meadows previously represented much of Western North Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives.  He resigned his seat in North Carolina's 11th Congressional District to become Trump's chief of staff in March.

This story will be updated.  Earlier version below 

President Donald Trump will visit Western North Carolina Monday afternoon.  The president will tour Flavor First Growers & Packersin Mills River, an organization that partners to make Farmers To Families Food Boxes, which are distributed to families in need.  

The president's visit comes on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, two hours to the east.  Because of the pandemic, only a few GOP officials will actually be in Charlotte.  Most of the convention will be virtual.  Trumpis expected to give his acceptance speech for the Republican nomination for a second term in office Thursday night from the South Lawn of the White House. 

The President will tour Flavor First along with his daughter and White House advisor Ivanka Trump, and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.  The Farmers To Families Food Boxes program, which Flavor First partners with Baptists On Mission for, was created by the Families First Coronavirus Act to "purchase and distribute agricultural needs to those in need" according to the USDA website.  

President Trump won North Carolina in the 2016 election, defeating Hillary Clinton by almost four percentage points.  He won every Western North Carolina county except Buncombe that year.  Trump visited the Asheville area twice as candidate Trump in 2016, first holding a rally at what was then called the U.S. Cellular Center (now Harrah's Cherokee Center Asheville), and then returning to speak at the WNC Ag Center.  North Carolina, with its 13 Electoral College votes, is expected to be one of the key state’s again in this year’s election.

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016. Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C. For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor. Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis. Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.
Lilly Knoepp is Senior Regional Reporter for Blue Ridge Public Radio. She has served as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina since 2018. She is from Franklin, NC. She returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.