HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C. (WLOS) — A new study showed North Carolina wine and grapes keep getting more popular.

According to the state's Wine and Grape Growers Council, that industry had a $2 billion economic impact in 2016 — about a 15 percent increase from the last study in 2014.

"We really see that North Carolina is growing some great wines and some great fruit,” Alan Ward, owner of Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards, said.

Agribusiness Henderson County Executive Director Mark Williams has been named to the state Food Processing Innovation Center Advisory Committee, focusing on employment, investment and value in food processing.

The appointment, he says, may be a great opportunity to assist Henderson County’s growing food production market.

I am pleased and honored to have received an appointment by the Speaker of the House of Representatives to serve on the state’s new Food Processing Innovation Center Advisory Committee, representing food manufacturers . This initiative came out of the NC Food Manufacturing Taskforce, which was formed to come up with strategies for economic development efforts for the industry of food and agricultural products. The new committee will be comprised of 14 members including the NC Commissioner of Agriculture, Secretary of Commerce, Dean of NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Science, President of the Golden L.E.A.F. Foundation, President of Economic Development Partnership of NC, President of the Community College System Office, an Agricultural Economist and other appointees by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and President Pro Tempore of the Senate.

November 17, 2016- Hendersonville Lightning

Hendersonville is getting a second apple celebration — a one-day event in the spring to promote the growing hard cider business.
Agribusiness Henderson County is sponsoring the Apple Country Cider Jam, Henderson County’s first hard cider festival, on Saturday, April 22, on Main Street.The festival, from 1 to 6 p.m., will be a ticketed event with hard cider tasting, a nationally known bluegrass band and food trucks, said Mark Williams, executive director of AgHC, the nonprofit that promotes farming in Henderson County. The jam will close the same two blocks that are used for Rhythm & Brews, in front of the Visitors Center and Wells Fargo bank.

September 30, 2016- Asheville Citizen Times

Bitwater Farms isn't much to look at. If it weren't for the cricket mural on one shipping container, retrofitted as a workshop, there's little to indicate that what's being built and raised on this rural piece of property in Mills River holds such potential for change in agriculture.

So far Bitwater Farms has largely been operating quietly, save for the undeniable chirp of crickets. And then there's that smell.