Catherine Carter of Cullowhee won first place and a $500 prize in the Caldwell Arts Council’s inaugural Western NC Regional Poetry Competition for her poem “When you tell me I’m being racist.” Another work by Carter won an honorable mention. Seventy-nine poets submitted a total of 145 poems. Award winners and judges will read their works during a live Zoom presentation on Thursday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. The other winners: second, Elizabeth Brandes of Hickory; third, Benjamin Cutler of Whittier, who also won an honorable mention; fourth, Anne Maren-Hogan of Burnsville; fifth, Joyce Compton Brown of Troutman. Honorable Mention Awards went to Jenny Bates of Germanton, Les Brown of Troutman, and Bill Griffin of Elkin.

Agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions because of COVID-19 can sign up for financial assistance from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which began on Sept. 21 and runs through Dec. 11. CFAP 2 is a separate program from the first round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, now referred to as CFAP 1. Farmers and ranchers who participated in CFAP 1 will not be automatically enrolled and must complete a new application for CFAP 2. Producers can apply for CFAP 2 by contacting the Burke-McDowell-Caldwell FSA Office at 828-439-9727 extension 2.

The 2020 Farm Service Agency County Committee Elections will begin on Nov. 2, when ballots are mailed to eligible voters. To be an eligible voter, farmers and ranchers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program. A person who is not of legal voting age but supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm, may also be eligible to vote. Eligible voters in local administrative area (LAA) 4 who do not receive a ballot can obtain one at the Burke-McDowell-Caldwell FSA office, 130 Ammons Drive Suite 1, Morganton.