Gov. Haley visits freeze-damaged peach farm

JOHNSTON, SC (WFXG) - The Big Smile Peach Farm has been in Larry Yonce's family for four generations, and he says this visit by Governor Nikki Haley is a memorable occasion.

"She is the first governor since Carol Campbell that's visited our industry," he said.

But she isn't visiting for a good reason. She's coming to see the damage from the freezing weather in March. Of the 4,000 acres of peaches on the farm, Yonce says 35 to 40 percent have been damaged by the freeze.

Haley said the weather may be warm now, but that doesn't mean the freezing weather is forgotten.

"Many of us forgot it the second our power came back on. Many of us forgot it the second the ice was cleared and the debris was off the roads," Haley said. "Farmers haven't forgotten it. When you look at the peach farmers, they are stuck with trees with no peaches."

But the farmers aren't asking for federal aid. Yonce says this is because extreme weather is something they deal with on a yearly basis.

"We can't correct floods. We can't correct tornados. We can't correct hurricanes," Yonce said. "You just hope that you are aware of them and you deal with them and you move along and you try to and you got to continue to play the game."

Haley said the one thing the community can do to show their support is continue to buy local produce.

Yonce says there will be a peach crop for June, July, and August, so people will still be able to enjoy the summer fruit.

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