Sounds like good news for local Wilkes County farmers. Yesterday, Wilkes Officials attended an Advantage West meeting in Ashe concerning local economic development. Also on Thursday, U.S. Senator Kay Hagan from NC applauded a new project to support Western North Carolina’s agriculture economy and spur job creation in 23 counties including Wilkes. WNC AgriVentures, a program developed by Advantage West and Land of Sky Regional Council, is launching the project with an $815,000 federal grant, which Hagan supported. The project will help expand Western North Carolina’s sustainable agriculture and natural resource industry and support local producers and entrepreneurs. “Western North Carolina is becoming a powerhouse in the local agriculture and local sustainable food movements,” said Hagan. This western NC project was one of only 13 selected across the country to receive funding from the EDA. Areas served by the WNC AgriVentures project are the 23 western-most counties of North Carolina including: Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey.