NPR logo Hay Is For Horses In Tryon, N.C.

Hay Is For Horses In Tryon, N.C.

Dedicating hay bales to the emergency food bank for horses. Courtesy of Libbie Johnson hide caption

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Courtesy of Libbie Johnson

Dedicating hay bales to the emergency food bank for horses.

Courtesy of Libbie Johnson

The Tryon area has been known as "Horse Country" for almost a century. People here take their equine economy seriously, it's a major source of jobs. Drought conditions and the economy have forced many horse owners into a predicament of how to feed their families and their horses.

So the Hay Pledge was born. Horse owners and hay growers "pledge" 10 bales of hay if asked — unless their supplies are too low to share. Calls for assistance are confidential. Some 500 bales have been delivered in 2012, but winter is coming and that number will go up significantly.

Libbie Johnson is Director of Economic Development for Polk County. She listens to WNCW.